finance

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

Elph / Creative Commons

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

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.  

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

O'Garro Speaks

Nov 14, 2013

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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?

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. 

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.

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.

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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