banking

Demand is soaring for Seattle-area homes. Buyers who want to succeed are bidding up prices. This Seattle house recently sold for $100,000 over the asking price.
Seattle MLS

House prices in Washington state are rising faster than in any other state in the country.

Rents are also rising, and it’s all because Seattle companies are hiring. It’s an unusual predicament for people looking for a foothold in this real estate market.

Associates of President Vladimir Putin of Russia have channeled as much as $2 billion through offshore accounts, banks and shadow companies, according to a massive leak of documents from a Panamanian law firm.

More than 11 million documents, dubbed the Panama Papers, show how dozens of rich and powerful people around the world have used offshore and secret accounts to dodge taxes and sanctions and launder money.

The sign for Rainier Brewing Company, brewed in Seattle from 1878 to 1999. The company is now owned by Pabst Brewing Company. Since Rainier left the city, however, micro and nano brewers have popped up in the city.
Flickr Photo/Wonderlane (CC By 2.0)

If Larry Adams, a bartender at Blue Moon Tavern, were serving Bernie Sanders, he’d give him cider. A can of Schilling, because that’s what they have there.

Taking on Wall Street makes for good politics in the Democratic Party. And several of the candidates at Tuesday night's debate had tough words about big banks. That was particularly true of former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Although he didn't say so directly, O'Malley suggested several times that consolidation in the banking business was a big factor in the 2008 financial crash and that the U.S. economy remains vulnerable because of it.

Cyberthieves steal hundreds of millions of dollars a year from the bank accounts of U.S. businesses. And many business owners are surprised to find out their bank is not obliged to make them whole.

Dr. David Krier's Volunteer Voyages is one of the victims. Krier says he lost over $14,000 through fraudulent withdrawals from his business account, and he says his bank "refused to cover any of my losses."

Marcie Sillman speaks with Representative Derek Kilmer, a Democrat representing Washington's 6th Congressional District, about the Senate passage of The American Savings Promotion Act, a bipartisan bill to allow more financial institutions nationwide to offer prize-linked savings accounts.

Flickr Photo/megawatts86 (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Gwendolyn Hallsmith, executive director of the Public Banking Institute, about the benefits of creating a public bank in Seattle.

Flickr Photo/javacolleen (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Seattle’s HomeStreet Bank has sold a quarter of its mortgage-servicing business to a bank in Atlanta. It’s a sale that moves $3 billlion worth of mortgage relationships out of state. 

Bank Of America's Penalty: As Big As It Seems?

Aug 22, 2014

Ross Reynolds talks with Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, about the almost $17 billion settlement against Bank of America and why it's not as big as it seems.

The Tangled Web Of Payday Lenders On Tribal Lands

Jul 30, 2014

David Hyde talks with financial consultant Shawn Spruce, a member of the Pueblo tribe in New Mexico, about the intersection of payday lenders and Native American tribes.

Payday lenders are increasingly situating themselves on tribal lands across the country to skirt state laws, ensnaring Washington residents. Many tribes are working to save their members from unscrupulous loans.

Harborside Health Services

Ross Reynolds speaks with Steve DeAngelo, executive director of Harborside Health Services, a medical marijuana dispensary in California, about what it's like to run a $30 million business mostly on cash.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Posey Gruener speaks with Russ Rosendal, CEO of Salal Credit Union, about why they decided to offer banking services to licensed marijuana growers in Washington state.

And, Ross Reynolds speaks with AP reporter Kristen Wyatt about Colorado lawmakers' approval of a financial system designed expressly for the Marijuana industry.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Many marijuana business owners say they have bank accounts, but aren’t completely forthright with their bankers about the nature of their businesses. They claim to be in “consulting” or “medical research.”  And they know they could lose those bank accounts suddenly, at any time, since federal law prohibits banks from holding any funds associated with illegal drugs.

Can The Postal Service Help Unbanked Americans?

Feb 7, 2014
Flickr Photo/tales of a wandering youkai

Marcie Sillman talks with Michael Barr, professor of law at the University of Michigan and author of "No Slack: The Financial Lives of Low-Income Americans," about possible solutions for Americans who don't use traditional financial services.

Flickr Photo/401(K) 2012

Attorney General Eric Holder recently said that legal marijuana businesses need access to bank accounts as a public safety issue. Bankers and pot entrepreneurs hailed those comments as an important step. But they said it will take a change in federal law to make banks truly open their doors.

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