WHAT: Citigroup has agreed to pay $285 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that it misled buyers of complex mortgage derivatives just as the housing market started to collapse.
HOW: The big Wall Street bank allegedly made $160 million by betting for the failure of its own subprime mortgage bond packages in 2007. Meanwhile, Citi’s derivatives investors lost millions.
WHY IT’S OUTRAGEOUS: Similar market manipulation penalties were paid by Goldman Sachs ($550 million) and JPMorgan Chase ($153.6 million). Citigroup’s penalty payments will reimburse its investor losses.