finance

Insurance scandal
1:23 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Hartford Releases More Detail From Federal Subpoena

Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The City of Hartford has released more information about the federal investigation into alleged corruption at city hall. Specifically, the subpoena confirms that the federal grand jury is looking into the relationship between the city and Hybrid Insurance Group. 

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Sandy Recovery
8:14 am
Wed October 30, 2013

New Shoreline Fund Targets Homes in the Flood Zone

Flooding in Branford on October 29, 2012.
Credit Jan Ellen Spiegel / WNPR

The state will establish a loan fund for shoreline residents who want to raise their homes out of the flood zone. Thousands of shoreline homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed by flooding just one year ago, during Superstorm Sandy. And for many, that was a second time around, after Tropical Storm Irene the year before. 

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Where We Live
7:01 am
Wed October 30, 2013

The Wheelhouse: FOI, Fundraising, and the New Archbishop

Mark Pazniokas from the Connecticut Mirror.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse has a lot on the table, including a Hartford scandal that has turned into yet another dispute over freedom of information. Also, there were hearings earlier this week on the Metro-North outages. So who's to blame, and who's going to pay? We'll also check in with someone who writes about Catholicism. When the new Archbishop in Hartford was announced, he said it was "not a happy day" in the city.

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the long arm
2:18 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Before It Releases Subpoena, Hartford Waits to Hear From Feds

Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Attorneys for Mayor Pedro Segarra say they are still waiting to hear from federal prosecutors as to whether they can release a federal grand jury subpoena.

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Looking for answers
3:29 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Hartford Officials Refuse to Release Federal Subpoena

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra told reporters last week that federal prosecutors had served a subpoena on city hall. His attorneys won't release them.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Federal prosecutors served a subpoena on Hartford City Hall last week, and attorneys for Mayor Pedro Segarra are refusing to release it to the public.  But a recent case suggests that the city may be violating the state's Freedom of Information laws.

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Insurance Scandal
2:38 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Federal Law Enforcement Officals Subpoena Hartford City Hall Records

Hartford City Hall.
Credit mrceder / Creative Commons

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra confirmed that federal agents have served a subpoena on city hall. Segarra said he hasn't read the subpoena and doesn't know what it's for. "I have had a conversation with our legal department," he said. "They informed me that a subpoena was received in connection with a federal investigation. I have not read the subpoena, so I'm not familiar with what the subpoena states, or what it is requesting."

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WAMC News
1:48 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Deal Now Seen As Unlikely Between Dobelle, WSU Trustees

Westfield State University Trustees begin a meeting on Oct.16,2013 to address the status of University President Evan Dobelle. Seated ( l to r) chairman John Flynn, board attorney James Cox, Dobelle, trustee Kevin Queenin

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 12:21 pm

The leadership controversy at Westfield State University has deepened with the filing of a federal court lawsuit.  Embattled President Evan Dobelle charges trustees and the state’s top higher education official have defamed him.

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Hartford's Cloud Controversy
12:29 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

How Well Do Adam Cloud and Earl O'Garro Know Each Other?

Earl O'Garro in a biographical video.
Credit Fortnight Journal

In our continuing coverage of the missing $670,000 in Hartford insurance premiums, there are at least two main players: city treasurer Adam Cloud, and Earl O'Garro, the CEO of Hybrid Insurance Group. Lots of questions remain unanswered. One is this: What kind of history do the two men have?

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Student Loans
4:12 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Student Loans in Connecticut Prompt High Complaint Rate

Trinity College in Hartford. ConnPIRG found that Connecticut registered the third-highest complaint rate in the nation for student loans.
Credit Paul Keleher / Creative Commons

Connecticut borrowers with private student loans have one of the highest complaint rates in the nation. The figures have been compiled by consumer rights group ConnPIRG, from the database of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

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WAMC News
11:25 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Westfield State Funding Freeze Will Remain Until Dobelle Controversy Is Resolved

Massachusetts Higher Education Commissioner Richard Freeland does a television interview during a visit to Springfield, MA on Oct 23,2013

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:17 pm

The Massachusetts Higher Education Commissioner addressed the controversy surrounding Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle during a visit to Springfield on Wednesday.  Richard Freeland also sounded an alarm about the state’s future ability to produce a properly educated workforce.

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Courts
8:36 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Bank Of America Liable For Fraud In Countrywide Mortgages

The Countrywide Banking and Home Loans office in Glendale, Calif., in an April 2007 photo.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:59 pm

A Manhattan jury has held Bank of America liable for fraud related to bad loans its Countrywide Financial Corp. unit sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as the housing market soured.

The verdict was returned on Wednesday after several hours of deliberation in a month-long trial that focused on loans Countrywide completed in 2007 and 2008, as the housing crisis was already underway. Countrywide was acquired by Bank of America in 2008.

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$670,000 still missing
3:10 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Hartford Treasurer Says He Played No Role; Emails Suggest Otherwise

City Treasurer Adam Cloud, left, and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.
Credit City of Hartford

Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud said he played no role in the selection of an insurance broker that does business with his family. But emails obtained from city hall call that into question.

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Hartford Controversy Continues
1:53 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Hartford Audit Commission to Decide Today Whether to Investigate Hybrid Insurance

The ongoing saga involving the city treasurer, a private insurance broker, and $670,000 in missing insurance premiums continues to roll on. Today, the city's audit commission will meet and decide whether to formally investigate the matter.  

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Defense
7:15 am
Wed October 23, 2013

United Technologies Beats Street, But Sees Defense Downside

Credit DanielPenfield / Creative Commons

United Technologies reported a boost in third quarter earnings of 13 percent, at $1.55 per share, beating analysts' expectations. The Hartford-based conglomerate trimmed its full-year revenue estimates, however, because of the government shutdown and cuts in military spending.

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Banking
4:21 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Study: Community Banks Essential, But Challenged

Credit TWP / Creative Commons

Community banks are a vital part of the credit landscape, according to a new report. Despite their popularity with customers, their numbers are shrinking. Federal regulators joined with state authorities to take an in depth look at community banking around the country in what's being viewed as the most comprehensive study of its kind. 

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Avoiding Risk?
4:20 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

In Hartford Controversy, State Files 11-Count Complaint Against Hybrid Insurance

Earl O'Garro of Hybrid Insurance Group, pictured in a biographical video.
Credit Fortnight Journal

The state insurance department has filed an 11-count complaint against Hybrid Insurance Group, the company that has defaulted on a state loan and failed to pay $670,000 in insurance premiums for the City of Hartford. Hybrid's CEO Earl O'Garro has 20 days to respond, and must appear at a hearing scheduled for November 21.

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Earnings
1:29 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

General Electric Reports Fallen Profits, But Record Backlog

The afterburner of a General Eletric J79 turbojet engine. The company reports a large order backlog helping to offset a slump in profits in the third quarter.
Credit Threecharlie / Wikimedia Commons

General Electric saw a fall in third quarter profits, but investors sent shares up anyway, because of a record backlog of orders for the company.

Fairfield-based GE is considered a bellwether for the U.S. economy because of its wide reach across many industries. In the third quarter, profits fell by 18 percent to just over $3 billion, brought down by a fall in revenues at GE Capital, the conglomerate’s finance arm. The numbers were also hit by the expense of foreign currency transactions.

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Earnings
4:50 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Stanley Black & Decker Sees Shutdown Impact

Credit TT Zop / Wikimedia Commons

Stanley Black & Decker has lowered its profits forecast for the full year, saying that the real economic impact from the government shutdown is one factor in its prediction.

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Opening Government
1:29 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Back to Work, But No Reason to Celebrate, Says Murphy

Senator Chris Murphy.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s back to work for hundreds of thousands of furloughed government employees. President Obama has signed legislation ending the partial government shutdown and averting a U.S. default. But U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said there’s no reason to celebrate.

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Former Trinity Head Probed
8:07 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Dobelle Put on Leave as Westfield Investigates Spending

Westfield State President Evan Dobelle
Credit Westfield State University

Westfield State University in Massachusetts put president Evan Dobelle on administrative leave Thursday and hired a Boston legal firm to investigate his administration. Dobelle was criticized for charging personal expenses on school credit cards and spending lavishly on foreign travel.

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National Debt
8:21 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

As It Happened: The Fight Over The Debt Ceiling, Shutdown

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor after agreeing to the framework of a deal to avoid default and reopen the government, on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 10:23 pm

Update at 10:18 p.m.: House Approves Bill:

The crisis is over. With about two hours before the country reached the debt ceiling, the House has approved the bill and it is now it's way to the White House. We've posted separately on that development and we are putting this live blog to bed.

Our Original Post Continues:

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Government Shutdown
8:44 am
Wed October 16, 2013

When Will The Government Run Out Of Money?

Quoctrung Bui

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 12:19 pm

In the course of any given month, the government collects billions of dollars in taxes, spends billions more, and borrows money to cover the difference between what it collects and what it spends.

If Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling soon, the government won't be able to borrow money to cover the difference anymore and won't be able to pay all of its bills.

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Hartford Insurance Scandal
4:05 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Financial Problems at Work, and at Home, for O'Garro

Earl O'Garro's Marlborough home.
Credit Town Of Marlborough

The story of hundreds of thousands of dollars in missing insurance premiums in the city of Hartford continues to unravel. And the man at the center of the drama appears to have significant financial problems of his own: one of his homes now faces foreclosure.

When he was a student at Wesleyan University, Earl O'Garro felt like it was a crime to be rich. At least, that's what he said in an online profile posted a few years back

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Stock Market
9:45 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Economics Nobel: Nobody Knows What Stocks Are Going To Do Today

The Nobel Foundation

If you want to honor today's Nobel laureates in economics, turn off CNBC and ignore everyone who says they know what the stock market is going to do today, tomorrow, or next week.

The award went to three economists — Eugene F. Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert J. Shiller — for their work studying asset prices.

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Another Nobel Comes to New Haven
7:17 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Yale's Shiller Shares Nobel Economics Prize

Robert Shiller
Credit M. Hager. © World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch via Wikimedia Commons

Americans Robert Shiller, Eugene Fama, and Lars Peter Hansen have won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Monday honored the three "for their empirical analysis of asset prices." The Nobel committees have now announced all six of the annual $1.2 million awards for 2013.

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Show Malloy The Money
4:23 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Hybrid Insurance Defaults on State Loan

The insurance company that failed to pay nearly $700,000 in premiums on behalf of the City of Hartford now has another problem. 

The state wants its money back, too. According to a letter sent to Hybrid Insurance CEO Earl O'Garro, the state Department of Economic Development said Hybrid has defaulted on a $100,000 loan.

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Controversy? #HartfordHasIt
3:52 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Hartford's Treasurer, His Wife, and the Workplace

Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Earlier this week, we brought you the story of how an insurance firm had failed to pay nearly $700,000 in premiums on the city's behalf.  We also told you that the broker has business ties to the family of City Treasurer Adam Cloud. Now, the story apparently has some legs.  The Courant has dug into it, as has columnist Kevin Rennie.

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National Debt
4:13 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Treasury Secretary: Debt Default Would Have Dire Consequences

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 1:49 pm

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urged lawmakers on Thursday to raise the government's borrowing limit or face the prospect of causing lasting damage to the U.S. economy.

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White House
5:50 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Obama Nominates Janet Yellen To Head Federal Reserve

President Obama claps during a press conference to nominate Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve in the State Dining Room at the White House on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:49 pm

Saying "American workers and families will have a champion in Janet Yellen," President Obama officially nominated her to chair the Federal Reserve, once Ben Bernanke completes his term in January.

Yellen "is the kind of person who makes everybody around her better," Obama said, adding that Yellen is "extremely well qualified" and "renowned for her good judgement."

Obama made the announcement at the White House on Wednesday, flanked by Yellen and outgoing Fed chief Ben Bernanke. If confirmed, Yellen will be the first woman to head the American central bank.

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Show Me The Money
1:42 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Update: Hartford, the Mayor, the Treasurer, and the Unpaid Insurance

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

A couple of days ago, we told you the story of political name-calling in Hartford that centered around a basic fact: a broker for the city had failed to pay almost $700,000 in insurance premiums on the city's behalf. That broker, Hybrid Insurance Group, has ties to the family of city treasurer Adam Cloud.

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