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Banking & Finance

The latest coverage of the banking and financial sectors.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011 file photo, pedestrians pass a Kmart store location in New York. On Friday, Oct. 10, 2014, Sears Holdings Corp. announced that it detected a data breach at its Kmart stores that started in August 2014, affecting certain customers' credit and debit card accounts. The data theft at Kmart is the latest in a string of data thefts that have hit several big retailers, including Target, Supervalu and Home Depot. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Obama launches initiative to cut identity theft

By Ben Wolfgang - The Washington Times

Calling identity theft a "heartbreaking" crime that robs Americans of their financial security, President Obama on Friday signed an executive order to put in place new protections for consumers who receive government benefits. Published October 17, 2014

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray

New rules adopted in hopes of spurring home loans

- Associated Press

Banks will get a break in easier rules for packaging and selling mortgage securities and fewer borrowers will have to make hefty down payments under actions taken by federal regulators.

FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, file photo, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen speaks with staff during a visit to the office of CONNECT, a coalition of local organizations that provides employment services in Chelsea, Mass. Yellen said Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, that the last several decades have seen the most sustained rise in income inequality in a century. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

Yellen says US experiencing widening inequality

- Associated Press

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday that the last several decades have seen the most sustained rise in income inequality in a century.

Oil pumps work at sunset in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. The price of oil suffered its biggest drop in nearly two years after the International Energy Agency reduced its forecast for demand for this year and next. Benchmark U.S. crude fell $3.90, or 4.5 percent, to close at $81.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the biggest decline since November 2012. The closing price is the lowest since June 2012.  (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Falling oil prices shake up global economies

- Associated Press

A sudden plunge in the price of oil is sending economic and political shockwaves around the world. Oil exporting countries are bracing for potentially crippling budget shortfalls and importing nations are benefiting from the lowest prices in four years.

FILE - This July 10, 2014 file photo shows a home for sale in Quincy, Mass. Freddie Mac reports on average U.S. mortgage rates for the week on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 3.97 percent

Associated Press

Average U.S. mortgage rates tumbled this week. The 30-year loan hit its lowest level since June 2013 as Treasury bond yields marked new lows amid concern over global economic weakness.

A Wall Street address is carved in the side of a building, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 in New York. European stocks wallowed Wednesday Oct. 15, 2014 on dour growth prospects while Asian shares were mostly higher as a slump in energy prices promised benefits for the region's major economies.  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Wild ride on Wall Street leads to another big loss

- The Washington Times

Global stocks nose-dived Wednesday on fears that the world economy is losing steam, with some analysts blamed the worst string of losses on Wall Street in years in part on spreading panic about the economic impact of the Ebola crisis.

Raoul Weil, left, walks with his wife Susan Lerch Weil laugh during a lunch break in his trial at federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Weil, a former top executive with Swiss bank UBS AG, is charged with helping thousands of wealthy Americans conceal some $20 billion in assets from the Internal Revenue Service. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted of fraud conspiracy. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)

Swiss banker describes IRS secrecy in US trial

- Associated Press

They were known as the prized "black accounts," those held in Swiss banks by wealthy Americans who wanted to make sure their billions of dollars in assets were securely hidden from the IRS, a longtime banker testified Wednesday in the trial of a former senior executive at UBS AG.

U.S.Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen read her notes at the International Monetary and Financial Committee meeting during the World Bank Group-International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings at IMF headquarters in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014.  (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Ailing global economy could lead Fed to delay hike

- Associated Press

Just as the U.S. job market has finally strengthened, the Federal Reserve now confronts a new worry: A sputtering global economy that's spooked investors across the world.

A newspaper box near the Washington Mutual Tower in downtown Seattle displays editions of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer with a front-page story on the bank's seizure and sale.**FILE**Associated Press

Trust sues former Washington Mutual directors

Associated Press

The trust responsible for distributing any remaining assets of Washington Mutual Inc. to unsecured creditors is suing the company's former directors and officers over a $500 million transfer that occurred just before Washington Mutual Bank was seized.

FILE - In this June 16, 2014 file photo, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaks during a news conference at IMF headquarters in Washington. The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, slightly lowered its outlook for global economic growth this year and next, mostly because of weaker expansions in Japan, Latin America and Europe. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

IMF trims forecast for global economic growth

- Associated Press

The International Monetary Fund slightly lowered its outlook for global economic growth this year and next, mostly because of weaker expansions in Japan, Latin America and Europe.

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