finance

Charter School Probe
7:14 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Federal Investigators Look for State Education Department Emails

Stefan Pryor, Commissioner of the State of Department of Education, in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

As federal investigators continue their probe of a troubled Hartford charter school group, agents are now seeking to obtain all department correspondence, including Commissioner Stefan Pryor's emails that relate to FUSE, Jumoke, Michael Sharpe or Hartford's Milner School.

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Subprime Mortgages
7:53 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Citigroup Agrees To Pay $7 Billion To Resolve Mortgage Probe

Citigroup has agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into subprime mortgages it sold in the run-up to the financial meltdown of 2008.
Kiichiro Sato AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 11:53 am

Citigroup said Monday it had agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into subprime mortgages it sold in the run-up to the financial meltdown of 2008.

The deal covers mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations issued, structured or underwritten by Citi between 2003 and 2008, the company said in a statement on its website.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Financing Higher Education

Jeff Bartlett.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Some people say that bachelor’s degrees are the new high school diplomas; they are becoming more and more necessary for job seekers to be competitive in the job market. But as the cost of higher education rises, students who attend college are now saddled with decades worth of debt in loans. 

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Courts
6:51 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

SunTrust To Pay Nearly $1 Billion For Mortgage Practices

SunTrust has agreed to pay $968 million as part of a settlement with the government over charges that it failed to comply with standards required for federally backed mortgages.

The settlement between SunTrust Mortgage and the Justice Department and other agencies includes money for homeowners and a requirement that the company improve its procedures for mortgage loans and foreclosures.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri June 6, 2014

The Nose Talks About... Nevermind, It Takes Too Long

Rebecca Castellani is a scholar of modern literature.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Today on The Nose, we begin with an essay, "Faking Cultural Literacy." Writer Karl Taro Greenfeld said, "It's never been so easy to pretend to know so much, without actually knowing anything." We pick topical, relevant bits from Facebook, Twitter, or emailed news alerts, and then regurgitate them.

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Public Financing
9:58 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Tom Foley Will Apply for Public Financing In Governor's Race

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Republican Tom Foley, who self-funded his 2010 campaign for governor, has decided that he'll apply for public financing this time around. 

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Election 2014
8:05 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Candidates for Governor Have the Cash to Qualify, But Will They Apply For Public Financing?

Tom Foley, left, and Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Both the Democratic and Republican endorsed candidates for governor have said they've raised enough money to qualify for public campaign funds, but either of them has actually applied. 

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Cost of Higher Education
7:49 am
Wed May 28, 2014

When College Isn't Worth It

Save up your pennies ... but shop wisely.
Doram iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 10:45 am

The New York Times highlighted new data yesterday that once again beats the drum: Despite skyrocketing costs, a college degree is a good investment. In fact, MIT economist David Autor writes in the journal Science that the value of a degree is rising. College grads made almost twice as much per hour in 2013 as workers without a four-year degree. And the lifetime value of a diploma is now around a half-million dollars, even after you factor in tuition.

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Pharmaceuticals
8:36 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Pfizer Drops $119 Billion Bid For AstraZeneca

William Vazquez AP

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 7:57 am

It would have been the biggest deal the pharmaceutical industry has seen in more than a decade. But for now, it's off the table.

Pfizer has withdrawn its offer to buy British drug company AstraZeneca for about $119 billion.

American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which makes Lipitor and Viagra, has been circling its smaller rival AstraZeneca for months.

AstraZeneca, which makes Nexium and Crestor, has rejected every offer saying Pfizer undervalues the company, and that it wants to remain independent.

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High Finance
5:04 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

U.S. Education Secretary in Hartford to Talk About Paying for College

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Gov. Dannel Malloy speak with students at University High School of Science and Engineering.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan was in Hartford Monday to speak with high school seniors about paying for college.

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Struggling Casinos
3:59 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Foxwoods to Shutter Some Pits on Weekdays, Lay Off Employees

Credit Michael Blann/Digital Vision / Thinkstock

Foxwoods Resort Casino has announced plans to close parts of one of its casinos on weekdays, and lay off employees. This is the latest bid to brings costs under control as its gaming receipts continue to drop.

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Insurance Survey
1:24 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Businesses List Medical Costs as Top Risk Concern

vichie81/iStock Thinkstock

The rising cost of medical care is the top concern of businesses surveyed in a new report by insurance company Travelers.

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Mortgage Crisis
1:33 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Homes in Hartford Top List of "Underwater" Cities

In Hartford, more than half of homes are underwater.
allnightavenue Creative Commons

Hartford has the highest rate of underwater mortgages in the country, according to a new report that says communities of color are most likely to owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. But the city administration disputes the data on which the study is based.

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Regulating Risk
11:50 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner to Speak at Yale

Timothy Geithner at the United States Department of Treasury in 2009.
White House

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will give a lecture series at Yale this fall, based on his experiences during the financial crash.

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Green Power
11:04 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Fuel Cell Industry Still Strong, Say Advocates

A fuel cell installed in New York by ClearEdge Power,
ClearEdge

The market for fuel cells is growing, according to industry experts, despite the recent bankruptcy of one of Connecticut's largest fuel cell manufacturers.

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Connecticut First
5:32 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Senate Approves Annual Budget; Bill Would Expand Early-Childhood Education

The state Senate approved a $19 billion annual budget over the weekend. It postpones three tax breaks for shoppers and retired teachers as the state's surplus dissolves in the state’s sluggish economy. Democrats rallied around the package that provides funding for public education, housing, after-school programs, social service needs, and transportation infrastructure. The budget now awaits Governor Dannel Malloy's signature.

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Pharmaceuticals
8:29 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Tax Breaks Could Be Biggest Prize In Pfizer Deal For AstraZeneca

For now, Pfizer's world headquarters remains in New York. But a deal for AstraZeneca could turn Pfizer British.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 7:00 pm

Pfizer finally fessed up and told the world that it wants to buy British drugmaker AstraZeneca. It wasn't a very well-kept secret.

The New York-based drugmaker confirmed publicly that it approached AstraZeneca in January about getting together. AstraZeneca, based in London, rebuffed the New Yorkers.

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Crunching Numbers
7:04 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Segarra Doesn't Like His Budget Fix, But It's All He Has

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Even Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra doesn't like the idea of selling more than $30 million in parking assets to balance his budget, but he said it's the only option he's got left. 

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Economic Development
6:49 am
Fri April 25, 2014

UTC Tax Package Headed to Malloy's Desk

A rendering of planned new headquarters for Pratt and Whitney.
Credit Pratt and Whitney

A $400 million tax relief package for United Technologies is on its way to Governor Dannel Malloy's desk after the legislation passed the state senate.

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A Blog Supreme
11:42 am
Wed April 23, 2014

13 Jazz Artists Awarded Over $1.7 Million

Roscoe Mitchell is one of six jazz musicians awarded the Doris Duke Artist Award for 2014.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 1:30 pm

Yesterday, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation announced the recipients of its 2014 Performing Artist Awards, including 13 jazz and improvising musicians, who will receive at least $1.7 million in unrestricted grants in total.

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Making Payroll
12:47 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

New London Mayor: City Running Out of Cash

New London's municipal building.
Billy Hathorn Creative Commons

New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has asked the state for help because the city is running out of cash, and won't be able to make its $1.7 million payroll this week. 

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Keno
11:09 am
Tue April 22, 2014

All Bets Are Off For Keno Repeal

Keno was all but repealed two months ago. Connecticut lawmakers seem reluctant to drop the game, and a potential $27 million a year.
Credit purple_onion / Creative Commons

The electronic lottery game keno could come to Connecticut after all. Keno surfaced at the very end of last year's legislative session as a way to balance the new two year budget. But earlier this year, when a $500 million surplus was announced, lawmakers distanced themselves from the bingo-like game, and a bill to repeal keno seemed like a done deal.

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Video Streaming
9:11 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Netflix Says It Will Raise New Customer Subscription Rates

Kevin Spacey and House of Cards co-star Robin Wright at a Netflix special screening of the second season in Los Angeles in February. The original production is seen as a key factor in boosting subscriptions for the video streaming service.
Eric Charbonneau AP

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 10:11 am

Netflix, buoyed by its foray into original productions such as the political drama House of Cards, said Monday it has added 2.25 million new customers and plans to raise its new-subscriptions rate by $1 or $2 a month.

The video streaming service reported first quarter earnings of $53 million, or 86 cents a share. Its share price surged by 6 percent following the announcement of earnings that compared with $2.7 million in the same period a year ago.

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Budget Woes
5:19 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Segarra to Propose Budget, Facing Lots of Ground to Make Up

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Next year's municipal budgets across the state are beginning to take shape. In Hartford, Mayor Pedro Segarra will present his budget to the city council on Monday. It's got a big hole in it. 

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Minority Business Development
11:45 am
Thu April 17, 2014

$2.4 Million Settlement Hailed as Victory for State Minority-Owned Businesses

Credit Chris Reed/iStock / Thinkstock

A Connecticut construction company will pay $2.4 million in fines for alleged fraud tied to a 2007 road project. The settlement is being hailed as one of the most important decisions in decades for minority business owners.

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Minority Business Development
5:04 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Hartford Contractor Identified in Federal Construction Probe

A Hartford-based firm at the center of a federal probe has been identified.
Credit Kyle May / Creative Commons

Manafort Brothers, Inc. will pay $2.4 million in fines for alleged fraud tied to a 2007 road project. A Hartford-based firm has also now been identified at the center of the federal investigation.

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WAMC News
12:04 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Progress Reported On Casino Impact Research Project

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 6:41 pm

Thousands of Massachusetts residents are being surveyed as part of multi-year, multi-million dollar research project on the social and economic impacts of introducing casino gambling to the state.

The members of the UMass Amherst led research team say initial results will be reported to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in September. These findings will be the baseline that will be used to measure changes in problem gambling, domestic violence, housing prices and a host of other socio-economic factors as casinos open over the next one to three years.

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Real Estate
9:29 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Sale in Greenwich of What May Be the Most Expensive Single-Family Home in U.S.

The view from the Copper Beech Farm in Greenwich.
realtor.com

When the Copper Beech Farm in Greenwich went on the market last spring at an asking price of $190 million dollars, it was the most expensive single-family home ever to hit the American market. Many people thought it wouldn’t close at nine figures. But it has.

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March Madness
3:19 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

UConn Bonds See Record Orders

The UConn Health Center.
Ragesoss Creative Commons

UConn's basketball dominance is great for school spirit, but it's also helping raise money the university puts towards improving its facilities.

Each year, the state treasurer's office issues UConn Bonds. If you buy them, you're investing in things like the improvements to the university's health center, or building new dorms or study halls on its various campuses.

Assistant Treasurer Sarah Sanders said they've always sold well each year since they were first issued in 1995. But this year was special.

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WAMC News
9:25 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Mohegan Sun Sees Profit Decline But Doesn't Feel "The Pinch"

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 8:48 am

A gambling slump is eating into the profits of Mohegan Sun, but the 2,000 tribal members who draw benefits from the massive casino aren't feeling the pinch.

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