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Banking

List of Failed Banks, Updated April 9, 2010

by Luke Landes

Over 100 banks failed in 2009. Most of these are smaller regional banks who, in order to compete with larger banks, offered risky loans and are now facing customer defaults. Larger banks were offered government bailouts to prevent failure, but these smaller banks whose failures are not seen as major risks to the economy are ... Continue reading this article…

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Senator Dodd Going Ahead With Overdraft Legislation

by Smithee

We told you last month about banks deciding to let customers opt out of overdraft fees, first announced by Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase, and then the next day by Wells Fargo (and Wachovia, which it owns). These big banks made the changes very soon after lawmakers announced an intention to try to ... Continue reading this article…

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Wells Fargo Joins Bank of America and Chase With New Overdraft Policies

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase Bank announced they were changing their policies to allow customers to opt out of overdraft protection. Wells Fargo decided to follow in their footsteps late yesterday, announcing a number of changes at this bank. The following changes also apply to Wachovia, the bank that was acquired by ... Continue reading this article…

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Vanishing Overdraft Fees Pave Way For New Charges

by Jeff

Almost everyone has an story about the annoyance of overdraft fees. We all had cause to rejoice after reading Smithee’s recent post about banks backing off of overdraft fees. However, banks, being the business that they are, are already scheming for new ways to wring money out of us. An AP article on a local ... Continue reading this article…

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Overdraft Fees: Some Banks Let You Opt Out

by Smithee

Overdraft fees are nothing to sneeze at. Having not always been a model bank customer, I know how it feels like an unfair punishment to have roughly $30 taken away when my account is already negative. I’ve also worked for Bank of America, and I can see why they use a dis-incentive to drive away ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Have $50 Million Covered By FDIC: CDARS

by Luke Landes

Most of us need only a fraction of what the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is willing to protect. For most people, the FDIC covers up to $250,000 per depositor. If you have up to $250,000 in a regular bank account offered by a typical bank that participates in the FDIC program, you’re protected against the ... Continue reading this article…

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Compound Interest is More Powerful Than You Know

by Jim Wang

This is a guest article by Jim. Jim writes about personal finance at Bargaineering.com. You can also find him on Twitter (@bargainr) causing a ruckus. Consider two individuals trying to save for the future. John saves a hundred dollars a month into a magical investment that gives him 6 percent a year. After forty years, he ... Continue reading this article…

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Ally Bank Increases Interest Rate

by Luke Landes

When I started formally tracking high-yield savings rates, with a shared online spreadsheet, it was common to see banks offering interest rates above 5.0 percent APY. That was in January 2008, and the economy is in a different situation now. According to the government, there has been no measurable inflation, and now interest rates for lending ... Continue reading this article…

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Earn $500 By Referring Friends and Readers to ING Direct

by Luke Landes

Update: The waiting list is currently full. Keep reading Consumerism Commentary (or subscribe) to be notified when the waiting list is open again. ING Direct is one of my favorite banks due to their savings account. While ING Direct’s Online Savings Account does not offer the highest interest rate, they are consistently towards the top ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Create the Ultimate Certificate of Deposit (CD) Ladder

by Luke Landes

If you are disappointed with the low interest yields offered by even the highest-yield savings and money market accounts, but you don’t want to tie your short-term cash in a riskier investment, consider certificates of deposit (CDs). CDs, however, generally carry penalties if you withdraw your cash before they mature. In other words, you invest ... Continue reading this article…

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EverBank Money Market Account Review

by Luke Landes

A little while ago, I noted the interest rates offered by EverBank and decided to open the Yield Pledge Money Market Account to take advantage of the generous “bonus” interest offered in the first three months of holding an account. The account opening process, beginning on July 8th and two weeks later on July 23rd, ... Continue reading this article…

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California IOUs: Buying, Selling, and Inherent Value

by Luke Landes

The state of California is in poor fiscal shape. Without an agreed-upon budget, the state has resorted to sending people and businesses IOUs rather than the money owed. California has distributed $335 million in the form of these documents. The IOUs look like checks with “Registered Warrant” printed in the top corner, carry an interest ... Continue reading this article…

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FDIC Steps In to Keep Ally Bank’s Interest Rates Lower

by Luke Landes

The American Bankers Association (ABA) has not been happy with Ally Bank. A few weeks ago, the organization on behalf of its member banks sent a letter to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation complaining about Ally’s interest rates. With Ally planning to receive bailout funds through its enrollment in the government’s Treasury Liquidity Guarantee Program ... Continue reading this article…

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Forbes Gets it Wrong About “Online-Only” Bank Accounts

by Luke Landes

This morning an article appeared on Forbes.com with suggestions and warnings about online-only accounts. I have to disagree with an important statement by the author of the article, Asher Hawkins. Hawkins is offering misguided information regarding the number of withdrawal transactions a customer is allowed to make from an account designated as a “savings” or ... Continue reading this article…

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Savings and Checking Account Interest Rate Updates

by Luke Landes

A few banks have lowered interest rates offered for savings and checking accounts in the past few days. Here are a few of the new updates. Ally Bank Savings Account is offering 0.89 percent APY as of November 4, 2011 Ally Bank Money Market is offering 0.89 percent APY as of November 4, 2011 OneUnited UNITY Gold ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank of America Allowed to Deduct Fees From Social Security Benefits

by Luke Landes

Bank of America 1, Retirees 0. In 2004, Bank of America was ordered to pay $284 million to 1 million customers in a settlement. The bank was charged with using funds from social security or other government benefits in customers’ accounts to cover bounced check fees. The California Supreme Court overturned this ruling yesterday. Federal ... Continue reading this article…

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Ally Bank Savings Account Review

by Luke Landes

A few years ago, General Motors was having trouble remaining in business, and its subsidiary that provided customers financing for automotive purchases, GMAC, converted to a bank holding company to take advantage of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), receiving $5 billion from taxpayers through the government. By this time, GMAC Bank, a division of ... Continue reading this article…

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Verify Funds on That Check Before You Cash It

by Smithee

While working at Bank of America, I learned a magic phrase that I hadn’t heard before: “verify funds.” When someone writes you a check (I know, it’s 2009, but even I use them sometimes for plumbers or whatnot), you may feel uncomfortable about whether the check author has enough money to cover it. If you’ve ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Basics: Simple Interest, Compound Interest, APR and APY

by Luke Landes

April is National Financial Literacy Month in the United States. In most cases, schools do not extensively teach financial skills. Teenagers, highly susceptible to messages from the media, often do not have guidance from teachers, who are not trained to teach financial skills, or from parents, many of whom do not model healthy financial behavior. ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Basics: Savings Accounts

by Luke Landes

April is National Financial Literacy Month in the United States. In most cases, schools do not extensively teach financial skills. Teenagers, highly susceptible to messages from the media, often do not have guidance from teachers, who are not trained to teach financial skills, or from parents, many of whom do not model healthy financial behavior. ... Continue reading this article…

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