Sunday, 27 Sep 2020

Quicken Loans to pay $32.5M to settle lawsuit over bad loans

Netflix's first Arabic original causes controversy in Jordan

Netflix's first Arabic original series, the supernatural teen drama "Jinn," has debuted worldwide with much fanfare, but sparked uproar in Jordan where it is set.

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State-run media reported that the thriller's release prompted condemnation from several government officials who vowed to censor it for alleged "lewd scenes" that purportedly violate public morals. Jordan's army website says the cyber-crimes unit is attempting to pull it from Jordanian Netflix.

But it was unclear whether the government would make good on the threats. Netflix Middle East denounced the controversy on Twitter as a "wave of bullying."

In a statement Friday, the streaming service said the show deals with "universal themes" that "can be viewed as provocative." A spokesman said content removals are rare but that Netflix complies with official requests.

How Facebook Is Breaking Into Crypto

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) shares made a handy gain on Friday after over a dozen companies said that they were ready to back its upcoming foray into cryptocurrency. While Facebook hasn’t come public with the cryptocurrency yet, an announcement is expected next week.

This has been in the works for more than a year, and the secretive project revolves around a digital coin that its users could send to each other and use to make purchases both on Facebook and across the internet.

The Wall Street Journal reported that several big name tech companies are getting in on this action, including Uber, PayPal, Visa and Mastercard. As such, these firms are expected to invest roughly $10 million each to support Facebook’s new cryptocurrency. Facebook is looking to raise as much as $1 billion for the effort.

Facebook won’t directly control the coin, nor will any individual backer of the group, known as the Libra Association. Some of the members could serve as “nodes” along the system that verify transactions and maintain records of them, creating a brand-new payments network.

The social-media giant has also hired a U.K. bank lobbyist as its director of public policy in London, the Financial Times said. The Wall Street Journal also reported Facebook plans to step up its marketing spending in a shift in its consumer-facing advertising strategy.

Shares of Facebook were last seen up about 2% at $180.92, in a 52-week range of $123.02 to $218.62. The consensus price target is $222.30.

SEC fines Chinese bank $42 million for mishandling ADRs

The Securities and Exchange Commission fined Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Financial Services LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited IDCBF, +2.10% $42 million on Friday for alleged improper handling of "pre-released" American Depositary Receipts, or ADRs. ADRs are U.S. securities that represent foreign shares of a foreign company and require a corresponding number of foreign shares to be held in custody at a depositary bank. The practice of "pre-release" allows ADRs to be issued without the deposit of foreign shares, provided brokers receiving them have an agreement with a depositary bank and the broker or its customer owns the number of foreign shares that corresponds to the number of shares the ADRs represent. The SEC’s order alleged that Industrial and Commercial Bank of China improperly obtained pre-released ADRs from depositary banks when ICBCFS should have known that neither the firm nor its customers owned the foreign shares needed to support those ADRs. This inflated the total number of a foreign issuer’s tradeable securities and resulted in abusive practices such as inappropriate short selling and dividend arbitrage. ICBCFS did not admit or deny the SEC’s findings but agreed to be censured in addition to returning nearly $24 million in ill-gotten gains, and paying $4.4 million in prejudgment interest and a $14.3 million penalty. The U.S. Department of Justice also announced on Friday that ICBCFS pleaded guilty to bid-rigging of pre-released ADRs by the same securities lending desk.

#JohnMcCainDay: How people on Twitter are commemorating Trump’s 73rd birthday

It’s President Trump’s birthday. 

On Friday, June 14, in honor of the Republican President’s special day, thousands of people used a hashtag to troll him, and it quickly went viral.

It all started when an executive producer of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” called on his followers to help Trump celebrate by making the hashtag #JohnMcCainDay a trending topic. 

“Let’s celebrate @realDonaldTrump’s birthday today by having #JohnMcCainDay trend,” Lassner tweeted. “I’m sure this would mean a lot to patriot like Donald Trump. #JohnMcCainDay”

Early Friday morning, the topic celebrating the late Arizona senator took off in the U.S. with more than 51,000 tweets using the hashtag. 

‘What the heck’ is that?  Security camera captures odd creature, and viewers have theories

Crop tops for men?  Twitter users express mixed feelings about the new trend

In 2015, Trump explicitly argued that McCain was not a war hero because he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for more than five years. McCain died in August 2018 following a battle with brain cancer.

In March 2019, Trump said he never liked the Arizona senator over differences that included Russia and health care.”I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be,” Trump told reporters at the White House. 

Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown. 

Quicken Loans to pay $32.5M to settle lawsuit over bad loans

Quicken Loans has agreed to pay $32.5 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the company of fraudulently sticking the government with bad mortgages.

Crain's Detroit Business says the agreement, with no admission of wrongdoing, was disclosed Friday by Gerald Rosen, a former judge who served as mediator.

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The government had accused Quicken of cutting corners when verifying the income of certain borrowers. Quicken also was accused of seeking improper appraisals so it could make a larger mortgage. The loans were insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which paid Quicken if a borrower defaulted.

The Detroit-based company denied the allegations and had described the lawsuit as "abusive." Quicken will remain in the FHA program after the agreement.

Quicken's founder is Detroit businessman Dan Gilbert, who owns the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. He is recovering from a stroke.


Information from: Crain's Detroit Business ,

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