Publishing at Wall Street On Parade Has Been Interrupted Due to Family Health Issues

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Don’t Believe the Media Hype on Bank Stocks and Rising Interest Rates

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 9, 2018 ~ The 10-year U.S. Treasury note touched a 7-year high in yield early this morning at 3.25 percent before falling back to 3.22 percent in mid-morning trading. As rates have risen over the past year, we’ve witnessed a growing chorus of business writers repeating the following mantra, or words to this effect: bank stocks will do well, even in a rising interest rate environment, because the spread will widen on what they pay to their depositors versus the rate that they earn on loans. When it comes to five of the mega Wall Street banks – JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley – you can throw that advice out the window. That’s because these are not so much banks as they are black holes of interconnected and concentrated interest-rate risk with trillions of dollars of derivatives sitting … Continue reading

Senator Bernie Sanders’ Banking Bill and the Kavanaugh Confirmation

Wall Street Veteran and Author, Nomi Prins, Joins With Senator Bernie Sanders to Launch a Bill to Break Up the Mega Wall Street Banks

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 8, 2018 ~ Last week when Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a new banking bill to break up the mega banks on Wall Street, he had this to say: “In our nation today, we are moving toward an oligarchic form of society where a small number of very wealthy individuals and large corporations have enormous control over our economic and political life. Today, we are in a country where three people, three of the wealthiest people, own more wealth than the bottom half of American society and 52 percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent.” Sanders made this statement on October 3. Just three days later, on October 6, a thoroughly discredited nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, who had the financial backing of a front group funded by billionaires Charles and David Koch, Americans for Prosperity, … Continue reading

Yesterday’s Stock Market Was Not Normal – And We’ve Been Watching Markets for 32 Years

Dow Jones Industrial Average Versus Wall Street Bank Stocks and Two Large Insurers on October 4, 2018

By Pam Martens: October 5, 2018 ~ Add the stock market to the growing list of things that are not normal in the U.S. We’ll get to the details of yesterday’s appearance of a rigged market in a moment, but first a small sampling of the other abnormal ways the U.S. is currently functioning. The U.S. has a President and Commander-in-Chief who is credibly accused by his own lawyer of engaging in political campaign fraud by paying hush money to women whose stories could have impacted the 2016 presidential election. The same President is credibly accused by the New York Times of engaging in tax fraud. That same man is also the subject of a criminal probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. And yet, Donald Trump is allowed to nominate a judge who will sit on the highest court in the land for a lifetime – a man who is, like … Continue reading

U.S. Treasury Yields Go Haywire as Times Reveals Trump Tax Evasion

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  By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 4, 2018 ~ Yesterday’s Treasury market was a mess. So was the front page of the New York Times, which featured a montage of tax records evidencing tax scams by the Trump family. We think there’s a connection. The New York Times’ 14,000 word expose and exhibits effectively render Trump a lame-duck president. That means that the country is left with the unprecedented national debt created under his big tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy along with a billionaire Emperor devoid of either clothes or the aura of a self-man man. The outlook for mounting U.S. debt pushing up Treasury yields comes at the same time that the Federal Reserve is scaling back its crisis-era purchases of Treasuries and as the European Central Bank begins this month to halve its bond purchases. The Federal Reserve, using a previously released schedule, began … Continue reading

The State of the Union and Wall Street

U.S. Capitol With Storm Clouds

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 3, 2018 ~ On August 14, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, tweeted that an African-American woman he had previously hired to work in the White House, Omarosa Manigault Newman, is a “crazed, crying lowlife” and a “dog.”  In any other executive job in America, those published words would be grounds for immediate dismissal. Yesterday, while attending a political rally in Mississippi, that same President mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the courageous professor who gave sworn testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27 that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when she was 15 and he was 17. Dr. Ford also submitted to the Senate the results of the lie detector test that she had passed and affidavits from four people she had told about the assault in earlier years. Trump mocked Dr. Ford’s sexual assault testimony … Continue reading

Kavanaugh Pal, Mark Judge, Erases His Creepy Social Media History

Mark Judge (Facebook Photo)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 2, 2018 ~ Editor’s Note: Wall Street On Parade believes the focus on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is highly warranted. We will move back to our regular Wall Street beat shortly. ~~~  Increasingly, the much-aligned U.S. media appears to be doing the job that the FBI failed to do in its first six background checks of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The FBI’s seventh background check isn’t looking much better either, thus far. According to reporting at NBC, even Kerry Berchem, a law-partner at the 900+ lawyer firm, Akin Gump, couldn’t get the FBI to respond to evidence she offered suggesting the possibility of witness tampering by Kavanaugh and/or his team. Akin Gump’s roster of legal luminaries includes multiple former U.S. attorneys and former district attorneys. There is also growing suspicions that there is a coordinated coverup taking place involving the … Continue reading

The FBI’s Failures on Kavanaugh Are Like the SEC’s Failures on Madoff

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 1, 2018 ~ Editor’s Note: On June 18, 1991, when I was managing money for individual clients at a Wall Street firm, a client told me that Bernie Madoff had been guaranteeing him, and other members of his Long Island country club, 13 percent annual returns on the stock portfolios Madoff managed for them – and had been delivering those returns for about 15 years. It was then, as it is today, a serious violation to promise guaranteed returns on a stock portfolio for the obvious reason that markets can experience serious losses within any one year and negative returns in multiple years. I told my client this and suggested that a person willing to ignore a well known prohibition against promising investors guaranteed stock returns is highly likely to be lying about bigger things. I suggested to this client that Madoff was … Continue reading

Here’s the Kavanaugh Power Brokers the FBI Will Have to Navigate to Probe Mark Judge

Matt Schlapp, Brett Kavanaugh, Mercedes Schlapp-Revised Thumbnail

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 29, 2018 ~   Mark Judge is a conservative writer who, until the sexual assault allegations surfaced against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, had an unremarkable career. Despite the unlikelihood that Judge has squirreled away the funds from this writing career to pay one of Washington D.C.’s top white-collar criminal defense lawyers to represent him, or the kind of credible history that would entice such a legal engagement, Judge has secured an expensive lawyer with a remarkable pedigree.  Judge is the pivotal witness that the FBI will want to interview following President Donald Trump’s announcement yesterday that he will reopen the FBI’s background investigation of Kavanaugh. Trump caved to pressure yesterday from Republican Senator Jeff Flake, the American Bar Association, the Yale Law School (Kavanaugh’s alma mater) and every Democratic Senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee who called for a reopened FBI investigation of … Continue reading

Kavanaugh Hearing: Why Republicans Fired their Sex Crimes Questioner Midstream

Brett Kavanaugh and Rachel Mitchell

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 28, 2018 ~ Apparently, somebody on the Republican staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee forgot to give Rachel Mitchell the memo advising her that she was supposed to lob softball questions at Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee now accused by two separate women of sexual assault and by a third of aiding and abetting the gang rape of women during his teen years. Rachel Mitchell is the long-tenured sex crimes prosecutor from Maricopa County, Arizona who was hired by the Republican majority on the Senate Judiciary Committee to avoid the optics of 11 male Republicans questioning Dr. Christine Blasey Ford yesterday over the intimate details of her sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. The Republicans allowed Mitchell to conduct all questioning of Ford, who testified first, on behalf of Republicans, and to proceed with questioning Kavanaugh in the afternoon session that followed. The … Continue reading

Kavanaugh Hearing: Yes, There’s a Conspiracy; But It’s Not Coming from Dems

Senator Charles (Chuck) Grassley

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 27, 2018 ~ The front groups that have been funded for decades by billionaires Charles and David Koch, majority owners of the fossil fuels conglomerate, Koch Industries, are determined to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court because he has demonstrated a willingness to write decisions favorable to gutting regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. Whether Kavanaugh has a history of sexual assaults is irrelevant to that agenda. As recently as last evening, a dark money group that keeps its donors a secret from the American people, the Judicial Crisis Network, continued running its multi-million dollar ad campaign on television in support of Kavanaugh. This week, its Chief Counsel, Carrie Severino, has made the rounds on cable news shows calling the women’s allegations a smear campaign. The Judicial Crisis Network has been running these ads since July and says it is prepared to spend … Continue reading

The Kavanaugh Nomination’s Money Trail Leads Back to Clarence Thomas

Brett Kavanaugh

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 26, 2018 ~ The dark money stench now surrounding the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination  bears a striking resemblance to what happened in the backdoor effort to land Clarence Thomas onto the Supreme Court in 1991. After credible testimony from Anita Hill over egregious sexual harassment by the nominee, Thomas was confirmed in a 52 to 48 vote by the Senate on October 15, 1991. That was the narrowest margin for a Supreme Court nominee in more than a century. In 2011 it emerged that Virginia Thomas, wife of Clarence Thomas, had received at least $1,051,214 in compensation from the Heritage Foundation from 1999 to 2007 while Thomas sat as a Supreme Court justice. Despite his legal requirement to report that income and its source, he had failed to do either and had to amend years of his financial disclosure reports. The Heritage … Continue reading

Kavanaugh’s Fox News Interview: Dark Money Transforms Him into a High School Virgin Who Went to Church Every Sunday

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 25, 2018 ~  Last evening we got a sneak peek at what all of that coaching of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at the White House over the past two months has done for his demeanor under fire. He’s now effectively been turned into a cross between Fred Rogers, the beloved host of the children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Ward Cleaver, the wholesome dad in the 1950s sitcom, Leave It To Beaver. In an interview last evening with Fox News host Martha MacCallum, Kavanaugh sat next to his wife Ashley and did everything just short of singing the refrain “look at me I’m Sandra Dee, lousy with virginity.” Kavanaugh told MacCallum that he was a virgin throughout his high school years and “many years after.” What he focused on at his elite private high school known as Georgetown Preparatory in North Bethesda, … Continue reading

It’s Now Three Women Accusing Kavanaugh with “Significant Evidence” of Gang Rape

Brett Kavanaugh

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 24, 2018 ~ Yesterday, two of the most trusted reporters in America, Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer of The New Yorker, reported that Senate Democrats are investigating a second sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The second charge comes from a woman who attended Yale University when Kavanaugh was a freshman there in the 1983-84 school year. The women, Deborah Ramirez, told the reporters that “she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away.” Like Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to accuse Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when she was 15 and he was 17, Ramirez is also calling for the FBI to investigate the incident. Dr. Ford, a professor in clinical psychology in California, is … Continue reading

There’s a New Bible Out for Defeating the Trump Era and Its Corporate Masters

Manifesto For Social Progress

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 21, 2018 ~ Wall Street On Parade has repeatedly called attention to the fact that President Donald Trump, who ran on a fiercely populist platform of helping the little guy, infused his administration from the get-go with lawyers and executives connected to the fossil fuels conglomerate, Koch Industries, and/or front groups funded by its two majority owners, billionaires Charles and David Koch. Now a step-by-step guide has been published on how to defeat the new-age robber barons, the corporate structure that made them billionaires while leaving workers with crumbs, and the enshrined political system that marches to the crack of their unaccountable whip. Released by Cambridge University Press on August 31, the book is titled “A Manifesto for Social Progress: Ideas for a Better Society,” by Marc Fleurbaey, Professor in Economics and Humanistic Studies at Princeton University and a prolific social justice author. … Continue reading

What a Mike Bloomberg or Jamie Dimon Presidency Would Look Like

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 20, 2018 ~ Michael Bloomberg served three terms as New York City’s Mayor from January 2002 to January 2014. In 2009, the New York Times reported that Bloomberg had spent “$261 million of his own money” in order to get elected to those three terms as Mayor. When Bloomberg took office, there was a two-term limit in place which had been voted on in public referendums in 1993 and 1996. But two years before Bloomberg’s second four-year term ended, he asked the City Council to repeal the two-term limit to allow him to serve a third term. Because voters had already expressed their will in a public referendum twice, numerous members of the City Council felt it would be unethical for them to repeal that decision and that the matter should be determined by another voter referendum. But the City Council went forward … Continue reading

SEC: Citigroup Ran a Secret, Unregistered Stock Exchange for More than Three Years

Citigroup Dark Pools 2014

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 19, 2018 ~ Last Friday, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a 372-word press release that carried the title SEC Charges Citigroup for Dark Pool Misrepresentations. Buried within that press release was a brief sentence casually mentioning that a division of Citigroup had “failed to register as a national securities exchange.” Since the thrust of the SEC’s press release was that the big travesty Citigroup had committed was to allow high frequency traders to operate within one of its Dark Pools while lying to its customers about that, this became the sole focus in multiple news articles on the matter. See here and here. The SEC also buried the information that Citigroup was running an illegal stock exchange within its cease-and-desist order and settlement document. In fact, what the SEC actually did was to dump two vastly different violations of security law – … Continue reading

Senator Orrin Hatch Calls Kavanaugh Accuser “Mixed Up,” Prior to Hearing Her Testimony

Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT). (Courtesy Senator's Office)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 18, 2018 ~ Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who effectively conducted himself as Clarence Thomas’s attorney instead of as an impartial member of the Senate Judiciary Committee during Anita Hill’s testimony on October 11, 1991, is still using the strategy of “nut-shaming” women who accuse men of sexual misconduct. Yesterday, Hatch, still a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that holds confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees, told reporters that Christine Blasey Ford, who has credibly accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, is “mixed up.” Adding to the outrage over Hatch’s statement is the fact that he made his “mixed up” remark about Ford before he heard her testimony, which is scheduled to take place before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, with Kavanaugh also invited to testify. In a letter that has been published by CNN, Ford, a research … Continue reading

America Has an Infrastructure Crisis: Gas Pipes Exploding; Concrete Basements Collapsing; Lead in Water; the 100-Year Flood that Comes Annually

During Hurricane Sandy, Photo of Lobby of 140 West Street in Lower Manhattan, Released by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 17, 2018 ~ As thousands of residents of North and South Carolina remain in shelters in the aftermath of catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Florence, zoning and planning boards across America are signing off on the plans of developers to build new communities in areas with inadequate water drainage and runoff facilities. At the same time, large expanses of lush native vegetation with the ability to absorb heavy rains are being replaced with concrete sidewalks and driveways, exacerbating the flooding problem. Government safeguards against over-development are being rolled back or simply ignored in towns and cities across the country by officials too cozy with moneyed developers who finance the government officials’ political campaigns. Last Thursday, 8600 customers of Columbia Gas in the towns of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, Massachusetts were ordered from their homes as more than 60 area homes erupted in flames and … Continue reading

Company Involved in Massachusetts Gas Explosions Has History of Blasts

Over 60 Homes Were Damaged by Fire and at least Three Exploded in Massachusetts on September 13, 2018 as a Result of a Natural Gas Problem.

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 14, 2018 ~ As thousands of people were fleeing their coastal homes in the Carolinas yesterday to be safe from the approaching wrath of Hurricane Florence after five days of warnings, thousands more were forced from their homes in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, Massachusetts yesterday. The Massachusetts evacuations came without prior warning as more than 60 homes erupted in flames yesterday and at least three exploded from a natural gas malfunction involving the utility company, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts. Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield told local reporters that “It looked like Armageddon,” saying he could see “billows of smoke coming from Lawrence behind me” and “pillars of smoke in front of me from the town of Andover.” The Associated Press reported that “some local officials described scenes of panic as residents rushed to evacuate, many wondering if their homes would be next … Continue reading

For Over a Century, the New York Times Has Praised Big Bank Consolidation

Sanford (Sandy) Weill, the Man Who Put the Serially Charged  Citigroup Behemoth Together

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 13, 2018 ~ For more than a century, the New York Times has championed some of the most despised men on Wall Street in their power grabs of other banks. The resulting mega bank concentration has crippled competition, crippled democracy in the U.S. and led to unprecedented wealth and income inequality in our nation. And yet, to many Americans, the New York Times is considered a progressive newspaper. It is notable that the New York Times was founded with big bank money. Adolph S. Ochs purchased the New York Times in 1896 for $75,000. John Pierpont Morgan Sr. of the powerful Wall Street bank, JPMorgan, provided $25,000 of that money. When the Times celebrated its 100th anniversary  in 1996, it noted that the Pierpont Morgan Library was exhibiting “the original letter Ochs wrote to his wife, Effie, describing a meeting he had with … Continue reading

The Chorus Grows for the Fed to Buy Up Stocks in the Next Wall Street Crisis

Olivier Blanchard

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 12, 2018 ~ There is now a growing chorus of people trying to legitimize the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve, having the option of buying stocks in the next financial crisis. This is such a stunning and dangerous development that it deserves to be on the front page of every newspaper in America – before President Donald Trump attempts to sign an Executive Order authorizing it. (We’re only half-joking about that.) This is the highly suspicious timeline of the clamor to give the Fed carte blanche to do as it pleases when Wall Street blows itself up again: Tuesday, September 4, 2018: JPMorgan Chase sends a research report to its clients which includes this statement from Marko Kolanovic, a Senior Analyst at the bank:  “It remains to be seen how governments and central banks will respond in the scenario of a great liquidity … Continue reading

As White House Coups Go, Wall Street Has Staged Plenty

Donald Regan, Former U.S. Treasury Secretary  from Merrill Lynch

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 11, 2018 ~ The reverberations from the New York Times OpEd last week, where an anonymous “senior official” in the Trump administration effectively described a coup taking place to stop the President’s mad impulses, are still shaking the nation. But President Donald Trump, from the day he took office, has been little more than a titular figure head for the fossil fuels industry – with Koch Industries in particular calling the shots. The Trump administration took the unthinkable step of removing the United States from the Paris Climate Accord and there is breaking news that the Environmental Protection Agency will ease rules on methane gas emissions for oil and gas companies like Koch Industries. The only real difference between this coup and past coups is that Koch Industries and its front group, Freedom Partners, are so much more in your face than Wall … Continue reading

Bernanke, Geithner, Paulson: The Fed Should Be Able to Make Secret Trillion Dollar Loans Again

Marketplace, an American Public Media Program, Interviews (left to right) Timothy Geithner, Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke in March 2018

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 10, 2018 ~ There seems to be a growing amount of concern these days about another epic financial crash on Wall Street. That, in itself, is a concern. After all, we’ve had only two great crashes in the past 89 years: one from 1929 to 1933 and one from 2008 to 2009. Why is another crash on the tip of so many tongues today? Last week JPMorgan Chase released a lengthy research report in which its analyst Marko Kolanovic suggested that in the event of another major Wall Street crisis, the Fed should not only have its emergency powers restored to buy up toxic debt with abandon from Wall Street but that the Fed might also have to buy up stocks – an unprecedented action for the U.S. central bank – or at least unprecedented as far as the public knows. The outrage … Continue reading

JPMorgan Is Thinking Pitchforks and Fed Stock Buying in the Next Financial Crash

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Outside the New York Fed, September 17, 2012

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 7, 2018 ~ If you thought the U.S. outlook could not get any more dystopian, think again. JPMorgan Chase issued a report earlier this week to mark the 10th anniversary of the 2008 Wall Street crash and provide its outlook for what’s ahead. JPMorgan suggests that the next financial crash may be so cataclysmic that the Federal Reserve may have to enter the market to buy up stocks – something which the central bank has never done before in the U.S. or, at least, acknowledged doing, because stock ownership is heavily skewed to the one percent. JPMorgan further suggests that if the Fed did take this unprecedented step, it might lead to pitchforks in the street (our phrase) as a class war breaks out. (Imagine the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011 and 2012 and then amplify that by years of pent up … Continue reading