finance

Research Funding
5:13 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

When Scientists Give Up

Randen Patterson left a research career in physiology at U.C. Davis when funding got too tight. He now owns a grocery store in Guinda, Calif.
Max Whittaker/Prime for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 3:29 pm

Ian Glomski thought he was going to make a difference in the fight to protect people from deadly anthrax germs. He had done everything right — attended one top university, landed an assistant professorship at another.

But Glomski ran head-on into an unpleasant reality: These days, the scramble for money to conduct research has become stultifying.

So, he's giving up on science.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Connecticut's Slow Housing Recovery

Deb Chamberlain.
Chion Wolf WNPR

It’s been years since the housing market crashed. But in that time, increased job insecurity and the rising cost of living have left many questioning whether the American dream of homeownership is still a practical one, especially for the nation’s low- and middle-wage earners.

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Education
10:21 am
Tue September 2, 2014

In Wake of FUSE Scandal, Connecticut Charter Schools Face Greater Scrutiny

Jumoke Academy, which was managed by an organization called FUSE.
Helder Mira Creative Commons

As a new academic year gets underway, Connecticut’s charter schools face stronger scrutiny by the State Department of Education. New oversight policies will require charter schools to begin to operate more like traditional public schools.

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Cities
3:31 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Detroit Bankruptcy Battle Begins In Federal Court

The murals by Diego Rivera and other works at the Detroit Institute of Arts would be safe from creditors under the plan before a bankruptcy judge Tuesday.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 10:04 am

Detroit's historic bankruptcy case is entering the home stretch. The crucial, final trial phase begins Tuesday in a Detroit courtroom.

The trial will decide the fate of a plan to wipe out billions of dollars in debt and help Detroit emerge from bankruptcy as a new, revitalized city.

This trial is a big deal, but don't expect anything with lots of courtroom drama. For one thing, it's federal bankruptcy court — and there's no jury.

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Security Breach
10:34 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Russian Hackers Reportedly Hit JPMorgan, Other Banks

JPMorgan Chase & Co. headquarters in New York. The bank is one of several reportedly targeted by Russian hackers.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 11:21 am

The FBI says it's working with the Secret Service to investigate reports that Russian hackers breached security at JPMorgan Chase and other financial institutions, stealing customers' account information in possible retaliation for U.S. government sanctions on Moscow.

"We are working with the United States Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyberattacks against several American financial institutions," FBI spokesman Joshua Campbell said in a statement late Wednesday.

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Consumers
3:44 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Many Homeowners Still Qualify For Mortgage Relief

Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, says many homeowners who could qualify to refinance their mortgages under HARP are suspicious.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 11:47 am

The financial crisis pushed millions of Americans from their homes. And housing advocates complain that the government did more to prop up big banks on Wall Street than it did to help average people on Main Street.

But many of those people on Main Street could still qualify for a government program to help them save money by refinancing their mortgages.

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Fraud
10:53 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Bank Of America Reaches Record Settlement Over Mortgage Meltdown

Countrywide, acquired by the Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse, accounts for most of the allegations of wrongdoing against BofA.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 3:33 pm

Bank of America Corp. has agreed to pay nearly $17 billion in a settlement with federal regulators over allegations that it misled investors into buying risky, mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial meltdown.

The Department of Justice, which announced the $16.65 billion deal today, describes it as "the largest civil settlement with a single entity in history."

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Non-Profits
1:34 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

More Concerns About the Amistad Schooner

The Amistad.
Ed G Creative Commons

State legislators are raising concerns about what the closure of an organization called Ocean Classroom Foundation may mean for the Amistad, the state’s flagship 79-foot schooner.

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WAMC News
11:22 am
Thu August 7, 2014

New York's Sole Participant In Public Campaign Finance Admits It's A Challenge

Republican candidate for Comptroller Bob Antonacci speaks to reporters at the State Capitol Wednesday August 6

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 4:40 pm

The only statewide candidate who is participating in a pilot public campaign finance program in New York says it’s been slow going, but Republican candidate for comptroller Bob Antonacci expects to collect enough individual donors to qualify for the state matching funds.

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WAMC News
1:26 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Massachusetts Gives Shoppers Another Sales Tax-free Weekend

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 12:26 pm

Shoppers in Massachusetts can look forward to a sales tax holiday later this month. The Massachusetts legislature in the closing minutes of the legislative session last week set the sales tax-free shopping days for August 16 and 17.

The sales tax holiday was included in a comprehensive economic development bill that contains dozens of programs and incentives designed to create jobs. State  Senator Gale Candaras  of  Wilbraham, who helped write the bill, acknowledges there is scant evidence the sales tax holiday does much to grow the Massachusetts economy.

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WAMC News
3:00 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

State Report Highly Critical Of Ex-Westfield State President

Evan Dobelle, who retired last year as Westfield State University President after the board of trustees put him on paid leave amid allegations he had recklessly spent university funds

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 4:52 pm

The Massachusetts Inspector General issued a scathing report Thursday on a former state university president’s use of school funds for personal purposes.

   Inspector General Glenn Cunha said former Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle knowingly and willingly violated school policy by spending lavishly for six years on trips and entertainment for himself, his family and friends.  Cunha called Dobelle’s behavior “outrageous”

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Rating Analysis
12:43 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Fitch Maintains Negative Outlook on Connecticut Debt

Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management Ben Barnes
Credit Uma Ramiah / WNPR

Ratings agency Fitch has maintained Connecticut's debt rating outlook at negative, saying the state's budget relies on one-time fixes, and calling the economic recovery "slow and uneven."

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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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