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  • U.S. expands investigation into money laundering by foreign cash buyers

    The federal government revealed Wednesday that its investigation into foreign buyers using high-end U.S. real estate as a means to launder money found that potentially illicit activity is behind a "significant" portion of the cash transactions in Manhattan and Miami, and plans to expand the investigation into Los Angeles, San Francisco, and several other areas. Click the headline to read more.

Moody's launches covered bond analytics

Moody's Investors Service launched a new research service to track covered bonds. The company said a subscription provides access to ratings an analysis of more than 220 covered bond programs, as well as transparency on cover pool performance and insight into the structures of deals and the sponsoring institutions. In addition to Moody's normal research and commentary, the covered bonds service features integrated access to credit research on bank sponsors and associated sovereign entities, the ratings agency said. "Given the degree of uncertainty surrounding underlying country and banking credits in Europe, and the nascent markets for covered bonds in North America, market participants need access to the best credit research data and analyst insight," according to Juan Pablo Soriano, managing director in Moody's EMEA structured finance team. "Publishing individual indicators, such as cover pool losses, enables comparisons between programmes from specific bank sponsors and in different countries." Used overseas for more than 200 years, covered bonds are slowing gaining a foothold stateside. In March, Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) introduced his third bill in as many years to establish a clear regulatory framework for the structured finance product. The House bill is receiving some bipartisan support and some analysts believe it may make it to President Obama's desk this time. Write to Jason Philyaw.

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