Chris Arnold

In the last days of the Obama administration, the federal government has reached multibillion-dollar settlements with Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse over their sale of toxic mortgage securities.

President-elect Donald Trump owes Deutsche Bank hundreds of millions of dollars in loans. So that deal removes a potential conflict of interest — where a Trump Justice Department would have been negotiating the settlement.

Billionaire Wilbur Ross Jr. is one of the wealthiest members of what's being called Donald Trump's "gilded cabinet." The parade of Wall Street and corporate elites is drawing sharp criticism from many on the left. But actually, Ross, who Trump has chosen as his secretary of commerce, is respected by organized labor. Those close to him say he is not a right-wing ideologue, and some who've known him over the years say he's the best possible pick that Democrats could hope for.

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President-elect Donald Trump has pledged a $1 trillion infrastructure spending program to help jump-start an economy that he said during the campaign was in terrible shape.

Speaking on Capitol Hill Thursday, Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen warned lawmakers that as they consider such spending, they should keep an eye on the national debt. Yellen also said that while the economy needed a big boost with fiscal stimulus after the financial crisis, that's not the case now.

During the campaign, Donald Trump characterized himself as a champion of working-class voters who felt left behind and disconnected from more prosperous parts of the country. And Trump's historic upset victory last week was fueled by working-class voters in the Rust Belt and elsewhere who believed in this promise.

Building a better economic future for Americans who feel they've been left behind was a key component of Donald Trump's message during his campaign. It resonated strongly with white, working-class voters: manufacturing workers hurt by globalization, coal miners hurt by the movement to cleaner energy, and others.

But what will the details of Trump's economic policy agenda actually look like? At this point that's kind of opaque — he has no political track record, and his statements about the economy have been all over the map.

Elizabeth Warren and two other U.S. senators are demanding answers from Wells Fargo about reports of retribution by bank managers against would-be whistleblowers. This marks the latest development in the ongoing consumer banking scandal engulfing the banking giant.

In a letter to Wells Fargo's new CEO, Timothy Sloan, Warren, D-Mass., and Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., say the bank may have "misled regulators about the scope of the fraud."

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Former employees of Wells Fargo tell NPR that a toxic high-pressure sales culture at the bank drove some workers to deceive customers and open unauthorized accounts — even in the bank's own headquarters building in San Francisco.

Wells Fargo is embroiled in a scandal for taking advantage of customers by opening as many as 2 million accounts without their consent. The bank fired 5,300 mostly lower-level workers over the wrongdoing.

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Much of the anger and anxiety in the 2016 election are fueled by the sense that economic opportunity is slipping away for many Americans. This week, as part of NPR's collaborative project with member stations, A Nation Engaged, we're asking the question: What can be done to create economic opportunity for more Americans?

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When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau looked into the Mississippi-based regional bank BancorpSouth, it didn't just review thousands of loan applications. It sent in undercover operatives — some white, some black — who pretended to be customers applying for loans.

"They had similar credit scores and similar background and situations," says CFPB Director Richard Cordray. "Our investigation had found that BancorpSouth had engaged in illegal redlining in Memphis, meaning refusing to lend into specific areas of the city."

With rising home prices and low interest rates, Americans are spending a record amount of money fixing up their kitchens, bathrooms and man-caves. And business would be booming more but there aren't enough carpenters and tradespeople to do all the work.

Nathaniel May survived the housing crash, but just barely. He's a general contractor who does home renovations in the Boston area. As recently as four years ago, he and his partner were feeling a little desperate.

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Several of the nation's most prestigious universities were sued yesterday by their own employees. MIT, Yale and NYU are facing class-action lawsuits over their retirement plans. Here's NPR's Chris Arnold.

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Alvin Toffler, the author whose celebrated 1970 book Future Shock examined the danger and promise of the accelerating pace of change in society, died in his sleep Monday in Los Angeles. He was 87.

At the core of Toffler's vision was that society wasn't just changing, but changing faster than it ever had before. He popularized the notion of "information overload" and wondered whether human beings could psychologically handle being bombarded by so much information and by change itself.

Lionel Messi says it's over. He's retiring from Argentina's national team.

After losing three previous Copa America finals, Lionel Messi on Sunday night had another chance to win. Argentina and Chile were locked in a scoreless tie, and the match would be decided by penalty kicks. Messi bent down to adjust the ball and backed up to get a running start. The five-time FIFA Ballon d'Or winner licked his lip, gave the goalie a quick appraising glance, and sent a cannonball-like shot over the goal, missing for Argentina when it mattered most.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Dennis Hastert, the once-powerful Republican lawmaker, reported to federal prison today to begin serving a 15-month sentence.

The case against Hastert involved hush money he paid to cover up his sexual abuse of teenage boys in the 1960s and 70s when he was working as a wrestling coach at a high school about 50 miles west of Chicago.

The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant will be shut down by 2025. The plan was announced today by the power utility operating the plant, along with labor and environmental groups.

Surrounded by his teammates just a few steps off the airplane, LeBron James hoisted the NBA championship trophy and bellowed out a happy roar to a crowd of 20,000 screaming fans. J.R. Smith appeared to have lost his shirt somewhere during Sunday night's celebrations. Kevin Love was sporting a giant professional wrestling belt. And the party in Cleveland is just getting started.

Updated 7 p.m. ET June 29 with this clarification:

Initial reports on June 20, when Costco said it would switch the type of credit card it would accept, said the new cards would not have roadside assistance. But Citi spokeswoman Jennifer Bombardier now tells NPR that the Costco Visa cards "offer a comparable roadside assistance plan."

NerdWallet says overall the new Costco Visa card has better benefits than the old Costco American Express card.

Yesterday on Capitol Hill, Tina Meins and other survivors of gun violence joined Democratic senators to push for tougher gun control laws. In the San Bernardino mass killing last year, Meins' father and 13 of his co-workers were shot to death.

"In mere seconds, my life and the lives of my mother and sister were irrevocably changed," she says.

Federal Reserve policymakers on Wednesday will tell the world their latest plans for raising interest rates. The goal is to keep the economy on track. And right now, that is not an easy thing.

Members of the Federal Open Markets Committee track an array of sometimes conflicting data. Economists call this the Fed's "dashboard." So what are the dashboard's instruments telling us about where the economy is headed next?

Capt. Yellen's Dashboard

Tesla says its cars' suspension systems have no safety problems, and the electric-auto maker calls an allegation that it has pressured customers not to report safety problems "preposterous."

Why should anybody care that billionaire George Soros is trading again and making big bets that will pay off if economies around the world fall on harder times?

When the 85-year-old hedge fund founder did something like this a decade ago, the U.S. housing market was about to implode, Lehman Brothers would soon collapse and the U.S. and global economy was headed into what economists call "the toilet."

One thing Soros appears to be most concerned about this time around is weakness in China.

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