Justice Department Probing JPMorgan Over Bear Stearns Mortgage Products
News from Huffington Post:

By Karen Freifeld and Aruna Viswanatha

(Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department is investigating JPMorgan Chase & Co over allegations that Bear Stearns provided misleading information about its mortgage products during the lead-up to the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the matter.

JPMorgan acquired Bear Stearns in a 2008 fire sale encouraged by the government, and has pushed back against various government suits that have sought to hold JPMorgan accountable for the failed investment bank’s alleged mortgage-related misconduct.

In this investigation, civil lawyers in the Justice Department are looking into whether…………… continues on Huffington Post

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Fischer Loan Curbs Boost Israel Rate Cut Bets as Economy Slows
News from Bloomberg:

Governor Stanley Fischer’s newest steps on housing credit are spurring bets that the Bank of Israel will cut the benchmark interest rate this week as growth slows and the shekel trades near a 16-month high.

The central bank told lenders on Feb. 19 to set aside more money against losses from home loans, and increased the amount of capital that banks are required to hold against most mortgages. Some economists and investors saw the move as aimed at enabling lower rates without pushing up house prices.

“The steps announced by the Bank of Israel were intended to prepare the ground for a rate cut,” said Nira Shamir, chief economist for Israel Discou…………… continues on Bloomberg

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