finance

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”

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."

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.

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.

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. 

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:

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.

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. 

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. 

When College Isn't Worth It

May 28, 2014

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.

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.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

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

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.

vichie81/iStock / Thinkstock

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

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.

White House

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

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

13 Jazz Artists Awarded Over $1.7 Million

Apr 23, 2014

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pages