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    Small Business Owner? You Could Be Unintentionally Breaking the Law

    Today, a growing number of small business owners are unintentionally finding themselves on the wrong side of the law. Under a statute aimed at identifying organized crime, small businesses and farmers are being prosecuted for ordinary business transactions. Fortunately, Congressman Andy Harris (R–MD) is attempting to fix that. The federal … More

    Another Subprime Idea from Obama

    The Obama Administration is reportedly pushing banks to increase mortgage lending to people with relatively weak credit in hopes of boosting home sales. But the very same policy under Presidents Clinton and Bush contributed mightily to the housing bubble that ultimately devastated millions of families in mortgage default. Credit is … More

    Cyprus Bank Raid: The Decaying Eurozone Is Rotting the European Union

    Today, Cyprus’s banks opened for the first time in more than 10 days, after Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades—without seeking approval from his parliament—agreed to bailout terms that will raid citizens’ bank accounts. Those banking in Cyprus should not get too excited about the banks reopening. Strict capital controls are in … More

    Feds Foreclose on $2 Billion Consultants’ Bill

    President Obama assured the nation in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday that the housing market is “healing,” although mortgage credit remains extremely tight. But that’s not too surprising considering that banks have been forced to shell out $2 billion for a government-mandated paper chase. The case in … More

    Bank Profits Soar as Washington Subsidies Flow

    Too often, government policies designed to ameliorate a general problem merely benefit a special interest. A case in point, highlighted by Binyamin Applebaum on the Economix blog, is the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). HARP is part of the complex federal effort to stabilize the home mortgage market and stem … More

    Free Checking No More: Thanks, Dodd–Frank!

    Free checking accounts, once considered common, are becoming increasingly rare as the enormous costs of new regulations hit banks’ bottom lines. According to the just released 2012 Checking Survey by Bankrate, Inc., a publisher of financial information, only 39 percent of banks continue to offer free checking accounts, a sharp … More

    Infographic: JP Morgan Chase and the Loss in Perspective

    JP Morgan Chase’s $2 billion loss on a hedging strategy doesn’t mean that the bank is in crisis, and it certainly does not mean the government needs to step in. JP Morgan Chase is a $2.3 trillion bank with a net worth of $189 billion. While the bank’s loss represents … More

    Report Alleges White House Hypocrisy on Executive Compensation

    House investigators are alleging a White House double standard in its rhetoric toward executive compensation for large financial institutions. The allegations appear in a report released in advance of a hearing on government-back housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. President Obama ramped up the populist rhetoric in 2009 with … More

    House Members Ask DOJ to Investigate Bank Fees -- Will the Trail Lead Back to Them?

    When Bank of America announced a new $5 debit card fee in late September (along with a slew of other banks), President Barack Obama condemned it, and yesterday some Democrat Members of Congress called on Attorney General Eric Holder to launch an investigation. Unfortunately, they’re setting their sights on the wrong target. Instead … More

    Bernanke on Dodd-Frank Fallout: Debit Card Fee Caps Threaten Small Banks

    Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has delivered yet another ominous prediction about Dodd–Frank fallout, telling the Senate Banking Committee last week that government dictates on debit card fees “could result in some smaller banks being less profitable or even failing.” Although not the first to recognize the problem, the Fed … More