When the stock market collapsed in 2008, the government deemed Wall Street’s ailing banks “too big to fail” and provided them with a multi-billion dollar bailout. The emergency loan ultimately saved the banks, but has provided no shortage of controversy ever since. To the financial sector’s critics, many of the problems caused by these banks stemmed from their enormous size. In fact, nothing much has changed since the financial collapse: the same five banks that dominated bond underwriting and Continue reading

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October 11, 2014

During the recession that began in 2008, traditional banks became wary about awarding risky loans. Not only had bad deals come back to hurt many institutions, but also new regulations required many banks to increase their capital reserves. With less money to lend, banks largely stopped financing risky endeavors like commercial real estate and small business loans.

To fill this void in the market, non-traditional lenders like real estate investment trusts (REITs) and online outlets increased their presence. Fueled by Continue reading

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September 15, 2014

In order to attract cash-strapped buyers, more auto dealers are offering sub-prime loans on vehicles for people with poor credit. This video and the one below document the potential dangers of this financing practice.




  1. What are the major advantages and disadvantages of sub-prime lending?
  1. Are investors in bundled sub-prime car loans taking on significant risk?

From The New York Times


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June 12, 2014

Recent federal banking regulations have placed limits on the fees that financial institutions can charge for things like overdrafts and credit card transactions. Although this has been good news for consumers and merchants, the new rules have reduced revenue streams for banks across the country. As a result, many institutions are looking to make up the difference through additional sources of income, such as Western Union branches.

The more than 160-year-old money-wiring firm sells its services to 52,000 locations throughout Continue reading

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credituThe Great Recession soured millions of people’s relationships with traditional banks, driving many to entrust their money with credit unions instead. Along with incessant media coverage of their questionable dealings, banks at the time had to contend with consumer outrage about hidden fees and supersized overdraft penalties. As a result, credit unions appeared to be safe and sensible money managers compared to their colossal, unscrupulous counterparts on Wall Street. Plus, credit unions offered perks like free checking, friendly staff, and Continue reading

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