On the surface, mobile check deposits are about as convenient as banking can get. After all, one only needs to endorse the check, snap a few smartphone photos of it, and send it off to the bank through an app. No interactions with tellers or pneumatic tube machines are required— simply forward the photos and wait for the check to clear.

In some cases, however, that last step isn’t so easy. Depending on the financial institution, mobile check deposits can Continue reading

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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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April 2, 2015

To many amateur investors, a company that brings in more than $1 billion in annual sales would seem like a pretty safe bet. But these numbers didn’t impress Wall Street hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson when he noticed them in a report about Lumber Liquidators. From his professional perspective, this small flooring retailer should not have been enjoying such large profit margins. Suspecting that the company was cutting corners in some way, he advised his clients to sell the company Continue reading

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December 10, 2014

When Michael Garrity founded CommunityLend in 2010, he thought his company was in a perfect position to capture an untapped market. After all, the 2008 financial crisis made many banks wary of lending too much cash, presenting a golden opportunity to non-traditional operations like CommunityLend. Plus, the company’s peer-to-peer model was the first of its kind in Garrity’s home country of Canada, marking a major advantage for the startup.

Despite these benefits, though, CommunityLend had trouble finding qualified borrowers for Continue reading

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November 30, 2014

The stock market crash of 2008 sent shockwaves across the world’s economies, leading many to speculate about the future of American financial policy on the global stage. In the eyes of many experts at the time, the U.S. dollar was especially at risk of losing its decades-long dominance. After all, the inferno of the financial crisis spread so fast because many nations measure their own currency against the dollar. When its value plummeted, so did countless other currencies.

The debacle 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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October 1, 2014

As people inevitably default on their subprime auto loans, dealers turn to a variety of ways to retain their merchandise, sometimes with hazardous consequences.

 

http://nyti.ms/1qwkB8x

 Questions:

  1. Do regulatory agencies need to clearly define when a borrower is in default?
  1. Should lenders be able to turn off a moving car?

From The New York Times

 

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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.

 

http://nyti.ms/1lgctaY 

Questions:

  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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