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The Financial Landscape: BAC Settles, FINRA Flexes

Bank of America will soon finalize an $8.5 billion agreement to settle investor claims that Countrywide sold them lousy mortgage-backed securities before the housing bust. Meanwhile, private regulator FINRA is angling to take over the watchdog role for registered investment advisers.

Did Lawyers Commit Fraud in the Foreclosure Fiasco?

The so-called robo-signers at banks who signed thousands of foreclosure-related documents without reading them were lying under oath. But even worse were the robo-signing lawyers and their colleagues: They absolutely knew they were committing frauds that could get them disbarred.

Foreclosure Mess Puts Freeze on Housing Market

A massive loss of confidence in the foundations of property rights and rule of law has occurred. And this loss is having a devastating impact on the housing market, effectively locking up all those foreclosed homes that need to be sold. How can the economy heal while this goes on?

New York Fed May Try to Force Banks to Repurchase Bad Loans

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York may try to force banks to repurchase past-due home loans that back some of the securities it holds. The move would boost the value of the institution%u2019s Maiden Lane portfolio, which held $67.4 billion in assets in the week ending July 28, Reuters reported.

Goldman Shares Rising on SEC Settlement, Upgrade

Goldman Sachs shares have jumped some 4.7% in premarket trading to around $152following the announcement of an agreement with the SEC for a record $550 million settlement over fraud claims linked to the subprime mortgage investment known as Abacus.

Feds Probe Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley weathers investigations into sales of securities, joining Goldman Sachs on the list of Wall Street firms scrutinized by the SEC.