finance

School Funding
3:49 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Landmark Lawsuit Moves Forward That May Affect Public Education Funding

Credit Gloda/iStock / Thinkstock

A Hartford Superior Court judge has denied a request by the state to delay the start of a landmark education lawsuit that challenges the way Connecticut funds its public schools. The attorney general’s office had filed motions aimed at postponing the start of the trial until October 2015. Now, the case is set to begin later this year. 

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Higher Education
1:44 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Undocumented College Students Need Financial Aid, Too

Credit zimmytws/iStock / Thinkstock

It's been two years since the in-state tuition law went into effect. It benefits students without legal status who have graduated from a Connecticut high school. The young people who fought for the in-state tuition law for undocumented students are launching a new campaign. Their new goal is to help these students access financial aid.  

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Economic Development
3:29 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Total Mortgage Gets State Funding, Pledges New Jobs

John Walsh, president and CEO of Total Mortgage Services.
Credit CT-N

Total Mortgage Services has announced a deal with the state of Connecticut to expand its headquarters in Milford. The company said it will create 140 new jobs in the town, doubling its Connecticut workforce over five years.

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Connecticut First News
7:03 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

State Bond Commission Hears Aid Requests; Flu Cases Widespread

Gov. Dannel Malloy with members of the State Bond Commission on Thursday.
Credit WNPR/CPTV

The State Bond Commission, along with Governor Dannel Malloy, held a meeting on Thursday. One of the items was a request from the Department of Social Services for just under $6 million to provide grants-in-aid to eight social service providers. An additional request was made for $3 million toward grants-in-aid to non-profits in Stamford, Pomfret, and Branford. 

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Government Transparency
3:23 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Progress, But More Work Needed on Statewide Transparency Efforts

Kevin Lembo is the State Comptroller.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s been one month since State Comptroller Kevin Lembo announced the expansion of Open Connecticut -- an online source for state finances -- to include financial information for Connecticut’s quasi-public agencies and federal programs.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Understanding Connecticut's Quasi-Public Agencies

State Comptroller talks about quasi-public agencies on <em>Where We Live</em>.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Established in 1965, the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority has earned its title as the oldest quasi-public agency in our state. Now, it’s one of eleven quasi-public entities in Connecticut, agencies like Connecticut Innovations, Inc.; the Connecticut Development Authority; the Connecticut Lottery Corporation; and the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority -- to name a few. 

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Housing Crisis
11:28 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Foreclosure Tax Relief Measure Expires

Connecticut officials are campaigning for the extension of a federal tax provision that expired at the end of last year. It's the tax relief provided for distressed families that have to sell their homes at a loss, or who go through a foreclosure.

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Ponzi Scheme
1:33 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

JPMorgan Chase To Pay $1.7 Billion To Madoff Victims

Bernard L. Madoff in 2009.
Timothy Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 4:30 pm

After striking a deal with federal prosecutors, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $1.7 billion to the victims of Bernard Madoff's multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

The bank will be criminally charged with two violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and will admit to the violations. But under the agreement, the bank will receive a deferred prosecution.

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Insider Trading Investigation
11:23 am
Tue January 7, 2014

SAC Capital Manager Goes to Trial

Matthew Martoma in November 2012, outside a New York federal court.
Credit Spencer Platt/Getty Images News / Thinkstock

Jury selection begins on Tuesday in the trial of Matthew Martoma, a manager for SAC Capital, who's accused of insider trading. It's the latest court action in an investigation of the Connecticut-based hedge fund that has lasted for several years.

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Congress
6:01 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Senate Confirms Janet Yellen As Federal Reserve Chair

The Senate has approved Janet Yellen as the next head of the Federal Reserve. At a ceremony commemorating the Fed's centennial last month, Yellen sat with (from left-to-right) former chairmen Paul Volker and Alan Greenspan, and current Fed leader Ben Bernanke.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 7:13 pm

The Senate has voted to approve the nomination of Janet Yellen as the next leader of the U.S. Federal Reserve. With Monday's vote, Yellen, 67, will become the first woman to serve as America's banking chief, heading an institution that was established in 1913.

Update at 6:31 p.m. ET: Some Senators Left Out

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
3:09 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

O'Garro Owes State Another $264,000

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

It turns out that Earl O’Garro, the man at the center of the federal grand jury investigation in Hartford, owes the state a lot more money than we first thought.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Connecticut at Work

Dan Haar and Congressman Joe Courtney
Catie Talarski

We're broadcasting live from Wesleyan University, where the Connecticut Humanities Council is kicking off a day-long look at the past, present, and future of work life in Connecticut.

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Advanced Technology
2:11 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Technology Center Offers Help to Small Manufacturers

A five-axis waterjet cutting head can be used to cut intricate, three-dimensional parts on a CNC waterjet cutting machine -- the kind of technology that can be too expensive for small manufacturers.
Credit WARDJet / Creative Commons

Manufacturers who want to solve technical problems or use new advanced processes are being offered state assistance. The Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology in East Hartford is looking for up to five small or mid-sized companies for its Manufacturing Technical Assistance Program

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Debit Cards
8:38 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Security Lapse at JP Morgan Chase Affects Connecticut Residents

Credit Elph / Creative Commons

More than 14,000 Connecticut residents may have had their personal information compromised in a data breach from JP Morgan Chase. 

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Hartford Insurance Investigation
12:51 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

For O'Garro, Debts Large and Small

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

The line of people who want their money from Earl O'Garro continues to grow.

O'Garro is the man at the center of a federal grand jury investigation looking into $670,000 in missing taxpayer money. The city of Hartford paid him to pay its insurance bills, and he apparently never did.  

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State Budget
9:39 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Connecticut's Budget "Reality" is Called Into Question

Benjamin Barnes, Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management.
Credit CT-N

Republicans in the legislature are accusing the Malloy administration of sugar-coating the state's financial picture. The administration conceded in its annual budget forecast that the state is heading for a deficit after next year's elections. But its estimate of the budget gap was about half of that projected by the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis

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Business
6:12 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

JPMorgan Says It Broke No Law. So Why Pay The $13 Billion?

The U.S. government says JPMorgan Chase & Co. knowingly sold faulty mortgage-backed securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis. The bank says it's broken no laws.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 1:20 am

State and federal regulators have hailed Tuesday's $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Co. over faulty mortgage assets it sold in the years leading up to the financial crisis as a big victory for the judicial system.

But like other big settlements to emerge from the financial crisis, the deal leaves unclear just what the bank did wrong.

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Troubled Mortgages
3:08 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

JPMorgan Chase Will Pay $13 Billion In Record Settlement

In a settlement deal, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay some $13 billion in fines and other payments related to mortgages and mortgage securities that helped cause the financial crisis that began in 2007.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 5:38 pm

In an agreement settling many U.S. claims over its sale of troubled mortgages, JPMorgan Chase will pay a record $13 billion, in a deal announced by the Justice Department Tuesday. The plan includes a $4 billion payment for consumer relief, along with a payment to investors of more than $6 billion and a large fine.

The latest updates on this story are at the bottom of this post. We've also added a few key points to the main post.

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The Tax Man
8:10 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Amnesty Program Nets $180 Million in Back Taxes

Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan in WNPR's studios on December 5, 2011.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Department of Revenue Services said it collected almost $180 million in back taxes through a two-month-long amnesty program. That's far in excess of the $35 million it set as a goal at the beginning of the amnesty.

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Corporate Reputation
6:41 am
Tue November 19, 2013

JPMorgan Reportedly To Pay $4 Billion To Mortgage Borrowers

People walk by JPMorgan Chase & Co. headquarters in New York, in August.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 8:45 pm

JPMorgan Chase & Co. will pay $4 billion to consumers who were hurt by faulty mortgage underwriting, part of a larger $13 billion deal to settle the bank's liability in the collapse of toxic securities during the housing crisis.

The deal is expected to be announced this week.

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Where We Live
8:45 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Has Corruption Killed the Corporate Reputation?

Credit Manu_H / Creative Commons

It’s been a rough season for corporations on Wall Street. On Sunday, JPMorgan Chase reached a tentative $4.5 billion settlement over mortgage-backed securities they sold, leading up to the financial crisis. This, on top of a $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department. These big financial hits are happening along with questions about the company’s relationship with the daughter of the former Chinese prime minister

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
4:38 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

State Revokes Insurance License for O'Garro, Hybrid Insurance

Earl O'Garro.
Credit Fortnight Journal

Earl O'Garro has lost his state insurance license, and his company has lost its license, too.  The state said O'Garro never responded to an extensive eleven-count complaint filed against him last month. As a result, the state has revoked the licenses he and his company held to sell insurance.

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Insurance Scandal
10:47 am
Thu November 14, 2013

O'Garro Speaks

NBC Connecticut's George Colli snagged a one-on-one interview with Earl O'Garro, the man at the center of the federal grand jury investigation in Hartford. It's worth a few minutes of your time.

Student Credits
11:55 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Debate Over Transfer Credits Questions Integrity, Affordability

Tunxis Community College in Farmington.
Sphilbrick Creative Commons

University of Connecticut officials will soon vote on a proposal to limit the number of credits freshmen students can transfer from the state’s community colleges. 

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Community Banking
8:22 am
Mon November 11, 2013

DeStefano Steps Up at New Haven's Start Bank

John DeStefano talking to Start Bank employees.
Credit Start Bank

The end of an era in New Haven finally seemed like reality last week as Toni Harp won election to the mayor's office. The man she's replacing, John DeStefano, is following 20 years at the head of city government with another prominent role in New Haven. He'll become an executive at New Haven's Start Bank.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
1:54 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

In Wake of Controversy, Hartford Treasurer Makes Changes

Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

Once a federal grand jury enters the picture, every little detail counts.

And so.

Yesterday, we told you that Hartford city auditors issued their report on Treasurer Adam Cloud and Hybrid Insurance Group. Among other things, they found that Cloud and finance officials ignored standard operating procedure when they wired more than $800,000 to Hybrid's troubled CEO Earl O'Garro. 

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Housing Market
3:15 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Connecticut Home Sales Up Again in September

Credit Creative Commons

Connecticut saw a boost in home sales in September. According to the Warren Group, a Boston-based real estate data firm, 2,326 single family homes sold in the state in the month. That’s up 21.4 percent from September of 2012.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
12:50 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

City Auditors: Cloud Ignored Standard Procedure; Apparent Conflict of Interest

City Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

Before a federal grand jury began investigating the relationship between Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud and insurance broker Earl O'Garro, city auditors took a stab at it.

And, in a report just obtained by WNPR, they found two things of note.

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Insurance Scandal
3:20 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

In Hartford Controversy, Feds Serve Subpoena on Two State Agencies

Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud.
Credit City of Hartford

The scope of the federal grand jury investigation involving the relationship between Hartford's city treasurer and an insurance broker continues to grow, as the state has confirmed that federal prosecutors served a subpoena on two of its departments.

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Connecticut Health I-Team
9:31 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Hospitals Show Financial Gains, But Smaller Facilities Struggle

MidState Medical Center.
Credit Paul Wnek / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s acute-care hospitals ended the last fiscal year in slightly better financial health than in the prior year, with just five of 30 hospitals reporting losses, according to a new state report. 

Data filed with the state Office of Health Care Access (OHCA) shows that six hospitals had operating losses in the 2012 fiscal year – the same number as in 2011, but fewer than in 2010. When non-operating gains and losses are included, five hospitals had negative total margins, or deficits – down from eight in 2011.

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