NPR's business news starts with a verdict against Bank of America.
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INSKEEP: Last night, a jury in New York found the bank liable for fraud after a month-long civil trial. It was considered a win for the Justice Department's prosecution of misdeeds during the financial crisis. Federal prosecutors argued that a division of Bank of America, Countrywide Financial, wrote bad home mortgages to people clearly unable to repay the loans.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:59 pm
A Manhattan jury has held Bank of America liable for fraud related to bad loans its Countrywide Financial Corp. unit sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as the housing market soured.
The verdict was returned on Wednesday after several hours of deliberation in a month-long trial that focused on loans Countrywide completed in 2007 and 2008, as the housing crisis was already underway. Countrywide was acquired by Bank of America in 2008.
The U.S. performance on the global stage has looked a little rocky in the past few weeks.
The Obama administration had to let Russia take a lead in managing the security challenge in Syria. The United States was also embarrassed when allies like Germany, France and Brazil reacted angrily to the news that the National Security Agency had monitored their leaders' communications.
Finally, the government shutdown and the congressional fight over the debt ceiling prompted critical comments about U.S. political dysfunction.
President Obama is putting former CEO Jeff Zients in charge of the "tech surge" — the administration's emergency effort to fix the Web portal at the heart of the federal government's new health care market. But what about the contractors that built the system? What's their responsibility?
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:55 pm
"Please Release Him."
That was the simple but startling front-page headline on Wednesday in New Express, a cutting-edge newspaper based in China's southern city of Guangzhou. "Him" is Chen Yongzhou, one of the paper's investigative journalists who New Express says was taken away by police after reporting "problems with the accounts" at Zoomlion Heavy Industries."
Those four words loomed large in 2008, as a crisis in the banking world threatened the global economy. Fears that the failure of large financial institutions would undermine the entire economic system led Congress to step in, passing a $700 billion bailout package.
NPR's business news starts with a rather large ATM fee.
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INSKEEP: The Ohio-based ATM manufacturer Diebold has agreed to a $48 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department over bribery allegations. The company is accused of spending more than $3 million to bribe bank officials in China, Indonesia and Russia over a five-year period - a violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The details are still being worked out, but JPMorgan Chase and the Justice Department have agreed to a $13 billion settlement that will close out numerous lawsuits. About $3 billion will go to compensate investors who lost money on securities from banks that JPMorgan acquired during the financial crisis. Federal prosecutors have agreed not to seek punitive damages against JPMorgan for losses related to those deals.
In Detroit on Wednesday, a federal trial begins that will determine whether that city is eligible for the nation's largest-ever municipal bankruptcy.
Hundreds of the city's creditors are lining up to oppose the bankruptcy, arguing that Detroit is violating Michigan's Constitution and that if officials tried harder they could find enough savings to pay the city's bills.
We have a few more numbers for you now from a superstar tech company that stumbled painfully and publicly back in 2011 but appears to be on solid footing again. I'm talking about Netflix. Now, remember when the company changed its prices and divided its DVD rental and streaming services, and then quickly reversed course when customers howled?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
After a 16-day delay, the employment report for September was finally released today. The most anticipated report of the month was knocked off schedule by the government shutdown. And as NPR's John Ydstie reports, when it arrived this morning, it didn't quite live up to expectations.
Consumers aren't the only ones frustrated by problems with the online health insurance exchanges being run by the feds.
Private companies that sell health insurance on the Internet are also in a bind. Websites like eHealthInsurance.com that were planning to start selling new, subsidized health care policies on Oct. 1 still can't offer them to customers.
A Montgomery judge is letting three parents intervene in the Alabama Education Association's lawsuit challenging the state's new private school tax credits.
Judge Gene Reese ruled Monday that Tequila Rogers of Mobile and Danyal and Mark Jones of Montgomery can become parties. They support the credits because they chose to enroll their children in private schools rather than failing public schools. They are represented by the Institute for Justice, which has defended school choice laws in several states.