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Bloomberg: Fed Doled Out $1.2T to Banks

To stave off the financial crisis, the Fed supplied the biggest Wall Street firms with $1.2 trillion in funds, an amount that overshadows the more public transfer of funds from TARP, Bloomberg News reported.

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Four More Banks Fail as Lawmakers Increase Scrutiny

Four banks walked the line to failure over the weekend, raising the bank collapse figure to 68 on the heels of increased public scrutiny by lawmakers over bank failures. Illinois-based First Choice Bank, Georgia-based First Southern National Bank, Florida-based Lydian Private Bank, and Pennsylvania-based Public Savings Bank all left the table, leaving the FDIC to foot the whopping $374.8-million bill. The FDIC found itself playing the familiar role of receiver in all four loss-share transactions by other banks.

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Accenture Acquiring Zenta

Accenture is planning to acquire Zenta as part of the company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós ongoing efforts to bolster its mortgage lending and servicing operations. The terms of the transaction have not been released, but Accenture has confirmed its intention to debut a new division targeting consulting, technology, and BPO offerings.

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A Week in Mortgage Fraud, Scams, Schemes

A $50 million mortgage fraud scheme, bank fraud by a title agency, mortgage Ponzi scheme by a former Republican chairwoman, and trouble for an alleged ring of scamming lawyers helped round out a week in mortgage fraud and demonstrate that sham loans are alive and well across the nation. A flurry of lawsuits, indictments, guilty pleas, and sentences awaited alleged and convicted schemers alike. The trouble arrived on the heels of a fresh Federal Bureau of Investigation report that recorded a spike in mortgage fraud activity over 2010.

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CFPB Architect Formally Explores Senate Bid

Elizabeth Warren is moving closer to confirming her 2012 Senate bid. The controversial professor-turned-politico took formal, exploratory actions in Massachusetts recently, indicating that Warren's rumored plans to run for office are more than speculation. Officially developing an exploratory campaign committee, Warren has also initiated a donation website, elizabethforma.com, and she seems to be the likely liberal candidate vying to unseat Republican Sen. Scott Brown next November.

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Prudential Enhances Hospitality Holdings

Outrigger Hotels and Resorts has new ownership, following the closing of Prudential Mortgage Capital Company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós $137.8 million acquisition of the hospitality entity. Prudential Mortgage provided the major, seven-year fixed-rate mortgage loan on behalf of Prudential├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós general account.

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Columbia Professors Propose Refi Boom for Recovery

If two professors at Columbia Business School have anything to say about it, 30 million homeowners across the country would refinance their mortgages and stabilize the lagging housing market in the process. The duo recently proposed the refi boom in a paper that aimed to prop up sagging home prices and accelerate job growth nationally. The academes, R. Glenn Hubbard and Chris Mayer, propose reducing mortgage rates by about one percent to encourage a boost in home prices and the housing recovery.

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NYT: Feds Investigating S&P Over MBS Ratings

Standard & Poor's debt downgrades rubbed salt in U.S. wounds over a dysfunctional political system, but now it may be the ratings agency's turn to blink in the negative spotlight. A New York Times story alleges that the federal government plans to investigate whether S&P played fast and loose with ratings for mortgage-backed securities before the Great Recession. According to the Times, the Justice Department has undertaken an investigation to determine whether S&P gave insufficient attention to the now infamous financial products.

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Guardian Goes with MortgageFlex

MortgageFlex Systems, Inc. has added a new client to its admirable roster, recently signing Guardian Mortgage Company, Inc. to enhance its origination processing requirements and streamline communications.

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Van Eck Releases New Market Vectors ETF

Van Eck Global is enhancing its product offerings, recently debuting its Market Vectors Mortgage REIT Income exchange-traded fund, dubbed MORT in company lingo. The new program will give users play exposure to REITs.

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