Business

3:03am

Wed June 13, 2012
Planet Money

Spain's Bank Matchmaker On What Went Wrong

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 6:55 pm

Angel Borges, matchmaker.
Chana Joffe-Walt NPR

A couple years ago, Spain hatched a plan to help its small, regional banks. The banks, called cajas, had made lots of bad loans during Spain's real estate bubble.

The plan: Merge the bad cajas with the good ones, in order to make the losses more manageable and bring down overhead.

The government brought in Angel Borges, a banking consultant from Madrid, as a sort of yenta — a matchmaker who was supposed to help the cajas get together.

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5:15pm

Tue June 12, 2012
The Two-Way

From Our Readers: Less Hedginess, More Neology

Our use of the term "hedginess," coined by finance criminologist Bill Black, inspired commenter "Tim Myers" to engage in some neology of his own in order to prove his point:

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5:05pm

Tue June 12, 2012
The Two-Way

Dimon Will Tell Congress JPMorgan 'Let People Down' With Trading Loss

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 8:00 am

JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon.
Mario Tama Getty Images

"This portfolio morphed into something that, rather than protect the firm, created new and potentially larger risks. As a result, we have let a lot of people down, and we are sorry for it."

That's part of JPMorgan Chase President and CEO Jamie Dimon will tell the Senate's Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs tomorrow, when it looks into the botched trades that lost the bank $2 billion. Chase released Dimon's prepared remarks this afternoon.

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4:42pm

Tue June 12, 2012
Your Money

Credit Card Debt Cut: The Reason May Surprise You

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:17 pm

iStockphoto.com

A Federal Reserve study showing that Americans lost wealth in the Great Recession turned up another, perhaps more surprising, result: Credit card debt fell sharply.

"The percentage of families using credit cards for borrowing dropped over the period; the median balance on their accounts fell 16.1 percent" between 2007 and 2010, the report concluded.

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3:55pm

Tue June 12, 2012
Planet Money

Remembering Elinor Ostrom, Nobel Laureate

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 9:08 am

Elinor Ostrom in January 2011.
Raveendran AFP/Getty Images

Elinor Ostrom, the only woman ever to win an economics Nobel, died today at age 78.

She was famous for challenging an idea known as the tragedy of the commons — the theory that, in the absence of government intervention, people will inevitably overuse a shared resource.

So, for example, if a village shares a pasture, it's in the individual interest of each farmer to graze his cattle as much as possible on the pasture even though, in the long run, overgrazing may ruin the pasture for everyone.

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