finance

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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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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