The massive fallout from the bursting of the housing bubble more than five years ago continues to rumble through the banking system. JPMorgan Chase is in talks to make the largest-ever payment in the history of financial regulation to settle government investigations into its sales of mortgage-backed securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis. The bonds tanked after the housing bubble burst. The bank has resisted admitting guilt.
Published reports say the huge deal would involve $7 billion in cash to the government and $4 billion in consumer relief for struggling homeowners. The agreement, which could be signed within days, involves multiple government agencies. The $11 billion payment would be far higher than the initial amount the bank offered to pay the government earlier this week. The settlement might be more than double the previous record when BP paid out $4.5 billion following criminal charges related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. When he sued the giant bank last year, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said it had committed “multiple fraudulent and deceptive acts” as it sold mortgage backed securities.
Citigroup has agreed to pay $395 million to Freddie Mac to settle claims on home loans it sold to the government-controlled mortgage finance company. The agreement involves 3.7 million mortgages sold between 2000 and 2012. In July, Citigroup agreed to pay $968 million to settle similar claims from Fannie Mae.
Last year more than 750,000 Americans got temporary holiday jobs. Retailers are planning now for their biggest time of the year. If you’re looking for retail employment during the busy holiday season “you should act now,” says John Challenger, CEO of the global outplacement firm Challenger Gray and Christmas. “Many employers are starting their interviewing processes for who they’re going to hire.” Competition for jobs may be more intense as the retail industry is planning for only slight sales growth. “Somewhat down from what we’ve seen over the past few years,” he said. And shopping habits are changing. “That shift over to more online retail purchasing by consumers then also affects hiring because the online retailers just don’t hire as many people,” says Challenger.
The Dow Jones Index and the S&P 500 have fallen five days in a row – the longest loss streak so far this year. The Dow has fallen more than 500 points from its peak a week ago. The markets are concerned about the economic impact of a government shutdown or worse a failure by Congress to raise the debt ceiling.
Hewlett-Packard says it’s cutting ties with a subcontractor that employed Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis. An HP spokesman says the Florida-based firm The Experts failed to respond appropriately to Alexis’ mental health issues. It also says HP has strict policies for its contractors and requires them to adhere to high standards.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow