John Bogle’s Bombshell Gift to Americans

John Bogle, Founder of the Vanguard Group

By Pam Martens: January 17, 2019 ~ The legendary John Bogle passed away yesterday in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He was 89. Bogle was the founder of Vanguard Group. In announcing his death, Vanguard said that Bogle “introduced the first index mutual fund for investors and, in the face of skeptics, stood behind the concept until it gained widespread acceptance; and he drove down costs across the mutual fund industry by ceaselessly campaigning in the interests of investors.” We’ll always remember Bogle for the courage he demonstrated on April 23, 2013 when he appeared on the PBS program Frontline. Bogle dropped the bombshell that Wall Street has attempted to hide for half a century: If you work for 50 years and receive the typical long-term return of 7 percent on your 401(k) plan and your fees are 2 percent, almost two-thirds of your account will go to Wall Street. Bogle explained the math … Continue reading

Mucking through the Wall Street Banks’ Earnings This Week

Wallstreet Bull-Thumbnail

By Pam Martens: January 15, 2019 ~ If you’ve ever mucked horse stalls full of smelly manure, you’re better prepared for this week. Yesterday, the inscrutable Citigroup ushered in the week of mind-numbing fourth-quarter earnings reports from the financial supermarkets/commercial banks/insurance companies/brokerage firms/investment banks/derivative warehouses that have combined under one highly combustible roof, using the simple moniker Wall Street bank. There is so much going on under one roof that you’d need your own team of 100 accountants to have any clue as to whether the bank is doing well or not. JPMorgan Chase, a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, was out with its disappointing earnings this morning. Goldman Sachs and Bank of America report on Wednesday, followed by Morgan Stanley on Thursday. Citigroup’s big reveal was that it had missed analysts’ revenue expectations by half a billion dollars – not exactly small change. The bank reported $17.1 … Continue reading

A Wall Street Felon and High Frequency Traders Announce Plan to Form Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange Trading Floor

By Pam Martens: January 9, 2019 ~ A group of nine financial firms, including an admitted felon and two high-frequency trading powerhouses, announced this week that they plan to open a national stock exchange to compete head on with the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq. We’ll detail those players shortly but first some necessary background to explain why this plan must never come to fruition. Yes, our two major stock exchanges are a viper’s nest of conflicts of interest and in desperate need of reform, but this motley crew can only make matters worse. Following the 1929 stock market crash, the U.S. Senate conducted three years of hearings into the brazen self-dealing and rigged trading by the major Wall Street firms that resulted in an epic crash that eventually erased 90 percent of the stock market’s value, led to the collapse of thousands of banks, and brought on the … Continue reading

A Closer Look at Why Mnuchin Called the Big Wall Street Banks to Check on Liquidity

Steven Mnuchin Is Sworn In as U.S. Treasury Secretary by Donald Trump on February 13, 2017

By Pam Martens: January 7, 2019 ~ On Sunday, December 23, 2018, the sitting U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, lit up the airwaves with the announcement on his Twitter page that he had “convened individual calls with the CEOs of the nation’s six largest banks.” The Tweet went downhill from there. The Tweet attached a press release from the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Public Affairs which named the six banks and their CEOs involved in the calls. They were Brian Moynihan, Bank of America; Michael Corbat, Citigroup; David Solomon, Goldman Sachs; Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase; James Gorman, Morgan Stanley; and Tim Sloan at Wells Fargo. Mnuchin said he asked the bank CEOs about their liquidity to fund regular operations and they told him they had “ample liquidity.” Let’s pause right there for a moment. These are the same Wall Street banks that brought the U.S. financial system to its knees … Continue reading

In 2019, Wall Street Banks Will Determine the Future of America

New York Stock Exchange

By Pam Martens: January 2, 2019 ~  Inevitably, investors get the kind of Wall Street they demand and deserve. That’s a paraphrase of the French philosopher Joseph de Maistre’s view on an engaged or unengaged citizenry: “Every nation gets the government it deserves.” As groggy Americans arise this morning to face the reality that their holiday escapism is over and it’s back to the grind of work and daily doses of White House tyranny and dysfunction, at 8:00 a.m. Dow futures were pointing to an approximate 300 point drop at the open of trading in New York following the worst December for stocks since the Great Depression. In short, Americans have gotten both the stock market and the government they deserve for failing to meaningfully reform both following the epic 2008 financial crash which pointed so clearly to unprecedented corruption on Wall Street and within the corridors of power in … Continue reading

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

Thank you for your emails of encouragement and concern. We plan to keep the site alive and return to publishing in the future.

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

wall street sign, thumbnail

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

trump thumbnail

  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

Brett Kavanaugh Thumbnail

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

Kavanaugh Thumbnail

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

Mike Bloomberg Thumbnail

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

In 2014 Citigroup Had Six Separate Trading Venues, Including Dark Pools

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