Economy-LI

AP Photo/Mike Groll

New York's top bank regulator wants to lead the federal government in aggressively cracking down on errant corporations.

Last week the New York Department of Financial Services fined the German Commerzbank $1.4 billion last week, while also requiring the company fire several employees.

"We think New York state can become a real laboratory of democracy when it comes to financial regulation," Ben Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, said last week before University of Albany business students.

Chart courtesy of RealtyTrac

Long Island is experiencing a spike in "zombie" homes—properties that are often abandoned after their owners receive a notice of foreclosure. They can fall into disrepair, reducing the values of surrounding property and serving as magnets for crime and vandalism.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is re-introducing legislation to combat the rise of abandoned properties. The bill is aimed at closing the gap of responsibility when a homeowner defaults.

AP Photo/Richard Drew

A new survey finds that Wall Street bonuses this year will be flat despite strong gains in the stock market.

This comes as hundreds of new rules take effect pushing the industry away from making risky bets.

In the past those risky bets led to big profits and big bonuses. But the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act introduced rules requiring banks to keep more cash on hand and curb the kinds of complicated trading that led to the financial collapse in 2008.

Bank regulators in New York are accusing the nation's largest subprime mortgage lender of errors that might have harmed hundreds of thousands of borrowers.

New York's Department of Financial Services accuses Ocwen Financial of backdating letters warning of foreclosure or unsuccessful loan modifications. This means that by the time a borrower receives a letter from Ocwen, it's already too late to do anything about it.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

The Securities and Exchange Commission says 2014 has brought a record number of fines against traders and others who sought to mislead investors.

This year the commission brought an additional $760 million dollars in fines against wrongdoers, a 22 percent increase compared to year prior. Regulators attribute the increase to smarter use of data and analytical tools to analyze bad behavior.

Also this year, the SEC tried a new approach where more resources are devoted to small infractions in hopes of deterring larger crimes.

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