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US asks for $2.1B in penalties from Bank of America, more than double its previous request

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Federal prosecutors wants a judge to order Bank of America to pay $2.1 billion in penalties for knowingly selling bad home loans, more than double the amount the government had sought in the case. In documents filed Wednesday, the government said it wants Bank of America to make a payment based on its total revenue from the fraud instead of the profit it made.

Massachusetts uses largest 'social impact bond' to tackle crime

By Richard Valdmanis BOSTON (Reuters) - Massachusetts said on Wednesday it will fight youth crime in the state by using the nation's largest "social impact bond" - an alternative way to fund government programs that taps private investors like banks.

Major default looms in China's huge 'shadow banking' system

A shockwave is looming in China's multi-trillion dollar "shadow banking" system, with an unprecedented default only days away on a $500 million investment product sold to hundreds of people. Staff at China's biggest bank ICBC pushed the "Credit Equals Gold #1 Trust Product" by promising returns of 10 percent a year, far more than traditional deposits, investors say.

Senators urge Fannie, Freddie to aid lower-income households

By Margaret Chadbourn WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than 30 Democrats in the U.S. Senate called on Friday for the regulator of government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to direct the companies to resume contributions for affordable housing initiatives.

Stock funds worldwide attract $6.6 billion over week - BofA

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fund investors worldwide poured $6.6 billion into stock funds in the week ended January 22, bringing inflows into the funds this year to $16 billion, data from a Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research report showed on Friday. European stock funds attracted $4.3 billion, marking 30 straight weeks of inflows, according to the report, which also cited data from fund-tracker EPFR Global. Emerging market stock funds, meanwhile, posted outflows of $2.4 billion, marking their biggest outflows in five weeks.

'Fabulous Fab' Tourre seeks reduced fine for bond scam

Former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre, who was convicted of knowingly selling high-risk mortgage bonds as safe investments, has asked a US judge to cut his $910,000 fine to just $65,000. Nicknamed "Fabulous Fab" in the financial world, Tourre became one of the most notorious media villains of the 2007 financial crisis. Lawyers acting for the French trader argued in a New York court filing seen Wednesday that the fine far outstripped the estimated $175,000 the French banker earned from marketing the bonds.

U.S. Senate hearing to urge quicker commodity limits on banks

By Anna Louie Sussman WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers will push financial regulators at a Senate hearing on Wednesday to speed up efforts to limit Wall Street's role in physical commodities markets, pressing for a pivotal policy shift after a decade of deepening trade. A day ahead of the hearing, the Federal Reserve laid out for the first time its growing concerns the risks to the financial system from banks leasing oil tankers or owning power plants are "difficult to limit and higher than expected".

Bank of America earnings rise on better credit quality

Bank of America Wednesday reported an eight-fold increase in quarterly earnings due to primarily improving credit quality and costly charges in the year-ago period. The US banking giant reported fourth-quarter earnings of $3.2 billion on revenues of $21.5 billion, compared with earnings of $367 million on revenues of $18.7 billion in the year-ago period. Those results translated into per-share income of 29 cents, above the 26 cents projected by analysts.

Fannie, Freddie watchdog in probe of alleged Wall Street front running

By Aruna Viswanatha WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. government watchdog is involved in an investigation of whether bank traders manipulated markets and engaged in front running of orders from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the interest-rate swaps market, according to an FBI intelligence bulletin reviewed by Reuters.

Fannie, Freddie watchdog in probe of alleged Wall Street front running

By Aruna Viswanatha WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. government watchdog is involved in an investigation of whether bank traders manipulated markets and engaged in front running of orders from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the interest-rate swaps market, according to an FBI intelligence bulletin reviewed by Reuters.
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