The quick deal is a contrast to Geithner’s attempt to sell his home in New York’s Westchester County in 2009, which ended with him renting the house out. U.S. home demand is rebounding as employment improves and buyers seek to take advantage of low mortgage rates, while inventory is tight. In Bethesda, there’s about a 1.5-month supply of houses listed for sale, compared with a six-month supply in a normal market, according to Mark Butterfield, owner of Re/Max Realty Services in Bethesda.
The following article is brought to you by Lance Murray at BizJournals.Com
Concerns over the management of JPMorgan Chase & Co. have led to a downgrade in a confidential government scorecard, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Journal said that the downgrade was a blow to Chase, the second largest banking operation in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in terms of local deposits.
The downgrade came from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which lowered Chase’s rating one notch in July to a level that means oversight “needs improvement,” the Journal said.
The move came after revelations of the so-called London Whale trading losses that Chase suffered.
Chase Bank issued an uncharacteristic Alert via twitter at 8:28 p.m. (EST) Monday evening, that all customer access to their online and mobile accounts was down.
While the primary bank website remained up, there was no evident alert listed regarding the problem and, while customers could apparently still log in, all accounts showed $0.00 balances.
About an hour prior to the official alert from Chase Bank, messages hash tagged #chase and #chasebank started pouring in from across the United States alerting other customers to the problem and support centers became unreachable under the flood of customer calls.
This is not the first time Chase has suffered an outage, last fall the Bank suffered intermittent connectivity outages across their system that also resulted in Twitter alert users to the problem.
The Sept. 19, 2012, problem came on the heels of several outages for Bank of America the day before, both of which were credited (though not verified) to online protests related to the inflammatory viral video “The Innocence of Muslims.”
While chase bank hasn’t detailed the scope of the problem, customers are reporting that phone banking and debit machines were also down and all customer support channels were only available intermittently.
A multiple system failure like this strongly suggests a much more serious ‘back end’ problem related to the underlying data centers driving electronic banking infrastructure. This is normally no reason for customers to panic, though, as all legitimate banking infrastructures are mirrored and backed up to address exactly this kind of infrastructure failure.
It is, nonetheless, alarming that the system remained offline for several hours on a Monday evening.
While many rumors and false flags were raised about the outage, no group has yet claimed responsibility.
However several prominent members of the hacking community have taken to twitter to taunt the Bank for what appears to be a serious deficiency as regards the stability and reliably of its massive electronic banking infrastructure.
At 11:28 p.m., the company updated their Twitter account to declare that the outage was over.
CHASE – *UPDATE* We’re back to business as usual on chase.com & Mobile. Apologies again for the trouble & thank you for your patience.
This did little to appease the many annoyed customers following the @ChaseSupport twitter account, which had earlier tweeted that the outage was ongoing, that they were signing off for the night and that they would be back at 7:00 a.m. with more news.
The post brought further taunts from users and hackers alike wondering if the closing tag ^PG might be a call for otherworldly assistance from an indulgent banking deity in the face of the spreading wave of consternation (in reality, the notation is usually used to sign a corporate tweet with the initials of its author).
CHASE – We’re signing off for the night, but will keep you updated. We’re truly sorry for this inconvenience. We’ll be back to assist at 7AM ET. ^PG
As interconnected online banking becomes the worldwide norm, broad data system failures like the one experienced by Chase Bank are eroding public confidence in the internationally wired banking network.
In the United States, this outage is being referred to as the “Vanishing balances” and has been widely discussed across Internet forums where account holders are wondering why their money seems to have disappeared in an instant.
A spokesman told CBS News that it was purely a technical issue and not the result of an external attack.
“The problems are an issue with the checking account portion of chase.com, nothing to do with mortgage or credit banking. We have a technology problem regarding customers balance information that we are working to resolve,” the spokesman to CBS News. “It has nothing to do with cyber threats or hacks. It is an internal issue. We are very sorry to our customers for the inconvenience.”
As many insiders are aware, major Banks like Chase have been on the cutting edge of borderless data and cloud-based storage and retrieval for some years. They were on the cutting edge of fail-safe data handling many decades before that.
Experts point out that the back end hardware and optical networking systems in play are at an equally advanced level and that the redundancy and caching strategies baked into the system are built exactly for this kind of outage. Your transaction is stored until the system becomes available again, or the system declines the transaction if the failure precludes authorization routines.
In point of fact it is a requirement, from a purely systems view, that any critical currency storage or retrieval error switches to caching live transaction data while locking down the underlying core read/write system. And, in the event of being unable to authorize transactions, the system must stop outright and decline service.
But, as with all emergency systems, it’s important to ask serious questions when they are triggered. Emergencies, after all, should not become normal occurrences.
It is argued that responsibly developed currency handling systems should never be subject to a shutdown. And, while a fail-safe mode does address the kind of emergencies that apparently befell Chase Bank, the fact the fail-safe triggered at all could indicate a deeper problem in the underlying infrastructure.
Thus, as increasingly lengthy outages on debit and online banking networks are becoming more common, as was the case for several electronic banking service providers across Canada leading up to and through the demanding Christmas sales seasons this winter, concerns are being raised across many sectors of the economy.
Though firm estimates vary, at least a billion dollars move through paypal every hour. Thus networked brick and mortar banks like Chase, where all back end transaction services are further interlinked across both ground based Debit and Credit card networks, obviously suffer very damaging losses in the event of an extended outage.
While no further comment is available regarding the unprecedented 4+ hour disconnect at Chase, it is expected that news of the outage will have to be dealt with over the morning hours if Chase Bank is to avoid a serious penalty on the afternoon markets.
The following article is brought to you by Reuters found at ChicagoTribune.Com.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. has reached a $546 million settlement with the trustee liquidating the failed broker-dealer unit of MF Global Holdings, a court filing showed, an amount that will help repay the brokerage’s customers.
As part of a settlement reached with James Giddens, the trustee who is tasked with liquidating MF Global Inc., JPMorgan will pay $100 million that will be made available for distribution to former MF Global customers.
JPMorgan will also return more than $29 million of the brokerage’s funds held by the bank, while releasing claims on $417 million that was previously returned to Giddens.
“The settlement agreement resolves claims by the trustee and customer representatives against JPMorgan that would otherwise result in years of costly litigation between the parties with an uncertain outcome,” Giddens said in the filing.
JPMorgan was the lead on a $1.2 billion loan to MF Global, and was also one of its primary clearing banks before the broker-dealer went bankrupt. The bank had previously retained claims on some of the collateral posted by MF Global that led to the legal tussle.
Giddens will also request the bankruptcy court to authorize distribution of $250 million to former MF Global Inc. customers who traded on U.S. exchanges and $50 million to customers who traded on foreign exchanges, according to the filing.
MF Global declared bankruptcy in 2011. Commodity traders with personal accounts lost millions of dollars when, according to Giddens, the firm improperly used client money to cover corporate transactions as the firm sank. MF Global customer accounts were frozen in the wake of the bankruptcy.
The case became a political firestorm when regulators discovered an estimated $1.6 billion hole in the trading accounts of the broker’s trading customers.
The case is In re: MF Global Inc, case No. 11-2790, in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York.
From inside the nest:
2013 – Chase adopts a new internal “expenses” policy which dictates that (for example), if an employee spills coffee on a company laptop or other device, the employee shall be financially responsible for the damage.
I doubt this is legally feasible …. but it’s yet another example of how Jamie Dimon hates his employees. Couple this news with January’s 1-2% raises (if you got one at all) and you can see why most employees I’ve candidly spoken with hate this place as much as the next person.
Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) Chief Executive Officer Brady W. Dougan said pay for bankers is still outpacing shareholder returns, a dynamic that will change once the bank completes an overhaul of its business model.
“In the past few years, certainly, the shareholders have taken a bigger reduction in their returns than labor has within the business model,” Dougan, 53, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Erik Schatzker to be broadcast today. “That’s not sustainable. That’s not right.”
“In a decision made public on Monday, Patterson said that while the investors showed that JPMorgan had the ability to influence prices, a fact the bank did not dispute, they failed to show that the bank “intended to cause artificial prices to exist” and acted accordingly.” — Sorry, no “Fabulous Fab”-like emails bragging of swindling widows and orphans, so no case! The court basically killed this suit by not allowing it to get to discovery.
“Isn’t it ironic that exactly 100 years after the creation of the Fed (a private bank created for the benefit of bankers) that the fragile and bankrupt financial system is likely to fall due to the insolvency of a couple of Cypriot banks.”
“While Goldman Sachs Group Inc. called for gold prices to peak last month and billionaire George Soros cut his stake by more than half, Banco de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina’s only gold trader, is talking with mining companies to buy the metal directly as surging demand exhausts its supply of scrap. The bank began marketing gold to individuals after the nation tightened currency controls in October 2011, selling 280 kilos in its first year for 102.6 million pesos ($20 million)… “I’m buying gold every chance I get,” Guillermo Acosta, a 27-year-old security guard, said inside a branch of Banco Ciudad in downtown Buenos Aires. “With this inflation, I feel like my savings will evaporate if I keep them in pesos.””
“ while ETF holdings are declining, the physical market is seeing robust support. In fact, the US Mint — the bellwether for measuring demand of physical gold in the Western world — reports that sales of gold and silver coins are soaring…. Notice the volatile but steady rise in gold coin sales from the US Mint over the past 13 months… Silver coin purchases paint an even more dramatic picture. In fact, demand was so great that the Mint suspended sales in mid-January because it ran out of coins.”