MARKETS

Bank Stocks Slide on Foreclosure Crisis

Fallout from the foreclosure-processing fiasco continued Friday, as bank stocks fell, putting millions of negligent borrowers in financial limbo. For the second straight day, bank stocks dropped as investors became wary of pending operating and legal costs. Bank of America shares lost nearly 5 percent, and shares of Wells Fargo also fell nearly 5 percent, while J.P. Morgan Chase fell 4 percent, and Citigroup lost nearly 3 percent. Meanwhile, the cost of protecting against the default of bank bonds continued to surge. There’s no telling how damaging the mortgage crisis will become until the legal challenges are remedied. “In essence, fast-paced modern finance is colliding with the much slower machinery of the U.S. legal system,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “While finance aims for efficiency and maximized profits, the courts demand due process. And that's becoming a growing issue as lenders come under attack for taking short cuts to oust homeowners who haven't mailed in a mortgage check for months.” While Bank of America and J.P. Morgan have temporarily suspended foreclosure sales, many other banks still haven’t put a freeze on foreclosures.