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Opponents Hope to Loosen Grip of Government’s ‘Choke Point’ Program

Two federal agencies have backed off – slightly – from a program that critics say has been intimidating banks into canceling services for legitimate, law-abiding businesses, making it difficult if not impossible for them to operate. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and US Department of Justice launched “Operation Choke Point” with no warning or public discussion in March 2013. They deemed businesses in certain industries to be “high risk” and told banks they’d come under tighter...

How Wall Street Tobacco Deals Left States With Billions in Toxic Debt

[Editor’s note: “Politicians wanted upfront cash from a legal victory over Big Tobacco, and bankers happily obliged. The price? A handful of states promised to repay $64 billion on just $3 billion advanced.” So reads the teaser headline on this report from the independent, non-profit ProPublica news organization. The beginning of the article follows, with a link to the full story.] By Cezary Podkul In November 1998, attorneys general from across the country sealed a historic deal with the...

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