These Stock Market Charts Should Give You Pause

Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Trading Pattern on March 5, 2019

By Pam Martens: March 6, 2019 ~ When you’ve studied stock market charts for three decades, you can’t help but notice that something very peculiar has been happening to the U.S. stock market in recent years. Rather than taking off at the opening bell and holding an upward bias or a downward bias for the balance of the trading day – the way stock markets historically behave – the Dow Jones Industrial Average frequently spends the morning hours rotating between sharp upward spikes and big drops as if an invisible force (say an algorithm, for example, operating in the futures market) has the controls. To see what we mean, take a look at the two charts below: one from March 27, 2018 and one from May 16, 2018. The same thing happened in the market yesterday combined with one more frequent oddity. The Dow Jones Industrial Average includes companies with … Continue reading

This Tiny Country Has $245 Billion Invested in U.S. Stocks

Norwegian Central Bank Holdings of U.S. Stocks as of December 31, 2018 (Source: Norwegian Central Bank)

By Pam Martens: March 5, 2019 ~   According to the United Nations, Norway has a current population of 5.4 million people. That’s less than 2 percent of the population of the United States. The people of Norway don’t particularly like the United States right now, giving its leadership an abysmal 12 percent approval rating according to a recent Gallup survey. But according to data provided at the website of Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, every man, woman and child in Norway has the equivalent of a $45,000 stake in U.S. stocks. The central bank manages the Government Pension Fund Global (also known as the Norwegian Oil Fund) which owned a whopping $245 billion of the U.S. equity market as of December 31, 2018. That $245 billion includes big chunks of change in U.S. social media/tech stocks and the mega banks on Wall Street. Here’s a sampling: $7.5 billion in … Continue reading

Gallup Survey: Global Image of U.S. Plunges During Trump Administration

Gallup's Global Leadership Ratings -- 2019

By Pam Martens: March 4, 2019 ~ In what has to be the most diplomatic understatement of the year, Jon Clifton, the Global Managing Partner of the polling organization, Gallup, had this to say with the release of the company’s 2019 “Rating World Leaders” report: “The image of U.S. leadership abroad is not good right now.” In reality, the U.S. had a 48 percent global approval rating in President Obama’s last year in office and that rating plunged to 30 percent in Trump’s first year in office. It now sits at 31 percent median approval across the 133 countries surveyed by Gallup. One of the most dangerous takeaways from the new Gallup report is that our closest allies think so little of the U.S. right now. The report notes that “Regionally, the image of U.S. leadership fared worst in Europe, where approval remained low and stable, dropping one percentage point … Continue reading

A Sitting U.S. President’s Lawyer Bares His Soul Before Congress Today

Michael Cohen Testifies Before House Oversight and Reform Committee, February 27, 2019

By Pam Martens: February 27, 2019 ~ Today will mark a new milestone in the nightmarish hostage-taking of the United States of America, from which there is no readily apparent means of escape, by a daily non-reality TV show known as the Donald Trump Presidency. Today’s episode began at 10 a.m. in the U.S. House of Representatives’ Oversight and Reform Committee and stars the President’s former confidante, lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen calling the sitting President of the United States and leader of the free world a “conman,” “a cheat,” and “a liar.” Cohen also compares Trump to an organized crime boss in his opening statement, saying that “Mr. Trump called me a ‘rat’ for choosing to tell the truth – much like a mobster would do when one of his men decides to cooperate with the government.” That’s a very telling point. Mr. Trump is the highest official in … Continue reading

Memo to Maxine Waters: Wells Fargo Is Far from the Biggest Problem on Wall Street

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

By Pam Martens: February 26, 2019 ~ Yesterday, Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California, the Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, released the titles of the hearings she plans to hold during the month of March. Of the hearings held by this Committee in February, none addressed the systemic risk to the U.S. economy from the interconnected mega banks on Wall Street. According to the hearing list released yesterday for the month of March, systemic risks at the mega banks has again gone missing. The only mega bank to be grilled in March will be Wells Fargo, and that will focus on its “pattern of consumer abuses.” This lack of attention to the most dangerous, interconnected mega banks on Wall Street – JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley – by the newly installed Democratic Chair of the House Financial Services Committee does not bode well … Continue reading

New Book: Corporate Agenda Moves into the Maternity Ward

Jenny Brown, Author of Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight over Women's Work

By Pam Martens: February 25, 2019 ~ Jenny Brown has cracked the code that few writers, outside of analysts trained by the CIA, have cracked. In her new book scheduled for release on March 1 by PM Press, Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight Over Women’s Work, Brown performs a brilliant forensic examination of the money and people behind the stealth agenda to raise the low birth-rate in the United States. That agenda includes concerted campaigns against abortion, the “morning-after pill” and other forms of contraception. Using exhaustive research, Brown convincingly makes the case that it’s a well-financed corporate agenda implanted in Washington with an end goal of putting more American women in the maternity ward. It’s not a cultural or religious agenda as many people believe. It’s just about money – corporate profits to be more specific. More babies mean more workers and more workers mean cheaper labor because there … Continue reading

Senator Bernie Sanders Should Be Taken Very Seriously as a Presidential Candidate

Presidential Candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, Delivers a Major Policy Speech on Reforming Wall Street on January 5, 2016

By Pam Martens: February 21, 2019 ~ On Tuesday, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont declared his candidacy to seek the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Wall Street On Parade endorsed Senator Sanders over Hillary Clinton in 2016 because Clinton was effectively running as Wall Street’s candidate and as Obama’s third term. Unfortunately, eight years of Obama had produced zero criminal prosecutions of the executives of the largest Wall Street banks who had brought the country to its knees as they grew obscenely rich from corrupt, cartel behavior at their banks. Obama also seriously misinformed the American people about how little had changed in terms of reining in the risks on Wall Street. Obama also refused to provide a bully pulpit for breaking up the dangerous Wall Street banks by restoring the Glass-Steagall Act. Senator Bernie Sanders has, on the other hand, been an unrelenting critic of the … Continue reading

Wall Street’s Banksters Are Clandestinely Trading the “Digital Gangster” Stock of Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Testifies Before Congress on April 10, 2018 on His Company's Technology Failings

By Pam Martens: February 19, 2019 ~ Being called a “digital gangster” by an investigative committee of the United States’ closest ally, the United Kingdom, might have been expected by the rational among us to do some serious damage to the share price of Facebook when it opened for trading this morning. The U.K. report was released yesterday when U.S. markets were closed for Presidents’ Day. But by this morning’s opening bell, it was business as usual for the serially investigated Facebook. Facebook closed Friday at $162.50 per share and opened this morning at $160.50. After a half hour of trading, Facebook’s stock was off a mere 63 cents. America is now the political dystopia ruled by Wall Street banksters and digital gangsters so the stock market no longer punishes corporate criminality. In fact, there is ample evidence to suggest that it rewards it. Just look at how the stock … Continue reading

4,823 U.S. Banks Have Disappeared Since 1999

bank logos 150 pix

By Pam Martens: February 18, 2019 ~ At the end of 1999, the year that President Bill Clinton and his  Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin brokered the deal to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and allow the casino investment banks on Wall Street to gobble up deposit-taking banks, there were 10,220 federally insured banks and savings institutions in the United States. Today, that number stands at 5,397, a decline of 47 percent according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). What exactly happened to those disappeared banks? We examined FDIC data to see if the sharp falloff in bank numbers was from failures or mergers. We found that the vast majority of the decline resulted from banks being absorbed in mergers. By the end of 2005, six years after the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the U.S. still had 8,832 federally insured banking institutions. But in just that year alone, 315 banks … Continue reading

Share Buybacks Have Created a Dangerous Bubble in Wall Street Bank Stocks

JPMorgan Building

By Pam Martens: February 14, 2019 ~ JPMorgan Chase is a Wall Street bank that has pleaded guilty to three felony counts in the past five years and lost at least $6.2 billion of its depositors’ money trading high-risk derivatives in London. And yet, somehow, the bank has a market capitalization (the value of all of its shares outstanding) that makes it among the most valuable companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500. The serially fined and investigated bank, as of yesterday’s close, has a market value of $342.817 billion which is $110.8 billion more than Boeing – one of the most sophisticated engineering companies in the world, producing commercial jet airplanes, military aircraft, rockets and satellites for customers around the globe. Looking at the bizarre situation with a wider lens, if you add up the market cap at yesterday’s market close of General Motors ($54.97 billion), GE ($90.199 billion), … Continue reading

Citigroup Pats Itself on the Back for Disclosing It Pays Women 29 Percent Less than Men

wall street sign, thumbnail

By Pam Martens: February 13, 2019 ~ In a blog post on January 19, Citigroup’s head of Human Resources, Sara Wechter, wrote that “Citi’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is longstanding.” She next bragged that “Last year, Citi was the first financial institution to publicly release the results of a pay equity review.” Three paragraphs later, we get the cold, hard facts: “median pay for women globally is 71% of the median for men” at Citigroup. Citigroup didn’t come up with the idea of releasing that data out of some newfound quest for transparency. The data came as a result of a pressure campaign by Arjuna Capital, an investment firm focused on sustainable investing. The campaign is introducing shareholder proposals at the big Wall Street banks, asking that the banks disclose, and then close, their gender pay gaps. After Citigroup released its data, Arjuna withdrew its shareholder proposal at Citigroup. At … Continue reading

All of a Sudden, Fixing American Capitalism Is on Everybody’s Mind

Citizen Capitalism

By Pam Martens: February 11, 2019 ~ Wall Street, the epicenter of American capitalism, brought down economies around the globe in 2008, including a banking, housing and foreclosure crisis in the U.S. Why is it just now that fixing American capitalism is on everybody’s mind? One answer is that it will be a central focus in the 2020 presidential campaign while a more nuanced reading is that the current dystopian billionaire administration has everyone grasping for answers as to how we got here. Harper’s magazine did make a valiant effort to look at the problem at the height of the financial crisis in November 2008 with seven essays on how to fix American capitalism. But the public at that time was more focused on keeping their jobs, a roof over their heads and pulling what little funds they had left from sinking mutual funds and teetering banks. Then the Obama … Continue reading

The Man Who Came to Dinner – With Donald Trump on His Birthday

Jerome Powell Is Sworn In As Federal Reserve Chairman on February 5, 2018 by Fed Vice Chairman  Randal Quarles.

By Pam Martens: February 5, 2019 ~ Remember that late 1930s play, “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” In the play (and later movie) the man slips on ice on the doorstep of his host, is injured, and never leaves. The question before the American people this week is if the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome (Jay) Powell, skidded on a slippery slope Monday evening when, on his 66th birthday, he chose to dine at the White House with the same President Donald Trump who has been bashing him for months in the press. Like the character in the play, will the Fed Chair now be thought of as the man confined to the House of Trump rather than as an independent central banker. The time line for Powell’s birthday dinner has the same rancid aroma of Trump’s favored weapon to try to bring people around to his way … Continue reading

Policing Wall Street: Is Maxine Waters Up to the Task?

Wall Street Bank CEOs Are Grilled at House Hearing, February 11, 2009

By Pam Martens: February 4, 2019 ~ The new chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters of California, has held elected office for more than four decades. She has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1991. Prior to that, she served 14 years in the California State Assembly. She has been on the House Financial Services Committee for the past 28 years – a period in which she has witnessed the largest Wall Street banks dramatically expand their financial frauds against the public. But can even a knowledgeable, seasoned veteran like Waters tackle the herculean problem that Wall Street banks represent to the country today? Apparently, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon aren’t wasting any time trying to get a handle on the topics on which Waters intends to hold hearings. According to a report by CNBC in late January, both … Continue reading

United States Falls Deeper Into Corrupt Nation Status

U.S. Capitol With Storm Clouds

 By Pam Martens: January 29, 2019 ~ The U.S. is no longer in the top 10, or even the top 20, of least corrupt nations. Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2018 was released today and the United States has fallen four points deeper into corruption than last year. The U.S. now ranks below Luxembourg, Estonia and France, coming in at number 22 on the chart. In the Americas region, only Canada came in among the top 10 least corrupt nations, earning a number 9 ranking. (View the full list here.) Zoe Reiter, Acting Representative to the U.S. at Transparency International said this about the report: “A four point drop in the CPI score is a red flag and comes at a time when the US is experiencing threats to its system of checks and balances, as well as an erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power. If … Continue reading

If You’re Looking for Private Capital for Your Business, This Book’s for You

Judy Robinett - 150

By Pam Martens: January 28, 2019 ~ There’s a new book coming on February 5 from the HarperCollins Leadership imprint – and it’s a critical subject for every American, even if you’ve never before thought about starting your own business. That’s because America is losing its dynamism in creating new businesses, as we’ll discuss later in this article. Written by Judy Robinett, Crack the Funding Code: How Investors Think and What They Need to Hear to Fund Your Startup is the how-to guide for young business owners to tap into private capital sources like angel investors or venture capitalists. There are key sections in the book on how to find the people who can help you, how to write a solid business plan, financial statement and projections, and a compelling pitch. Equally important for the unsophisticated but creative entrepreneur, the book offers sound advice on hiring a lawyer to evaluate … Continue reading

Bad News for Deutsche Bank Is Bad News for Wall Street and Trump

Deutsche Bank Headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 23, 2019 ~ There’s a troubling story out this morning at Bloomberg News indicating that the Federal Reserve “is examining how Deutsche Bank AG handled billions of dollars in suspicious transactions from Denmark’s leading lender [Danske Bank], according to people familiar with the matter, further intensifying what could be one of the biggest money-laundering scandals ever.” The story is troubling because (a) probing potentially criminal money laundering is the job of the Justice Department which can impose criminal charges, not the job of the Fed which cannot; and (b) the Fed is notorious for slapping knuckles and imposing small fines. The Fed’s New York regional bank, which plays an outsized role in the Federal Reserve system, is a deeply conflicted regulator. And, let’s not forget that it was the Fed that secretly funneled $16.1 trillion of almost zero interest loans to the global banks … Continue reading

The Silence on Wall Street’s Dark Pools Is Deafening

Citi Dark Pools Puzzle-Thumbnail

By Pam Martens: January 21, 2019 ~ It is destined to go down as one of the greatest journalistic and regulatory failures of our time – the lack of serious attention by investigative business reporters and the U.S. Department of Justice to the glaring fact that the largest Wall Street banks continue to trade their own and each other’s bank stocks in their own Dark Pools. Dark Pools function as unregulated stock exchanges inside the bowels of the largest Wall Street banks. Making the situation even more dicey, some of the big banks own more than one Dark Pool, raising the possibility that there could be cross-trading between those pools to artificially inflate or depress stock prices. JPMorgan Chase owns two Dark Pools; Citigroup currently owns at least two although it owned a lot more in the past; Morgan Stanley owns three; and then there is the Dark Pool that … Continue reading

Former SEC Attorney James Kidney Is Captured Regulators’ Worst Nightmare

By Pam Martens: January 18, 2019 ~ A jaw-dropping video of a lecture James Kidney delivered at Lake Forest College outside of Chicago on October 12 arrived in our incoming email last Friday. The courage and frankness of that lecture took our breath away. It has also, no doubt, caused major ripples among the top brass at what is supposed to be the nation’s most formidable Wall Street cop, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In the lecture, Kidney calls the leadership of the SEC when he worked there “self-serving cowards” who didn’t go after the higher ups on Wall Street following the crash of 2008 because they were simply “looking to move on, to return to their Wall Street job.” (We don’t think much has since changed at the SEC. See SEC Nominee Has Represented 8 of the 10 Largest Wall Street Banks in Past Three Years.) Kidney was … Continue reading

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.