Wall Street CEOs Want the Line Between a Federally-Insured Bank and a Wall Street Trading Casino Erased; Regulators Want Higher Capital to Prevent That

David Solomon, Chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: December 7, 2023 ~ David Solomon, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, let it slip out at yesterday’s Senate Banking hearing what is really driving the mega banks’ backlash against federal banking regulators’ proposal to raise capital requirements at banks with more than $100 billion in total consolidated assets. (Community banks would not be impacted by the proposed capital increases.) Solomon responded as follows to a question on the proposed new rules, attempting to justify how the trillions of dollars in derivatives his firm is holding inside its federally insured and taxpayer-backstopped commercial bank, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, is helping the country and that raising capital requirements on those trades would raise costs to consumers: “You can look at airlines hedging jet fuel; you wanna look at other derivatives, which obviously gets passed on to consumers; you can look at gas being hedged in utilities, … Continue reading

Don’t Cry for the Lowest Paid Wall Street Mega Bank CEO Just Yet; He’s Moving Up Fast

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: December 6, 2023 ~ To stem some of the whining by the CEOs of the eight largest Wall Street mega banks at a Senate Banking hearing today (where they are expected to gripe about newly proposed higher capital requirements and whimper that it will hurt their ability to make loans to the little folks) the Banking Committee released the CEOs’ 2022 total compensation and its ratio to their bank’s median worker. Among the most embarrassing and obscene pay packages was the 2022 compensation to Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, which came in at $34.9 million. The ratio of Dimon’s pay to the pay of the median worker at JPMorgan Chase was 393 to 1, the highest among the eight CEOs at the hearing. (For more on the zombie Board at JPMorgan Chase that keeps rewarding Dimon for the bank’s serial criminal behavior, … Continue reading

Jamie Dimon to Testify at Senate Banking Hearing; Don’t Expect His Bank’s Financing of Sex Trafficking or 5 Felony Counts to Come Up

Jamie Dimon Being Sworn In at House Financial Services Committee Hearing, May 27, 2021

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: December 5, 2023 ~ Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., the CEOs of the eight mega banks on Wall Street will take their seats at a hearing called by the Senate Banking Committee as part of its annual nod to the pretense that it is providing oversight of these inscrutable Frankenbanks. Among the gang of eight will be Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States with a rap sheet that makes a mockery of U.S. rules for maintaining the safety and soundness of banks. JPMorgan Chase is an enigma wrapped in the surreal details of five felony counts, shrouded in the deepening intrigue of why crime boss Jamie Dimon is allowed to remain at the helm of this federally-insured bank despite his presiding over the worst banking scandals in U.S. history. The scandals at this bank have evolved from … Continue reading

The Number of IPO Listings Has Plunged in the U.S. While Some Investors Are Nursing Losses of 70 to 95 Percent

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: December 4, 2023 ~ Through last Friday, there have been 148 IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) in the U.S. this year, the lowest number in the past six years. But what is more striking about the U.S. IPO market is how poorly these IPOs have performed for investors. Through December 1, 87 of the 148 IPOs (59 percent) that made their debut this year have a share price that is negative from the offering price. Even more stunning, 34 of the IPOs have losses of 70 percent to more than 90 percent from their offering price. Another 19 IPOs have losses of 50 percent to 69 percent of their offering price. This is not a good look for what stock exchanges in the U.S. are willing to list and offer up as publicly-traded companies to mom and pop investors, public pension funds and the like. The … Continue reading

The U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crisis Warning Bell Didn’t Ring Before the Repo Crisis of 2019 or This Year’s Bank Runs

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 30, 2023 ~ The Office of Financial Research (OFR) is a unit of the U.S. Treasury Department. OFR was created as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010 to keep the Financial Stability Oversight Council (F-SOC) informed about emerging threats that have the potential to spread contagion throughout the U.S. financial system — as occurred in 2008 in the worst financial crash since the Great Depression. Janet Yellen, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, chairs F-SOC. Its members include the heads of every federal banking and Wall Street regulator, who meet regularly to assess any threats on the horizon that could lead to financial instability in the U.S. One of the data charts that OFR makes available both to F-SOC and the public to assess accelerating financial problems is its Financial Stress Index. OFR describes that index as follows: “The OFR Financial Stress Index … Continue reading

The Apple Credit Card from Goldman Sachs Has Been a Co-Branding Nightmare; Now Apple Wants a Divorce

Goldman Sachs Protester (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 29, 2023 ~ The employee at Apple who was put in charge of conducting due diligence on aligning the Apple credit card brand with Goldman Sachs, needs to be immediately demoted to sorting envelopes in the mail room. It has been a match made in hell, generating headlines in the business press over the billions of dollars Goldman Sachs has lost attempting to ramp up a credit card division from scratch while spawning federal investigations into Goldman’s less than timely handling of credit card customer complaints about fraudulent charges, billing errors, refunds, etc. After hundreds of those complaints piled up at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Bureau opened a federal investigation. (The CFPB is the federal agency created to hear directly from defrauded consumers following the 2008 Wall Street-generated financial crisis). In the most recent quarterly report filed by Goldman with the … Continue reading

Fed Data on Cash Assets at the Biggest Banks Depicts an Out-of-Control Fed and Banking System

Fed's Repo Loans to Largest Borrowers, Q4 2019, Adjusted for Term of Loan -- Thumbprint

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 28, 2023 ~ FRED is a giant online database at the St. Louis Fed that allows anyone to graph the financial and economic data stored in its repositories. We use the data regularly to bring our readers a crystal-clear snapshot of the increasingly dangerous underpinnings of the U.S. financial system. Let’s start with the first chart above. This chart depicts the cash assets held by the 25 largest U.S. commercial banks. The Fed defines the term “cash assets” as “vault cash, cash items in process of collection, balances due from depository institutions, and balances due from Federal Reserve Banks.” Notice that from April 1, 1985 to just before the financial crash of 2008, cash levels at the biggest banks were as steady as a soft breeze on a spring day. But from that point on through today, there have been freakish spikes and plunges … Continue reading

Watchdog to Fed: JPMorgan Is Controlling Fossil Fuels Empire, Which Just Spilled a Million Gallons of Oil in Gulf of Mexico

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 27, 2023 ~ The formidable Washington watchdog, Public Citizen, has trained its sights on JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon’s house of serial frauds and felony counts that is allowed to also operate as the largest federally-insured bank in the United States. Public Citizen’s pursuit of JPMorgan Chase began in 2019 when its Energy Program Director, Tyson Slocum, began investigating a hodge podge of private equity shell companies using the name Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF). At the time, IIF was in the process of buying El Paso Electric and Public Citizen smelled something rotten and started digging. Public Citizen concluded that JPMorgan Chase was controlling IIF. Public Citizen then filed a series of complaints in the matter with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC is not a federal agency that JPMorgan Chase should be riling up again. In 2013, FERC fined the bank $410 million … Continue reading

Six Big Banks Forced to Declare $9.3 Billion in Additional FDIC Expenses; Another Reason Their Talons Are Out for FDIC Chair Gruenberg

Bank Logos (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 22, 2023 ~ The biggest banks in the U.S. that have been serially bailed out by the Federal Reserve since they blew up the financial system in 2008, are ripping mad at the Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Martin Gruenberg. In addition to the FDIC and other federal banking regulators’ proposed rule to increase capital requirements on the largest banks, the FDIC just issued a final rule on November 16 that will force six banks to report an FDIC special assessment expense totaling more than $9.3 billion in the final quarter of this year. (See chart above.) Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, is hair-on-fire mad because his bank is getting hit with the whopping figure of approximately $3 billion according to the firm’s most recent quarterly filing (10-Q) with the SEC. The most recent 10-Q filings with the … Continue reading

A Deep Dive into the Unprecedented Wall Street Journal Attack on FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg

Martin Gruenberg, Chair, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 21, 2023 ~ In seven of the past nine days, a Wall Street Journal article has been published attacking the culture of the bank regulator, the FDIC, and/or its Chairman, Martin Gruenberg, a Democrat and Biden nominee. The cumulative total of this attack so far is eight articles bylined by Rebecca Ballhaus (one was co-bylined with Andrew Ackerman); an unsigned Wall Street Journal video; and a podcast interview with Rebecca Ballhaus on her reporting about the FDIC and Gruenberg. According to one Ballhaus article, the Wall Street Journal investigation included “interviews with more than 100 current and former employees, including more than 20 women who quit.” The thrust of the unprecedented volume of articles in such a short span of time is that a culture of sexual harassment has existed for years at the FDIC, under both Republican and Democratic leadership. But after more … Continue reading