Thursday's headlines: Corporate turnaround firms finding new business in local governments

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Turnaround firms like Alvarez & Marsa and FTI Consulting are finding opportunities in ailing local governments and school districts, according to the Wall Street Journal. Conway MacKenzie expects three times the number of such projects as 18 months ago, as "the slowly improving economy may help some state and local governments solve short-term revenue-and-spending imbalances, municipalities with so-called structural issues, like high pension liabilities, shrinking tax bases or significant population changes, face a much tougher battle," the article states.

Public-sector contracts are not necessarily as lucrative as corporate turnarounds, as they can come with lower fees, riddled with politics, and "require more creative fee structures."

Other news:

Minority groups including the NAACP have joined forces with bankers to fight new mortgage laws. [NY Times]

No good deed goes unpunished for BofA whistleblower. [Dealbook]

A European regulator criticizes U.S. banker bonuses. [NY Times]

Goldman expects South Korean mergers may climb by 27% to $70 billion within three or four years. [Bloomberg]

South Korean regulators issued warnings to HSBC and Crédit Agricole for their derivatives trading practices. [BusinessWeek,/a>]

Private equity firm Thomas H Lee Partners will invest $180 million in Puerto Rico-based First BanCorp.[Reuters]

The World Bank agreed to help cities pay for climate change-related projects and attract investors. [NY Times]

A group of religious leaders from Detroit is blaming JPMorgan Chase and BofA for contributing to blight in the city.[CNN Money]