Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Profiteering: For as much heat as the big banks get, some financial firms continue to operate with very little oversight at all. That's one takeaway from a New York Times series unveiled this weekend, Bottom Line Nation, which looks at the role private equity companies are playing in all facets of American life – from the emergency services industry to the mortgage business.
In the ambulance and firefighting arena, the consequences of this shift are "dire," with poor service potentially contributing to at least two deaths, according to the report.
The Times describes "a sophisticated moneymaking playbook" used by private equity firms built on "a mix of cost cuts, price increases, lobbying and litigation." But that approach also engenders "a fundamental tension: the push to turn a profit while caring for people in their most vulnerable moments."
In part two of the series, the paper looks at how these companies are operating in mortgage servicing. While the industry is supposed to be working as the "cleanup crew" to the financial crisis, the findings are again problematic. The report shows that top private equity firms are quickly forcing delinquent borrowers out of their homes and losing key paperwork – many of the same failings that led to banks exiting the business in recent years.
The investments are also bypassing some of the country's poorest neighborhoods, since private equity firms don't face the same requirements under the Community Reinvestment Act that the banks do. (What's private equity again? The Times provides a quick primer for the uninitiated.)
It's Not Pretty: Hot takes rained down this weekend in the wake of Britain's shocking vote to leave the European Union. Here's how the decision is hitting nearly every conceivable financial group: London bankers, central banks, hedge funds, the U.K.'s "challenger" banks, American lenders, international banks in London, investors, U.S. investors, the city of London, Europe's banks and bargain hunters.
Wall Street Journal
Rising Tide: A look at how fintech startups could reform global financial inclusion efforts.
Who's Liable? Consumer lawsuits over data breaches at major retailers are becoming more common, but trying to measure the harm caused raises some interesting legal questions.
New York Times
Still Infamous: The legacy of Countrywide and chief executive Angelo Mozilo eight years after the financial crisis.