Thu December 13, 2012
Planet Money

Will A $1.9 Billion Settlement Change Banks' Behavior?

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 9:55 am

Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

If a kid does something bad and you want to discipline him — give him a timeout, say, or take away a toy — there are some basic principles that seem to work.

The punishment needs to happen quickly after the bad behavior. And it needs to be significant enough to get noticed. Those rules aren't just for kids; they need to hold true for any type of punishment to be effective.

But if you're a federal regulator punishing a bank, it can be tough to be swift enough and to levee a penalty that's severe enough to make a difference.

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Mon December 10, 2012
The Two-Way

Reports: $1.9 Billion Settlement Expected In HSBC Money-Laundering Case

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:06 am

The $1.9 billion settlement from British banking firm HSBC will settle allegations of allowing money laundering and transfers of billions from Iran.
Timur Emek Getty Images
  • Jim Zarroli on 'Morning Edition'

Update at 7 a.m. ET, Dec. 11. Settlement Announced:

Saying that "we accept responsibility for our past mistakes," the chief executive of Britain's HSBC has confirmed that the banking giant will pay a record $1.9 billion to settle charges related to a money laundering scheme in the U.S.

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Wed December 5, 2012
Planet Money

How To Sell Marijuana Legally, In Four Inconvenient Steps

Selling it is the easy part.
Ted S. Warren AP

On our show yesterday, we talked with John Davis, who runs a legal medical marijuana business in Washington state. He described one of the big hurdles of starting a legal marijuana business: It's really hard to get a bank account.

His story reveals not only the gray area the marijuana business still inhabits (it's still illegal under federal law), but also just how hard it is to run a small business without a bank.

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Wed December 5, 2012
The Two-Way

Citigroup Cutting 11,000 Jobs, Taking $1.1 Billion In Charges

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 12:48 pm

Chris Hondros Getty Images

Saying it needs to "further reduce expenses and improve efficiency across the company," Citigroup announced today that it is eliminating about 11,000 jobs — 4 percent of its global workforce.

The banking giant also said it is expects to take "pre-tax charges of approximately $1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 and approximately $100 million of related charges in the first half of 2013."

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Tue November 20, 2012
Planet Money

Ask A Banker: Are The Banks Still Too Big To Fail?

Paul Goyette Flickr

Hi! I'm back again. I'm a former banker, now a writer at Dealbreaker and an answerer of real and imagined questions about the financial world here. You can send questions to with "ask a banker" in the subject line, or ask on Twitter (@planetmoney).

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