These Two Charts Show the Shocking Truth Behind the Sanders/AOC Plan to Cap Credit Card Interest Rates

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 10, 2019 ~ Calling 20 and 30 percent credit card interest rates “extortion and loan sharking,” Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez yesterday introduced the ‘‘Loan Shark Prevention Act’’ which would set a Federal cap of 15 percent on interest rates that can be charged to consumers. In introducing the new legislation, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez singled out the mega Wall Street banks, writing the following in a white paper they released simultaneously with the proposed legislation: “Today’s modern-day loan sharks are no longer lurking on street corners, threatening violence to collect their payments. Today’s loan sharks wear expensive suits and work on Wall Street, where they make hundreds of millions of dollars in total compensation by charging sky-high fees and usurious interest rates, and head financial institutions like JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and American Express… “Despite the fact that … Continue reading

Could Trump’s Jones Day Lawyers End Up in Deutsche Bank-Gate?

Deutsche Bank Headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 9, 2019 ~ Lawyers from Jones Day have been functioning like a Praetorian Guard around the president since the day he took office. How the firm landed so many of its partners into key positions in the Trump administration has baffled the media, especially since its partners were big supporters of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. According to Bloomberg News, Jones Day’s lawyers contributed $7,422 to Trump’s campaign while showering Hillary Clinton’s campaign with $267,899. Wall Street On Parade has previously reported that Jones Day lawyers in Trump’s White House Counsel office had previously represented Freedom Partners, the front group of Koch Industries, the giant fossil fuels company majority owned by the billionaire Koch brothers. Freedom Partners had quickly provided the Trump administration with a list of regulations it wanted gutted – like the Paris Climate accord (which Trump revoked on June 1, 2017) and numerous EPA rules. … Continue reading

A Troublesome Thing Happened in Yesterday’s Market Selloff

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 8, 2019 ~  For years now, Wall Street On Parade has been pointing out to our readers that the Wall Street mega banks remain dangerously interconnected, despite the fact that those interconnections stopped banks from lending to one another in 2008; resulted in the largest government bailout of Wall Street in U.S. history; and ended up taking down the U.S. housing market and global economy. Whenever there is a major selloff in the broader stock market, the Wall Street mega banks typically bleed far more than the major stock indices. Yesterday, however, something curious and potentially noteworthy happened. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 473.3 points or 1.79 percent and the following Wall Street banks traded in line with that decline: JPMorgan Chase actually lost a little less than the Dow with a decline of 1.63 percent. Bank of America and Goldman Sachs … Continue reading

Judge Issues Scathing Rebuke of DOJ and Law Firm, Paul Weiss

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 7, 2019 ~  If you needed more proof that the United States is heading in the direction of a dystopian authoritarian state, it arrived last Thursday, May 2, when the Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York wrote a decision finding that the U.S. Justice Department had outsourced a criminal investigation to the target of the investigation – Deutsche Bank – and Deutsche Bank’s outside law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Making the matter all the more interesting, the Chief Judge who wrote the decision, Colleen McMahon, formerly worked for Paul Weiss for 19 years, rising to the rank of partner. She remains, according to this profile, close friends with a number of former and current Paul Weiss lawyers. Judge McMahon’s takedown of the government’s cozy relationship with Deutsche Bank and Paul Weiss has … Continue reading

Elizabeth Warren: The Woman Who Knows Too Much about Wall Street

Senator Elizabeth Warren Questions SEC Chair Jay Clayton During Senate Banking Committee Hearing, September 26, 2017

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 6, 2019 ~ In May 2012 when New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote his severely factually-challenged analysis of whether the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act had led to the Wall Street collapse in 2008, he seemed to have an agenda of undermining Elizabeth Warren, then running for her first U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts, in her push to restore the Glass-Steagall Act. That legislation, which was formally known as the Banking Act of 1933, created Federal insurance on deposits held in commercial banks while barring those banks from being under the same roof with the Wall Street casino – that is, high risk securities underwriting and trading firms known as investment banks and broker-dealers. The legislation grew out of two intense years of Senate investigations from 1932-1934 which concluded that the “unsavory and unethical” practices by Wall Street securities trading firms … Continue reading

Fed’s Powell Says Financial Risks Are “Moderate”; These Charts Don’t Agree

Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 3, 2019 ~ During the question and answer period of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference on Wednesday, Michael McKee of Bloomberg News asked the Chairman the following question: “I’m curious about the financial conditions that you see out there. The minutes of the March meeting tell us a few officials worried about financial stability risks. Was there a broader discussion at this meeting? Any consensus on whether such risks are growing as the markets hit new highs and we do see some instability in short-end trading. Is it possible that rates are too low at this point?” Powell answered the first part of the question as follows: “…I’d say that the headline really is that while there are some concerns around nonfinancial corporate debt, really the finding is that overall financial stability vulnerabilities are moderate on balance and, in addition, I … Continue reading

Sullivan & Cromwell’s Rodge Cohen: The Untold Story of the Fed’s $29 Trillion Bailout

Rodgin Cohen Speaking at a Bloomberg Conference in 2015

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 2, 2019 ~  There is a little noticed audio tape of an interview conducted on August 5, 2010 by investigators for the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), a body convened under the Fraud Enforcement Recovery Act of 2009 to investigate the 2008 financial collapse on Wall Street. The interview is with Rodgin (Rodge) Cohen, Senior Chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell, the preeminent go-to lawyer on Wall Street. Cohen makes a number of eyebrow-raising admissions during his interview. First, in response to a question, Cohen concedes that he was personally involved in the amendment contained in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act (FDICIA) that changed the Fed’s emergency lending powers under Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act. That one-sentence amendment to Section 13(3) was interpreted by the Federal Reserve from December 2007 to mid-2010 as giving it carte blanche to shovel $29 … Continue reading

Bernanke, Paulson, Geithner Wrap Themselves in the Heroic Garb of Firefighters to Lobby for Another Wall Street Bailout

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 1, 2019 ~ Could Bernanke, Paulson and Geithner have possibly picked a more self-serving title for their latest revisionist history of their secret $29 trillion bailout of the most insidiously corrupt industry in America? Their new book is titled Firefighting: The Financial Crisis and Its Lessons. Every municipal and volunteer firefighter in America should come together to file a class action lawsuit against the three for invoking an honorable profession in their dishonorable gambit to set Wall Street up for another obscene heads-we-win, tails-you-lose bailout. What the shameless trio – former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke; former Treasury Secretary under G.W. Bush and Ex-CEO of Goldman Sachs Hank Paulson; and former New York Fed President and Treasury Secretary under Obama, Tim Geithner – are up to is to provide cover for the Wall Street lobbyists who are trying to bully Congress into repealing the … Continue reading

Reuters Drops a Bombshell: The Big Short Doomsday Machine Is Back

  By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 29, 2019 ~ In what can only be described as a new low in defining deviancy down on Wall Street, Thomson Reuters’ International Financing Review (IFR) reported this past weekend that some of the biggest names on Wall Street have returned to creating and/or trading synthetic collateralized debt obligations (Synthetic CDOs). The products were a major factor in bringing the U.S. financial system to the brink of failure in 2008. Synthetic CDOs also resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and reputational damage to these same Wall Street behemoths as investigators found that the firms were allowing hedge funds to pick “crap” subprime mortgage bonds to stuff in the CDOs in order to make windfall profits for the hedge fund, which shorted (bet against) the CDOs. The Wall Street firms had full knowledge of what the hedge funds were doing … Continue reading

Gallup Polls Show America Is Dangerously Moving in the Wrong Direction

Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO, Gallup

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 26, 2019 ~ The Gallup polling organization was out with another new study yesterday that shows America is dangerously heading in the wrong direction. Gallup’s latest poll found that Americans were more likely to be stressed and worried than much of the world. The 55 percent of Americans who said they had experienced stress the prior day was one of the highest rates out of the 143 countries studied. The global average was 35 percent. With a 55 percent stress rate, the U.S. now ranks even with Albania, Iran and Sri Lanka. Only Greece, the Philippines and Tanzania rank higher at 59, 58 and 57 percent respectively. The highest stress levels were reported among Americans aged 30 to 49, where 65 percent reported experiencing stress the prior day. The figure was just one percent lower for Americans aged 15 to 29, where 64 … Continue reading

Deutsche Bank Merger Talk Ends – Now Comes the Pain

Deutsche Bank Headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 25, 2019 ~ Anyone who thought that Commerzbank was going to agree to a merger with Deutsche Bank while the latter was under multiple investigations in the U.S. for money laundering and questionable loans to the President of the United States, a man who was himself under a criminal probe until last month, was likely off their meds. Why Commerzbank allowed the speculation of a merger to proceed this long is the real question. At any event, both banks confirmed this morning that merger talks have ended with a spokesperson for Commerzbank saying this: “After careful analysis it became apparent that such a combination would not be in the interests of either bank’s shareholders or other stakeholders.” The breakdown of merger talks comes on the heels of a report on CNN last evening that Deutsche Bank has “begun the process of providing financial … Continue reading

The Criminal Case Against Merrill Lynch: “Sinister,” “Whores,” “Beards”

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 24, 2019 ~ What the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) wanted to see the U.S. Justice Department pursue was a potential criminal prosecution of Stan O’Neal, the CEO of Merrill Lynch in the leadup to the financial crisis, and its then CFO Jeffrey Edwards, for “making materially false and misleading representations and omissions about (a) Merrill’s exposure to retained CDO positions, (b) the value of those positions and (c) the firm’s risk management.” The FCIC also believed that Merrill had lied “in the offering documents for its $1.5 billion Norma CDO that was sold to investors in March of 2007.” A CDO is a Collateralized Debt Obligation which can be stuffed with about anything but during the 2006-2007 period was typically stuffed with subprime mortgages or synthetics linked to subprime mortgages. It was Wall Street’s cash cow and through what amounted to pay-to-play … Continue reading

Maxine Waters Needs to Subpoena Details of the Fed’s Dirtiest Bailout

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 22, 2019 ~   Based on data that Wall Street On Parade has newly compiled, there is a strong suggestion that the Federal Reserve conspired with at least three of the largest Wall Street firms to hide their teetering condition from the public during the financial crisis, despite the fact that these were all New York Stock Exchange listed companies with a duty to reveal material, adverse financial information to the public in a timely fashion. If Maxine Waters wants to leave her mark in history as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, she will subpoena records from the Federal Reserve on its biggest and dirtiest bailout program, known as the Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF). She and her colleagues must then demand answers from Fed witnesses during the hearing Waters has scheduled for May 16 at 10:00 a.m. The upcoming hearing … Continue reading

Dark Pools Traded 791% More Boeing Stock During Week of 737 Max Crash

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 18, 2019 ~ Lily Tomlin once famously said “No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.” When it comes to Wall Street, that particularly rings true. Just take the case of what happened to the trading of Boeing’s stock by Dark Pools the week after the second crash of its new 737 Max 8 jet in a nose-down dive on March 10. The biggest Wall Street banks are (insanely) allowed by Federal regulators to own and operate unregulated quasi stock exchanges called Dark Pools where they trade New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq listed stocks between themselves, in the dark. The only speck of sunshine comes three weeks after the trading when the banks’ self-regulator, FINRA, posts totals for the week for each Dark Pool. There is no information on who’s on the buy and sell side or what … Continue reading

After a $354 Billion U.S. Bailout, Germany’s Deutsche Bank Still Has $49 Trillion in Derivatives

Deutsche Bank Headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 17, 2019 ~ On July 21, 2011, when the GAO released its audit of the Federal Reserve’s secret $16.1 trillion in bank loans during the financial crisis, a foreign bank ranked number 9 on the list of the largest borrowers. The loans went not just to the largest banks on Wall Street but to foreign derivative counterparties to the Wall Street banks. The foreign bank that ranked 9 on the list of the largest borrowers was Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank, which took $354 billion in revolving loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve. According to an article in the Financial Times last week “Germany’s federal and state governments have spent €70bn on bailing out banks since the financial crisis, according to an estimate by Gerhard Schick, head of lobby group Finance Watch.” The figure of  €70bn is about 79 billion U.S. dollars. Why … Continue reading

Deutsche Bank: Here’s What Maxine Waters Should Be Subpoenaing

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 16, 2019 ~ According to today’s New York Times, Democrats now in charge of the House Intelligence and Financial Services Committees, have issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank,  JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup, related to the President’s finances and/or Russian money laundering. We’d like to suggest that while that may well be a fruitful avenue of inquiry (see Russian Bank Chairman Met with Kushner, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase), it does not rise to the level of national security risk posed by the derivative interconnectedness of those same banks. The President’s approximate $300 million in loans from Deutsche Bank and its ties to Russian money laundering, pales in comparison to trillions of dollars in interconnected derivative exposure of these same banks. Americans saw what can happen when Congress ignores repeated red flags about derivatives. From 2008 through 2010 when derivatives and subprime debt … Continue reading

This Goldman Sachs Chart Explains the 2008 Financial Collapse and Why Wall Street Is Still a Dangerous Casino

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 15, 2019 ~ If you want to very quickly understand why banks stopped lending to one another in 2008, credit markets froze, bank stock prices collapsed, and the Federal Reserve secretly pumped $16 trillion into banks, just take a few moments to study this chart from the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission of the derivatives casino that Goldman Sachs and the major banks on Wall Street had become in June of 2008. Wall Street banks knew they had created a collapsing house of cards but they didn’t know just how much exposure each bank had or which bank would fail first, so they simply stopped lending to each other, causing a run on the banks. Now, take a deep breath, because we have to tell you that if there was a derivatives graph of every other major Wall Street bank in June of 2008, … Continue reading

Research Study on Ongoing Crime Spree by Wall Street Mega Banks Gets News Blackout: Here’s Why

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 12, 2019 ~ One day before Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee held an historic grilling of the CEOs of the mega banks on Wall Street, the nonprofit watchdog, Better Markets, released an in-depth research report on “Wall Street’s Six Biggest Bailed-Out Banks: Their RAP Sheets & Their Ongoing Crime Spree.” The report detailed facts, figures and this inescapable conclusion: “[Six Wall Street mega banks] have engaged in—and continue to engage in—a crime spree that spans the violation of almost every law and rule imaginable. Taking the breadth and depth of their illegal conduct as a whole, the six biggest banks in the country look like criminal enterprises with RAP sheets that would make most career criminals green with envy. That was the case not just before the 2008 crash, but also during and after the crash and their lifesaving bailouts…In fact, … Continue reading

Tough Questioning Turns Jamie Dimon into a Piñata at House Hearing

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 11, 2019 ~ What a difference a day makes. On April 9, the day before JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was to testify at a House Financial Services Committee hearing along with six of his fellow mega bank CEOs, his legions of publicists and handlers still thought there might be a presidential run in his future. Today, not so much. You know just how torturous the day was for Dimon when the worst part wasn’t his being forced to admit that his bank previously accepted African-American slaves as collateral for loans. That line of questioning came from Congressman Al Green of Texas. Green said that his ancestors were slaves and asked Dimon if it was true that JPMorgan Chase had released information in 2005 “indicating that it directly benefited from slavery” and had made loans using slaves as collateral. Dimon said he believed … Continue reading

Here’s Why Wall Street Bank CEOs Started to Sweat Yesterday about Today’s House Hearing

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 10, 2019 ~ At 8:00 a.m. yesterday, Politico’s Ben White and Aubree Eliza Weaver dropped the news nugget that the nonprofit watchdog, Better Markets, would be releasing one day ahead of today’s House hearing with the CEOs of the largest banks on Wall Street a report titled: “The RAP Sheet for Wall Street’s Biggest Banks’ Crime Spree,” which promised to detail, for the first time, “that of the more than $29 trillion in total bailouts, the six biggest banks in the country (Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo) received more than $8.2 trillion, or nearly one-third of the total bailouts provided to the entire financial system.” Wall Street On Parade has been reporting since 2012 that of the secret $16 trillion bailout loans made at almost zero interest rates by the Federal Reserve during the financial … Continue reading

Wall Street Bank CEOs Head for Grilling Tomorrow on Capitol Hill

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 9, 2019 ~  The Democrats are now in charge at the U.S. House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee and they’re proving that they’re not afraid to take on the legions of Wall Street lobbyists and lawyers in order to do their job for the American people. Tomorrow, Democrats on the Committee will be grilling the CEOs of seven of the largest Wall Street banks. The Republican Committee members, if history is any guide, will be lauding the bankers based on talking points delivered by the banks’ public relations and lobbying firms. Democrats took over the House in January and Congresswoman Maxine Waters became the Chair of the House Financial Services Committee at that time. Waters has served on this Committee for the past 28 years – a period in which she has observed unending frauds against the investing public by the mega banks … Continue reading

Steve Eisman and FrontPoint Were Shorting Wall Street Banks While the Dumb Fed Was Giving FrontPoint Emergency Loans – and that’s not the Worst Part of this Story

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 8, 2019 ~ Steve Eisman is one of the central characters in the Michael Lewis bestselling book, The Big Short. In the movie of the same name, Steve Carell portrays Eisman’s role under the name Mark Baum. During the financial crisis of 2008, Eisman was working for FrontPoint Partners LLC, a hedge fund unit of Morgan Stanley which has been widely acknowledged to have made a boatload of money shorting subprime collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) filled with subprime residential mortgages. In other words, Eisman and FrontPoint were hoping to profit on American homeowners being unable to pay their tricked-up mortgages and being thrown out on the street. But according to Lewis, Eisman was not just shorting subprime drek – he was also shorting the teetering Wall Street banks, which were, by the way, holding trillions of dollars in Federally insured deposits of Moms … Continue reading

Herman Cain, the Kochs and that Creepy Smoking Ad

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 5, 2019 ~ President Donald Trump announced yesterday from the Oval Office that he is recommending Herman Cain for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, calling him “a terrific person” and saying “I’ve told my folks that’s the man.” Cain was a presidential contender in the Republican Party in 2011 until sexual harassment charges derailed his bid. Trump’s announcement came just weeks after Trump proposed Stephen Moore for an additional open seat on the Fed. Both Cain and Moore have had close ties to Americans for Prosperity, a corporate front group tied to the Tea Party movement and created with money from the billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David. The Koch brothers are majority owners of the fossil fuels conglomerate, Koch Industries. Scott Keyes, writing for Think Progress in 2011, reported that “Cain held an official position in the Koch-funded … Continue reading

An Open Letter to Australians: Only Glass-Steagall Can Save You from the Banks

By Pam Martens: April 4, 2019 ~ Dear Engaged Citizens in Australia: As both the interim and final report from your Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has confirmed, the good, decent, hardworking people of Australia are under attack from their own banking system in a manner reminiscent of an attack from a foreign invader that wants to destroy the will and financial resources of the citizens in order to gain absolute control of the country. Americans, more than any other people in the world, can understand and relate to the precarious predicament in which you now find yourselves. The devious vices and devices of your banksters to transfer the meager savings of the common man and woman to their own greedy pockets have been laid bare by your Royal Commission. But just as happened here in the United States following the report of … Continue reading

Bloomberg News Bashes Wells Fargo While Canonizing JPMorgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon, Despite 3 Felony Counts at His Bank

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 3, 2019 ~ Since March 9 of last year, Bloomberg News has published over 80 negative articles on the mega bank Wells Fargo. Some of the more recent headlines are: Wells Fargo CEO Abruptly Steps Down, Succumbing to Scandals; Wells Fargo’s CEO Disputes Claim His Bank Is Too Big to Manage; Elizabeth Warren on Wells Fargo CEO’s Departure: ‘About Damn Time’. Judging by the reporting, one would think that Wells Fargo is either the most dangerous U.S. mega bank or the most criminal. But according to Federal regulators, that distinction goes to JPMorgan Chase. But oddly enough, Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, has been canonized by Bloomberg News for years, effectively endorsing him as the all-wise and customer-focused oracle of Wall Street. Wells Fargo has not been charged with a criminal felony count. Jamie Dimon, on the other hand, has … Continue reading