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finance

A federal court has fined a Connecticut investment company $22 million for running a Ponzi scheme. Sharon-based Wilkinson Financial Opportunity Fund bilked 30 investors out of $11 million.

Home Equity Helping People Build Household Wealth

Nov 24, 2016
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Mitchell Hartman

Remember the housing crisis? Well, for many American homeowners, it’s now squarely in the rear-view mirror. A report from RealtyTrac finds that the percentage of homeowners who are underwater — meaning they owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth — has fallen to about 10 percent. It was 28 percent at its peak in 2012. The main reason: home prices have been rising, for years, helped by low mortgage rates. So homeowners have been able to build wealth through the equity they have in their homes.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

The proportion of people in Connecticut who are working, and yet still struggling to make ends meet has risen in the last two years. That's according to a new study from United Way.

The federal government is offering official approval for Rhode Island’s plan to toll commercial trucks on state bridges. The toll has generated opposition from the trucking industry and some businesses concerned about how the new tolls might impact the economy.

State Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti says the go-ahead from the federal government is the final step needed to move forward with the project.  The tolls will be installed in 13 locations, and 34 bridges so far are slated for repairs from the toll revenue.

The office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a "Notice of Violation" to the Donald J. Trump Foundation and ordered the foundation to cease and desist from soliciting contributions in New York.

The notice states that the Trump Foundation failed to register with the Charities Bureau before soliciting contributions or engaging in fundraising activities.

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Five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease -- the sixth leading cause of death in this country. There are many caregivers who provide unpaid care for their relatives with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementias -- but it’s not an easy role to fill.

This hour, we explore caregiving and how it can impact a person’s physical and emotional health -- and their finances. 

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David Brancaccio

Starting on Oct. 1, prospective college students will be able to access and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid —  commonly known as FAFSA — for the 2017-18 school year. That’s three months earlier than the usual date and is part of an initiative by the Obama Administration to provide timely financial aid information to high school students and their families.

U.S. Education Secretary John B. King, Jr. spoke with us about how exactly this decision will help.

On the issue this earlier deadline is trying to resolve: 

Negotiators in the House and Senate have reached a deal on a bill to fund the government through Dec. 9.

Republicans and Democrats have been arguing for weeks to find a way forward before the Sept. 30 deadline in order to avoid a government shutdown.

Last week, negotiations in the Senate appeared to be at a standstill, with Democrats in both chambers insisting that the most recent Republican offer was not enough.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said his budget numbers are ugly. The more than $15 million in savings he was hoping for from union negotiations probably aren’t going to happen. 

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Earlier this year, members of the United Nations met in New Canaan, Connecticut for a workshop on how countries can fight human trafficking.

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A Superior Court Judge ruled last week that Connecticut’s system for funding public schools is ‘irrational’ and ‘unjustifiable’ — failing to provide a fair distribution of funds for Connecticut’s students. The judge allowed the state 180 days to come up with a plan to overhaul its system.

This hour, we talk more about the ruling and find out what, if anything, can be done to improve the way our schools are funded. 

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The state’s largest business organization has given a cautious welcome to a landmark court ruling, which orders a complete overhaul of Connecticut’s education system. 

Pool Photo / Stephanie Aaronson / Wall Street Journal

A Superior Court judge in Hartford dropped a bombshell on Connecticut’s entire education system Wednesday, saying the state is failing in its constitutional duty to rationally and fairly fund public education. 

ConnPIRG

A Connecticut advocacy group is calling for better federal regulation of predatory lending, to help states crack down on the worst practices. ConnPIRG just released its latest analysis of data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

zeevveez / Creative Commons

Five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease -- the sixth leading cause of death in this country. There are many caregivers who provide unpaid care for their relatives with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementias -- but it’s not an easy role to fill.

This hour, we explore caregiving and how it can impact a person’s physical and emotional health -- and their finances. 

Jacqueline Rabe / The Connecticut Mirror

Closing arguments continued on Tuesday in the decade-old school funding lawsuit filed against the state. 

As Primary Day nears, outside groups have begun pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into Vermont’s races for governor, and yet more cash could find its way into the election before Tuesday’s vote.

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Single-family home sales in Connecticut rose a bit over four percent in June, according to the latest report from The Warren Group, a banking and real estate trade publisher.

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A complaint filed with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, and later withdrawn, described a culture of surveillance and fear at Bridgewater Associates in Westport

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A new report predicts global mergers and acquisitions may drop by as much as $1.6 trillion over the next five years unless Britain quickly agrees to leave the European Union under terms that give it continued access to the single market.

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The world’s biggest hedge fund, Westport-based Bridgewater Associates, appears to be cutting back on hiring.

The New York Times reports that the firm was known for hiring hundreds every year, but the newspaper cited anonymous sources who say that in recent weeks dozens of interviews have been canceled.

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Republicans in Connecticut said the state needs to put away its credit card and curb its debt habit.

For American consumers there's a bit of economic silver-lining in the United Kingdom's vote to exit the European Union last month: Lower mortgage rates.

In the week after Brexit, the interest rate on 30-year fixed mortgages fell to their lowest levels in more than 3 years. And that spurred a boom in mortgage applications that, experts expect, will continue.

Spencer Cullen is a loan originator for CRM Lending in Tysons Corner, Va. Since the Brexit vote, he's seen business increase 60 percent to 70 percent.

In June, U.S. employers added 287,000 jobs — a very strong number that provided some reassurance the economy is still on track.

The June hiring surge, reported Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, far exceeded projections. Analysts had expected the economy to add some 170,000 jobs.

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Europe is Connecticut’s number one trading partner, so the seismic events of last week, as the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, are reverberating here as well. 

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