Finance

10:01pm

Mon January 30, 2012
Europe

In Italy, Art As A Window Into Modern Banking

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:05 am

Oil painting by Marinus van Reymerswaele.
Courtesy of Palazzo Strozzi

As Italy and much of Europe struggle with their finances, the city of Florence has staged an art exhibition looking at the critical — and controversial — role that financial institutions have played for centuries.

The recent Money and Beauty exhibit, held in the majestic 15th-century Palazzo Strozzi, illustrated how Florentine merchants got around the Catholic Church's ban on money-lending and bankrolled the Renaissance.

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5:00pm

Mon January 30, 2012
The Two-Way

Report Prompts Calls To End Freddie Mac's Conflict Of Interest

A sign for Freddie Mac in front of its headquarters in McLean, Va.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Several U.S. lawmakers and prominent economists on Monday said Congress and the White House should end a financial conflict of interest at the taxpayer-owned mortgage company Freddie Mac.

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3:01am

Mon January 30, 2012
Your Money

Freddie Mac Betting Against Struggling Homeowners

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:53 am

One of Freddie Mac's restrictions blocks people who have a short sale in their past from refinancing for two to four years following the short sale.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Freddie Mac, a taxpayer-owned mortgage company, is supposed to make homeownership easier. One thing that makes owning a home more affordable is getting a cheaper mortgage.

But Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won't be able to refinance their mortgages at today's lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom.

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10:01pm

Thu January 19, 2012
Your Money

How Property Taxes Climb, Even If Home Value Drops

Shaker Heights in Cleveland has some of the highest property tax rates in the state (roughly $3,700 per $100,000 of assessed home value).
Brian Bull WCPN

Millions of homeowners are finding out that their property taxes are either holding steady or climbing, even as their house may be worth much less. There may not be much they can do about it.

In Ohio, Cuyahoga County's fiscal officer, Wade Steen, has been taking many calls from unhappy homeowners. He says they most often live in a community where voters passed a recent levy. That's a property tax measure that boosts funding for things such as schools and libraries.

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9:59am

Thu January 19, 2012
Planet Money

Carried Interest: Why Mitt Romney's Tax Rate Is 15 Percent

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 12:15 pm

As you know by now, Mitt Romney's tax rate is somewhere near 15 percent — well below the 35 percent income tax rate for the highest earners.

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