Dow over 11,200: Stocks climb higher in the early moments of the trading week. Guess the foreclosure hubbub has been minimized.
B of A admits mistakes: The banking giant has discovered errors in 10 to 25 out of the first several hundred foreclosure cases it examined last week. The problems included improper paperwork, lack of signatures and missing files. From the WSJ:
Some of the defects seem relatively minor, according to the bank, and bank officials said they haven't uncovered any evidence of wrongful foreclosures. There was an address missing one of five digits, misspellings of borrowers' names, a transposition of a first and last name and a missing signature on one document "underlying" an affidavit, a bank spokesman said. But the bank uncovered these mistakes while preparing less than 1% of the first foreclosure files that it intends to resubmit to the courts in 23 states.
Feds look into foreclosures: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the review will focus on whether mortgage companies cut corners. Preliminary results are expected to be released next month. From AP:
"We are looking intensively at the firms' policies, procedures and internal controls related to foreclosures and seeking to determine whether systematic weaknesses are leading to improper foreclosures," Bernanke said. "We take violation of proper procedures very seriously," he added. The central bank's decision adds weight to federal and state investigations into whether banks used flawed documents to foreclosure on homeowners.
226,000 Californians to lose jobless benefits: That's if Congress doesn't extend funding past Nov. 30, according to the National Employment Law Project. (OC Register)
Tribune files bankruptcy plan: It's being supported by JP Morgan Chase and Oaktree Capital, but other creditors seeking a richer payout are expected to file competing plans later this week. (Chicago Tribune)
LAT loses circulation: The paper reported an 8.7 percent decline for the six-month period ended Sept. 30 compared with a year earlier. Most all the big papers saw circulation drops, except for the WSJ. (Bloomberg)
Voters supporting global warming law: Proposition 23, which would suspend new environmental regulations, is trailing 48-32 percent, according to a USC/LAT poll. The poll also found support for Proposition 25, which would eliminate the two-thirds majority needed to approve a budget in the Legislature. (LAT)
New LACMA contract: Michael Govan re-upped for six more years as head of the county art museum. No financial terms were disclosed; Govan received $1.3 million in compensation in 2008-9. (LAT)
Kerkorian agrees to 100K in child support per month: The L.A. billionaire also agreed to $10 million in back child support for the daughter of his former wife, Lisa Bonder. From Time:
The tidy sum will put a stop to a lawsuit Bonder Kerkorian had brought against her former husband, for more child support. Her father will continue to pay, according the Associated Press, until "Kira turns 19 or until she graduates from high school, no longer is a full-time student or no longer is living with her mother full-time. After that, the settlement says, the child support will be reduced to $50,000 a month." The child support is intended to cover all Kira's needs except, of course, medical expenses not covered by insurance, of which Kerkorian will pay half.
Ground-breaking for Mojave solar thermal plant: The nearly $2-billion project is the first of its kind to be built on federal land. It will have 346,000 mirrors, each about the size of a billboard. Not everyone is thrilled. From the LAT:
Environmentalists fought the project for years, concerned about its effect on the habitat of a rare tortoise. Others see the developer, Oakland-based BrightSource Energy Inc., as just another "Big Solar" corporation chasing down profits on the public dime. "It's the old centralized robber-baron monopoly model," said Sheila Bowers, an activist with the advocacy group Solar Done Right. "This is the worst way to go about getting clean energy -- it's slow, it's remote, it's devastating to the environment, and taxpayers are footing most of the bill."