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The Wall Street Money Machine

As investors left the housing market in the run-up to the meltdown, Wall Street sliced up and repackaged troubled assets based on those shaky mortgages, often buying those new packages themselves. That created fake demand, hid the banks’ real exposure, increased their bonuses — and ultimately made the mortgage crisis worse.

Enticed by profits and bonuses, Wall Street took advantage of complicated mortgage-based instruments to reap billions, only to exacerbate the eventual crash.

Tackling Reams of Bank Data Can Take Diligence, and Trust

Since emerging as one of the country’s largest banks, Wells Fargo has continued to let its numbers speak for themselves. That may not be such a good thing.

Once Unthinkable, Breakup of Big Banks Now Seems Feasible

What was made can be unmade.

After SEC Settlement With JPMorgan, Will Other Banks Pay Too?

Many other banks created deals with similar characteristics to the transaction that resulted in JPMorgan's $154 million settlement with the government. But the SEC still faces big challenges in wresting more settlements from banks.

Magnetar Deal Prompts SEC Settlement With JPMorgan Chase

A year after our story on hedge fund Magnetar, JPMorgan Chase agrees to pay $154 million over SEC charges it misled investors about Magnetar’s role in a deal.

Misdirection in Goldman Sachs’s Housing Short

Merrill Lynch Investigated for CDO Deal Involving Magnetar

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Bank of America's Merrill Lynch shortchanged investors on a $1.5-billion mortgage-backed security deal.

From Dodd-Frank to Dud: How Financial Reform May Be Going Wrong

Some fear the grandest ambitions of the law passed last year to reform the nation's financial system are being undermined in the rule-making process.

In HBO’s 'Too Big to Fail,' the Heroes Are Really Zeroes

Watch carefully, and you'll see how the three men who saved the world—Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, NY Fed's Timothy Geithner, and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson—get it wrong again and again and again.

U.S. Senate Investigation Gives New Details on Magnetar

Citing reports by ProPublica, lawmakers describe the hedge fund's role in the collateralized debt obligations business.

SEC Warns Former JPMorgan Exec It Plans to Sue Over Magnetar Deal

Securities regulators may soon file suit against a former JPMorgan Chase executive for misleading investors about the role of Magnetar, a hedge fund, in creating a risky mortgage security.

A Test Where the Banks Had the Questions and the Answers

Later this month, the Federal Reserve is going to let banks know how they did on its most <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/18/business/18bank.html?_r=2">recent round</a> of “stress tests.”

New Documents Show Hedge Fund Magnetar Influenced Deal, Despite Denials

A Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission document shows Magnetar selected assets for a billion dollar Merrill Lynch mortgage securities deal, despite having long asserted otherwise.

Goldman’s Self-Help: Eat, Pay, Trade

Looking inward in the grand tradition of American self-improvement, the investment bank promises to be nicer and more transparent, but ignores the structural problems that helped ignite the financial crisis.

Standard & Poor’s Triple A Ratings Collapse Again. The Question is Why?

Two weeks ago, Standard & Poor’s put out a press release: The credit rating agency warned it was poised to <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-15/s-p-says-it-incorrectly-analyzed-re-remic-mortgage-bonds.html">downgrade</a> almost 1,200 complex mortgage securities.

The 'Subsidy': How a Handful of Merrill Lynch Bankers Helped Blow Up Their Own Firm

The builders of mortgage securities at industry giant Merrill Lynch couldn’t find buyers for their wares. So they paid another group at Merrill to take billions of dollars of the unwanted assets.

SEC Investigating Citigroup Mortgage Deal

The SEC is investigating whether in the run-up to the financial crisis Citi acted improperly as it created and marketed a $1 billion CDO.

SEC Investigating Deal Between JPMorgan and Hedge Fund Magnetar

The SEC is investigating whether JPMorgan adequately disclosed to investors that the hedge fund Magnetar influenced a deal it was also betting against.

Magnetar Deals at Center of New Lawsuit

A European-based investment fund and a French bank are battling it out in New York state court over complex securities created at the behest of the hedge fund Magnetar

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