Banks May Start Charging You Interest For Making Deposits - (www.businessinsider.com) Put $100 in a certificate of deposit at a bank today, and in a year you’ll have earned, on average, about 21 cents in interest. It’s trivial, right? In fact, you’re actually losing money, in terms of purchasing power, when you consider inflation. But at least it’s something. In dollar terms, the bank is paying you more money than you deposited. But what if that were to change and banks began charging you money for the service of keeping your money safe and giving you access to the payments system? Your $100 CD is now worth about $99.87 at the end of a year. It may seem outrageous, but according to the Financial Times, U.S. banks are threatening to begin charging interest on deposits if the Federal Reserve reduces what it pays banks on the excess reserves—that is, reserve amounts over the minimum that the Fed requires – held in the central bank.
[Morgenson] $13 Billion, Yes, but What Took So Long? - (www.nytimes.com) “Without a doubt,” Eric H. Holder Jr., the attorney general, said in a statement, “the conduct uncovered in this investigation helped sow the seeds of the mortgage meltdown.” Eager to see what the Justice investigation had found, I consulted the statement of facts that accompanied the settlement and that JPMorgan had to acknowledge. There, I reckoned, would be some juicy, new evidence of the bank’s mortgage misdeeds “uncovered” by assiduous investigators armed with subpoena power and other government might. Perusing the 11-page document, I quickly saw that I’d reckoned wrong. Much of it was the same-old-same-old, a not-very-lively description of a corrupted Wall Street mortgage factory, based largely on some facts that have been in the public domain for years. In other words, although it took the Justice Department more than five years to pursue a major bank for its role in the mortgage mania, the investigation seems to have unearthed material that, by and large, could have been dug up with a spoon.
Merkel tried to bounce Spain into IMF bailout: ex-PM - (www.reuters.com) On a rainy day in November 2011 in the hulking concrete Palace of Festivals in Cannes, where film stars strut on the red-carpeted staircase in warmer months, Angela Merkel ambushed Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. With financial markets in turmoil and speculation rife that the European single currency area could break up, the German chancellor tried to bounce the then Spanish prime minister without notice into taking an International Monetary Fund bailout, according to his account of the meeting. It was just before the start of a Group of 20 economic summit described at the time as make-or-break for the 17-nation euro zone, and only weeks before a Spanish general election. "She greeted me pleasantly and almost without any introduction put forward a proposal about which we had not had any indication," Zapatero writes in a book to be published on Tuesday in Spain.
Akamai’s German Business May Be Hit by NSA Spying Scandal - (www.bloomberg.com) The U.S. National Security Agency’s eavesdropping on foreign heads of state will probably hurtAkamai Technologies Inc. (AKAM)’s business in Germany, Chief Executive Officer Tom Leighton said. Akamai, which helps corporate customers deliver online content faster, is caught up in the growing backlash against American Internet companies, he said. Allegations that the NSA gained access to e-mails between world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, and their staffs, have raised questions about the data being held and managed by U.S. Internet companies. Akamai operates computer servers across the globe to speed up the distribution and delivery of Web content, which means that data being tracked by the NSA or any other authority most likely passes through its network.
Obamacare Cutbacks Shut Hospitals Where Medicaid Went Unexpanded - (www.bloomberg.com) Pam Renshaw had just crashed her four-wheeler into a bonfire in rural Folkston, Georgia, and her skin was getting seared in the flames. Her boyfriend, Billy Chavis, pulled her away and struggled to dial 911 before driving her to the nearest place he could think of for medical attention: an ambulance station more than 20 miles away. The local public hospital, 9 miles from the crash, had closed six weeks earlier because of budget shortfalls resulting from Obamacare and Georgia’s decision not to expand Medicaid. The ambulances Chavis sought were taking other patients to the next closest hospital. It took two hours before Renshaw, in pain from second- and third-degree burns on almost half her body, was flown to a hospital in Florida. At least five public hospitals closed this year and many more are scaling back services, mostly in states where Medicaid wasn’t expanded. Patients in areas with shuttered hospitals must travel as far as 40 miles (64 kilometers) to get care, causing delays that can result in lethal consequences, said Bruce Siegel, chief executive officer of America’s Essential Hospitals, a Washington-based advocacy group for facilities that treat large numbers of uninsured or low-income patients.