You Call It “Sharing.” I Call It “Brazenly Selling”

How Citibank Handles Its Customers’ Personal Information [Editor’s Note: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway (“Berkshire”), or any other entity referenced. Edina Realty is a subsidiary of Berkshire.] “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” –“Romeo & Juliet”; Shakespeare Americans...
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How Fining Banks Instead of Jailing Rogue Bankers Disserves Society

Needed:  Financial Nuremberg Trials “Citigroup and U.S. Reach $7 Billion Mortgage Settlement.” —headline; NYT (7/14/14). “BNP Paribas SA agreed to pay nearly $9 billion and plead guilty to crimes for violating U.S. sanctions, an unprecedented settlement that includes a year-long ban on the French bank’s ability to conduct certain U.S. dollar transactions. –“BNP Paribas Draws...
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“Welcome Aboard, Tom!”

No Longer AWOL on Financial Reform Notwithstanding a very long public record of Wall Street self-dealing, treachery, and greed on a scale never before witnessed in American (world?) history, New York Times columnist (and St. Louis Park native) Tom Friedman has been silent on the need for systemic financial and political reform. Until today.   Our Congress...
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Michael Lewis’ “The Big Short”: Diabolical Castles in the Sky

Voiding Credit Default Swaps In a book stuffed with scathing insights and blockbuster revelations, here’s perhaps the biggest one (courtesy of Michael Lewis, writing in The Big Short): The reason Citigroup (amongst others) is considered “Too Big Too Fail” isn’t because it holds over $1 trillion in ordinary Americans’ savings in their vaults. It’s not...
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Foreclosure "Wipeout’s" Skew Housing Market Stat’s

Where: 328 Burntside Drive, Golden ValleyWhat: 6 BR/5 BA; 4,407 FSFHow much: $369,900Last sale: $899,000 (3/8/07)Tax assessed value: $757,700 Just like not all stocks have dropped equally in a market now down more than 50%, not all homes or neighborhoods have suffered equally. In fact, one of the reasons why the Twin Cities overall is...
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"Bank Runs," Circa 2009

No “Run on the Banks?” Define, “Run”It’s true that depositors haven’t raced to withdraw their money from the nation’s — indeed, the world’s — largest, so-called “money-center” banks the last 18 months or so (basically, the ones considered “too-big-to-fail”). That’s largely a credit, literally, to deposit insurance — administered in the U.S. by the FDIC....
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