Older Members of Congress Perplexed by ATM Machines

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ATM machines perplex an aging congress

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has long pushed an amendment to limit those pesky and expensive transaction fees at automated teller machines, but his fellow senators didn’t go along with the idea this week.

One possible explanation: Quite a few of Harkin’s aging colleagues appear to have little or no contact with the decades-old technology of cash machines.

 

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New Credit Card and Overdraft Restrictions Cut Bank Fees by $5B

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Credit card overhaul cuts bank fees.

New credit card and overdraft restrictions will save U.S. consumers from being charged at least $5 billion in fees this year alone at the largest U.S. retail banks and credit card companies, a USA Today analysis reveals.The analysis — based on institutions’ own estimates — comes during a year when new rules are kicking in to address unfair credit card rate increases and steep bank overdraft fees. It highlights the sizable dent these rules will have on an industry blamed for pushing consumers deeper into distress during the recession.

 

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1 in 5 Homeowners Are Opting for ‘Strategic Defaults’

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Nearly one-quarter of U.S. mortgages are “underwater,” i.e. the houses are worth less than the balance of their loans.

Underwater on their mortgages and angry at banks, more borrowers are choosing to hand over the keys, even if they can afford the payments. Wynn Bloch has always dutifully paid her bills and socked away money for retirement. But in December she defaulted on the mortgage on her Palm Desert home, even though she could afford the payments. 

 

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Banks Failing to Protect Small Business Assets From Cyberthieves

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Cybercrminals are stealing from small and medium businesses at an unprecedented rate.

Cyberthieves are cracking into the online bank accounts of small- and medium-sized businesses at an unprecedented rate.  Banks are failing to take proactive steps to protect their SMB customers, and, as a result, many SMBs are changing banks.

 

 

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Will Twitter Eliminate Credit Cards?

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A nutshell history of money might go something like: First we had barter, then hard currency, then checks and credit cards, then… Twitter? A handful of writers think that social media tools like Twitter could allow people to seamlessly, instantly, and cheaply transfer money. If it works, it would eliminate the need for some of banking’s basic services.

 

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How Will Credit Card Reform Affect Your Wallet?

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How will credit card reform affect your wallet?

The new law makes it more difficult for credit card companies to charge higher-risk customers higher interest rates and fees. To make up the difference, issuers say, they need to raise the terms even for good borrowers.

Here is a breakdown of the reforms and how they might affect your wallet:

 

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Foreign Officials with Corruption Links Slipping Millions into U.S.

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Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue,  the son of Equatorial Guinea’s president, moved more than $110 million in suspect funds into U.S. accounts

Foreign officials with potential corruption links are exploiting weaknesses in federal anti-money-laundering safeguards to move millions of dollars into U.S. bank accounts and properties, according to a Senate report released Thursday.

 

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European Economy Unsettled by Debt Crisis

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A couple looking at a shop in Greece as the economy has suffered a major deficit crisis.

Governments in Athens, Madrid and Lisbon struggled on Friday to quell fears of a looming debt crisis in Europe that is pummeling the euro and rippling across global markets, as authorities vowed to impose fiscal austerity and plug their yawning budget deficits. The problem, however, is that investors don’t appear to believe them.

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Small Businesses Turning To Alternative Financing

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Small business turning to alternative financing when big banks turn them down

In the glory days of the digital photo frame business, when his products were still a novelty and shoppers were flush with cash, getting a bank loan to manufacture them was a cinch, Michael Levy says.  We would say: ‘We got a $1 million order from the Sharper Image. We need financing. With a snap of the fingers, the guy drove down to my office, we’d sign a document, he’d give us the money,” Mr. Levy recalls, sitting in the Deer Park, Long Island, office of the Media Street Group that he runs with his brother, Norm.

 

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Joseph Stiglitz Explains Why We Have To Change Capitalism

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Joseph Stiglitz

In an exclusive extract from his new book, Freefall, the former World Bank chief economist, Joseph Stiglitz, reveals why banks should be split up and why the West must cut consumption. 

In the Great Recession that began in 2008, millions of people in America and all over the world lost their homes and jobs. Many more suffered the anxiety and fear of doing so, and almost anyone who put away money for retirement or a child’s education saw those investments dwindle to a fraction of their value.

 

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