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subprime-mortgage

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Banks gave money to needy college students without considering whether borrowers could repay, then bundled and resold the loans to avoid losing money when students defaulted -- lending practices that mirror the run-up to the subprime mortgage crisis.

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Did you know that it was actually jumping gas costs, and not deceptive lending practices on the part of mortgage financiers and deregulation madness on Wall Street, that got us into the recessionary quandary in which the majority of Americans still find themselves?

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On Thursday, state and federal government representatives announced that five major banks -- Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Ally Financial, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase -- had agreed to pay their part in a settlement of more than $25 billion stemming from the mortgage market meltdown that caused millions of Americans to lose their homes.On Thursday, state and federal government representatives announced that five major banks had agreed to pay their part in a settlement of more than $25 billion stemming from the mortgage market meltdown.

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Fannie and Freddie are required to help homeowners while earning profits so they can pay back the taxpayers who bailed them out. Here is our guide to the little-known federal regulator, Edward DeMarco, ultimately in charge of the two companies. You may have never heard of him, but as The Washington Post put it, he’s “the most powerful man in housing policy.”

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A joint investigation by NPR and ProPublica has rustled up some disquieting trading practices on the part of Freddie Mac that suggest the taxpayer-run mortgage company hasn't exactly done its darndest to help struggling Americans hold on to their homes -- in fact, the opposite may be more the case.

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It's a start, but let's hope Friday's fraud charges against six former higher-ups at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac don't represent the only attempts that the Securities and Exchange Commission will make to hold financial executives responsible for the disastrous economic mess that's still upon us.

Robert Scheer

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Maximizing corporate profits at taxpayers' expense is what top CEOs are good at, and after all it was Jeffrey Immelt who presided over GE when it got so heavily into the subprime mortgage business that it needed a government bailout to avoid bankruptcy. This was before Obama made him a trusted adviser.Overdrive, with CEOs like GE's Jeffrey Immelt shifting the gears, is what brought us so close to the brink.

Robert Scheer

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The corruptions of journalism were on full display when CNN’s Fareed Zakaria turned to Robert Rubin this past Sunday for advice on how to fix the financial crisis that he, as much as anyone, caused

Did you miss the live Q & A session? Listen to the podcast here The corruptions of journalism were on full display when CNN’s Fareed Zakaria turned to Robert Rubin this past Sunday for advice on how to fix the financial crisis .

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