Extra Extra : Banking

Extra Extra Monday: Uneven assessments, National Guard misconduct, Chicago migration myth

Across Wisconsin, uneven property assessments fly in the face of fairness | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By measure after measure, in cities, towns and villages across Wisconsin, property assessors are discounting uniformity and trampling on fairness, while officials with the state Department of Revenue do little to rectify the disparities, an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has found.

In dozens of communities, 20% or more of residential property taxes are being paid by the wrong people, according to the Journal Sentinel's analysis of Department of Revenue records for each of the state's 1,852 municipalities. The analysis considered communities ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Injury-leave program, secret service fumbles, the cost of rape

Blacks disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession in Pinellas, Hillsborough counties | Tampa Bay Times

Black people in Pinellas and Hillsborough are at least six times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as white people. It's not because of who smokes pot and who doesn’t.

Racial disparities in pot possession arrests is not a new topic. But the disparities are particularly pronounced in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, a Tampa Bay Times analysis found.


L.A. pays millions as police and firefighter claims rise | L.A. Times

An injury-leave program for Los Angeles police and firefighters has cost taxpayers ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Hospice firms drain billions, JPMorgan hired China's elite, restaurants stay open despite violations

San Diego Has Fallen Behind on Combating Police Racial Profiling | Voice of San Diego
The San Diego Police Department has often failed to follow its own rules regarding the collection of racial data at traffic stops, saying the community isn't concerned about racial profiling. A local black officers group, the NAACP and a city councilman disagree.

Hospice firms draining billions from Medicare | The Washington Post
But over the past decade, the number of “hospice survivors” in the United States has risen dramatically, in part because hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren’t actually dying, a Washington ...

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Banks making money off charitable donations

Banks are reaping significant financial rewards as they give to charities hundreds of distressed properties in communities still suffering the effects of the foreclosure crisis. But a Chicago Tribune investigation looked at the outcomes for hundreds of donated homes and revealed a pattern of profiteering, mismanagement and failure to help some of the city's hardest-hit communities. This is another installment in the Poverty & Profit series, which probes how a once-stable African-American community has been devastated by corruption and City Hall neglect. 

Bloomberg Markets investigation finds investors lose 89 percent of gains from futures funds

Bloomberg Markets magazine investigates the managed futures industry, and finds that while 63 public partnerships earned $11.5 billion over the past decade, 89 percent was siphoned away in commmissions, fees and expenses.

In a nine-month investigation relying on compiled data from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bloomberg Markets found that the partnerships wiped out all the trading profits -- all that was left for investors came from interest earnings on the limited partners' cash. The impact of these high fees has escaped both regulators and some industry executives, the magazine reports.

Hundreds of Stockbrokers Migrate Between Firms Expelled by Regulators

More than 5,000 brokers were still licensed to sell securities earlier this year after working for one or more firms that regulators expelled between 2005 and 2012, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal. Hundreds of these brokers worked at more than one firm expelled by regulators, the analysis found.

Extra Extra Monday: School testing errors, secret banks, rundown bridges and how Detroit went broke

Errors plague school testing | The Atlanta Journal Constitution
AJC reporter Heather Vogell exposed cracks in a cornerstone of No Child Left Behind: flawed exams. Questions with no right answers; scoring errors; test booklets with missing pages can cost students dearly.

Adviser didn’t disclose tax liens | The Atlanta Journal Constitution
An Atlanta investment adviser public pensions across the nation to sink millions into his firm’s funds. But as he criss-crossed the country touting the investment, he had not disclosed his personal financial problems – including a $1 million lawsuit settlement and federal tax liens - to regulators, the AJC reported Sunday ...

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Wisconsin public assistance system leaves door open for fraud

Wisconsin is a national leader in getting federal bonuses for streamlining its enrollment process for poverty programs. But front-line workers who process the applications say the push to boost enrollment has them scurrying to "approve, approve, approve" — even when they spot signs that applicants might not qualify.

Under the system, states get bonuses for signing people up quickly, while having to return to the federal government the majority of money they recover from fraud. One caseworker told the Journal Sentinel's Raquel Rutledge, "I feel like all I'm doing is covering up fraud." Another said she was ordered by ...

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Bank lobby loosened U.S. regulation of derivatives

A Bloomberg News investigation reveals how the bank lobby prevented the U.S. from seizing authority over derivatives, financial instruments the investigation states "helped push the global economy to the brink in 2008, taking down American International Group Inc. (AIG) and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and igniting the worst recession since the 1930s."

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has produced about 60 rules for derivatives, and Bloomberg News details how the banking industry and allies forced the retreat on three of the most consequential ones for Wall Street with "one of the largest sustained lobbying attacks on a single Washington ...

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