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Banking & Finance

Wall Street bonuses keep rising

NEW YORK — Wall Street bonuses were up 17 percent to over $20 billion in 2009, the year taxpayers bailed out the financial sector after its meltdown, New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said today. Total compensation at the largest securities firms grew beyond that figure and profits could surpass what he calls an unprecedented $55 billion last year, DiNapoli ...

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Judge to approve Bank of America settlement

NEW YORK — A federal judge said yesterday he would reluctantly approve an amended $150-million settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Bank of America to end civil charges accusing the bank of misleading shareholders when it acquired Merrill Lynch. But U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff called the revised pact “half-baked justice at best” and said the ...

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New credit card policy goes into effect

NEW YORK — Your next credit card statement is going to contain an ugly truth: how much that card really costs to use. Now, thanks to a long-awaited law that goes into effect today, you’ll know that if you pay the minimum on a $3,000 balance with a 14 percent interest rate, it could take you 10 years to pay ...

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Southern AgCredit talks with lawmakers

FLOWOOD — Recent economic turmoil has made it evident that not all financial organizations are created equal. That was the message that the leaders of Southern AgCredit delivered to their representatives in Congress recently. Five members of the Southern AgCredit board of directors and the cooperative lender’s CEO, Joe Hayman, attended the Farm Credit Council’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. ...

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Bye-bye banks? Credit unions are the hot thing

Credit unions offer enticing credit card and mortgage terms and can charge less than banks on unsecured loans The story has been repeated countless times across the country during the past few months when the economy has been less than robust. People floundering financially and handcuffed by credit problems, they search for a solution to ever-soaring interest rates. A high ...

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Obama creates deficit commission

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama signed an order yesterday unilaterally creating a bipartisan commission to rein in unruly deficits after Congress rejected a similar body with considerably more enforcement power. In making the announcement, Obama said that unless lawmakers put aside partisan differences, the continuing red-ink trend could “hobble our economy.” The federal deficit hit a record $1.4 trillion last ...

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Bullard calls for stronger Fed

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — In remarks Feb. 18 to the Economic Club of Memphis, St. Louis Fed president James Bullard discussed the historical context and deliberate design of the Federal Reserve System. He called for regulatory reform that strengthens – not weakens – the Fed’s ability to head off future financial crises. Bullard also addressed the U.S. economic recovery now ...

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Foreclosures fall off significantly

WASHINGTON — The number of borrowers falling behind on their mortgage payments dropped sharply at the end of last year, a sign the foreclosure crisis is beginning to ebb. The Mortgage Bankers Association said Friday the percentage of borrowers who missed just one payment on their home loans fell to 3.63 percent in the October to December quarter, down from ...

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Ex-bank bookkeeper charged with stealing

HARRISVILLE — Federal authorities say a former bookkeeper has been charged with manipulating a bank’s computer system to steal more than $250,000. The FBI and U.S. attorney’s office in Jackson said Feb. 18 in a news release that 33-year-old Lindsay Welch of Harrisville was a bookkeeper at Copiah Bank in Hazlehurst. The news release said she manipulated the computer system ...

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Morgan Keegan holds on to top spot

MEMPHIS — Morgan Keegan & Company Inc. was the eighth leading underwriter of municipal bonds in the country for 2009, serving as book running manager on 578 issues with a par amount of $12.8 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. The firm was the 10th leading underwriter in 2008. Morgan Keegan was also the leading underwriter in the nation in terms ...

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