White House Taps Consumer Adviser [WSJ]
“President Barack Obama this week will appoint Elizabeth Warren to a lead role setting up the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, two Democratic officials said, a move that will allow the White House to avoid a messy Senate fight over her role.
Ms. Warren, currently a professor at Harvard Law School, will be named an assistant to the president and special advisor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in charge of launching the new agency and setting its mission. She was a candidate to be the agency’s first director, a position that remains unfilled, but would likely have confirmation because of opposition in the Senate.”
What is Accounting? [White Collar Fraud]
It’s sort of like arithmetic but not really. Former Sam Antar nemesis, Howard Sirota, explains in a video over at WCF.
Chicago-Area Man Is Sentenced to 23 Years for Running 22-Year Ponzi Scheme [Bloomberg]
“Frank Castaldi, who ran a Chicago- area Ponzi scheme for 22 years that cost victims $31.6 million, was sentenced to 23 years in prison today in federal court.
For 22 years, Castaldi, 57, of suburban Prospect Heights preyed upon elderly Italian immigrants, U.S. District Judge John Darrah said today before handing down the sentence.
‘This is an offense of huge magnitude,’ the judge said after hearing from victims of the scheme in a packed courtroom. ‘It involved hundreds of victims. It involved millions of dollars.’
In an August 2009 plea agreement, Castaldi said he had raised more than $77 million from 473 groups and individuals. First charged in January of last year, he admitted to mail fraud and to trying to thwart a U.S. Internal Revenue Service probe.”
Regulators to Target ‘Window Dressing’ [WSJ]
“Federal regulators are poised to propose new disclosure rules targeting “window dressing,” a practice undertaken by some large banks to temporarily lower their debt levels before reporting finances to the public.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is scheduled to take up the matter at a meeting Friday and is expected to issue proposals for public comment. The action follows a Wall Street Journal investigation into the practice, which isn’t illegal but masks banks’ true levels of borrowing and risk-taking.”
Banks take over record number of homes in August [Reuters]
“A record number of homeowners lost houses to their banks in August as lenders worked through the backlog of distressed mortgages, real estate data company RealtyTrac said on Thursday.
New default notices decreased at the same time, suggesting that lenders managed the flow of troubled loans and foreclosed properties hitting the market to limit price declines, the company said.
Root problems of high unemployment, wage cuts, negative home equity and restrictive lending practices persist, however, pointing to lingering housing market pain.”
Jon Stewart: Robert Gibbs and John Boehner on the Bush Tax Cuts [TaxProf Blog]
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