For these largely hourly workers, paper paychecks and even direct deposit have been replaced by prepaid cards issued by their employers. Employees can use these cards, which work like debit cards, at an A.T.M. to withdraw their pay.

But in the overwhelming majority of cases, using the card involves a fee. And those fees can quickly add up: one provider, for example, charges $1.75 to make a withdrawal from most A.T.M.’s, $2.95 for a paper statement and $6 to replace a card. Some users even have to pay $7 inactivity fees for not using their cards.

These fees can take such a big bite out of paychecks that some employees end up making less than the minimum wage once the charges are taken into account, according to interviews with consumer lawyers, employees, and state and federal regulators.


The New York Times, "Paid via Card, Workers Feel Sting of Fees" | June 30, 2013

Colleges are doing this as well with financial aid and veteran’s benefits refunds. I wasn’t taxed by the U.S. government on my education benefits, but Higher One sure took a chunk with all their fees.

Banksters to pay back pennies on the dollar on foreclosure abuses from 2009 and 2010.

Federal regulators announced an $8.5 billion settlement with 10 banks over foreclosure crimes. The deal includes $3.3 billion in direct payments to borrowers as well as $5.2 billion in other assistance, like loan modifications and forgiveness of deficiency judgments.
The crooked bastards involved are Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.

As the holidays recede and millions of Americans look ahead to a year of slashed federal food aid and discontinued unemployment benefits, Wall Street bankers are preparing for a $92 billion windfall in end-of-the-year bonuses…

"That $91.44 Billion a year could go a very long way towards undoing the vast damage done by Wall Street’s megabanks that have engaged in megafraud," reads an online petition, organized by Occupy Wall Street spinoff organization, The Other 98 Percent…

According to analysts with compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates, in the first nine months of 2013, big wall street banks set aside $91.44 billion for bonuses with many in the banking sector seeing a rise of as much as 15 percent in their end of year compensation.

"This is from the industry that made ten million people homeless from the foreclosure crisis and also spent the majority of 2013 dodging criminal prosecutions for their many crimes," notes Alexis Goldstein, former wall street professional and current Occupy Wall Street activist.

"You know what Wall Street can do with that money instead of spending it on watches, gadgets and cars? They could help homeowners," she adds.

Elizabeth Warren To Take On The Fed After 46 Hours Of Secret Recordings Prove Corruption

Elizabeth Warren To Take On The Fed After 46 Hours Of Secret Recordings Prove Corruption

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Forty-six hours of secretly recordedconversations and meetings within the Federal Reserve were released Friday. These recordings blatantly demonstrate that big banks are still in charge. Federal Reserve Bank Examiners continue to play the role of passive little lap dogs seeking approval from their masters. They fear offending Daddy Warbucks and his army of…

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PBS FRONTLINE documentary “The Untouchables” digs into why the US Department of Justice has failed to prosecute and convict a single Wall Street executive for knowingly selling fraudulent loans and sending the country into a recession. 

FRONTLINE producer and correspondent Martin Smith joins “The Young Turks” on Current TV at 7E/4p to talk about his discoveries.

Possible arrests coming for former JPMorgan execs.

Reuters: U.S. authorities are considering arresting two former JPMorgan Chase & Co employees for their alleged role in masking $6.2 billion “London Whale” losses, according to two people familiar with the situation.

In the latest twist in a scandal that has tainted the reputation of the largest U.S. bank and led to calls for greater oversight of its chief executive, Jamie Dimon, the main target of the investigation is Javier Martin-Artajo, who worked in London as the direct supervisor of Bruno Iksil, the trader who became known as “the London Whale,” the sources said.

The United States is also looking at Julien Grout, Iksil’s junior trader, according to one of the sources. Both sources spoke on condition that they not be otherwise identified as the investigation is ongoing.

Reuters reported on Thursday that Iksil, who earned his nickname after making outsized bets in a thinly traded derivatives market, is cooperating with the government and will not face any charges. His cooperation is essential to any arrest, the same sources said.

"Honor among thieves" is a myth — at least, among this particular class of thieves.

[photo via Wikimedia Commons]

Documents in JPMorgan settlement reveal how every large bank in U.S. has committed mortgage fraud

Published on Nov 29, 2013

Bill Black: Justice Dept.’s failure to understand pervasive schemes of fraud in financial industry obstructs meaningful prosecution of banks

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U.S. attorney general says banks may face criminal cases soon | Reuters

The U.S. Justice Department is pursuing criminal investigations of financial institutions that could result in action in the coming weeks and months, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video, adding that no company was “too big to jail.”

The comments, made in a video posted on the Justice Department’s website on Monday, came as federal prosecutors push two banks, BNP Paribas SA and Credit Suisse AG , to plead guilty to criminal charges to resolve investigations into sanctions and tax violations, respectively, according to people familiar with the probes.

While Holder did not name any banks, he said he is personally monitoring the ongoing investigations into financial institutions and is “resolved to seeing them through.”

"I intend to reaffirm the principle that no individual or entity that does harm to our economy is ever above the law," Holder said in the video. "There is no such thing as ‘too big to jail.’"

French bank BNP Paribas warned last week it faces fines from U.S. authorities in excess of $1.1 billion over allegations that it violated U.S. sanctions against Iran and other countries.

The Swiss finance minister met Holder on Friday to discuss a U.S. probe into Swiss banks that allegedly helped Americans evade U.S. taxes, which includes Credit Suisse.

While units of financial institutions have agreed to plead guilty to breaking U.S. criminal laws, such agreements have usually involved foreign subsidiaries who have little contact with U.S. regulators.

Japanese units of UBS AG and Royal Bank of Scotland plc, for example, pleaded guilty in the past two years to resolve criminal charges that their traders manipulated the Libor benchmark interest rate.

A criminal conviction of an entity regulated in the United States could lead authorities to potentially revoke a charter or undertake other punitive measures.

(Read Full Text) (Photo Credit: Occupy Wall St.)