If the Fed Is Bailing Out the Repo Market, Can Commercial Paper Be Far Behind?

John Williams, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 19, 2019 ~ According to the most recent statistical release from the Federal Reserve, the average annual interest rate on 90-day AA-rated financial commercial paper has risen from 2.18 percent in 2018 to 2.27 percent through November 15 of this year. The rise in the average annual interest rate on 90-day commercial paper contrasts with the fact that since May of this year, the 90-day (3-month) Treasury bill’s yield has moved sharply lower, from 2.4 percent to yesterday’s closing yield of 1.56 percent – a decline of 35 percent. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has effectively become the repo market – pumping out upwards of $3 trillion to that market since September 17. Can we expect the Fed to turn on the money spigot to the commercial paper market next? We raise this scenario because that’s exactly what the Fed did … Continue reading

As Fed Pumps $3 Trillion into Repo Market, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Practice Borrowing from the Fed’s Discount Window

ames Gorman (left) Chairman and CEO, Morgan Stanley; David Solomon (right) Chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 18, 2019 ~ Last week, Jim Grant, the Editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, was interviewed by CNBC’s Rick Santelli. Grant said that since September 17, the Fed has pumped “upwards of $3 trillion” in repo loans to Wall Street. Santelli asked if the Fed had effectively nationalized the repo market. Grant said “there is no more price discovery and we are dealing with administered rates.” For the first time since the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has been pumping out hundreds of billions of dollars each week to trading houses on Wall Street in order to provide liquidity to the repo (repurchase agreement) market where financial institutions make collateralized, overnight loans to each other. Liquidity had dried up in this market to the point that on September 17 overnight lending rates spiked from the typical 2 percent to … Continue reading

Fed’s Powell Says Forensic Work Ongoing on Liquidity Crisis; This Chart Shows Why He’s Worried

Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Lincoln Financial Stock Price, September 17, 2019 to November 14, 2019

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 15, 2019 ~ Yesterday, for the second day in a row, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, gave testimony and took questions before a Congressional Committee. On Wednesday it was the Joint Economic Committee; yesterday it was the House Budget Committee. On both days, only one member of the Committee dared to ask a question about the hundreds of billions of dollars the Fed is hurling at Wall Street each week in repo loans. The crisis in the repo loan market, where financial institutions make overnight loans to each other, began on September 17 when the interest rate spiked from the typical range of 2 percent to 10 percent. For the first time since the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve had to step in with lots of cash to ease the liquidity stresses. The Fed has continued to offer that cash … Continue reading

The Fed Has Created the Big Lie for Congress on its Repo Loans while the New York Fed Blocks Freedom of Information Requests

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 14, 2019 ~ Yesterday Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. Only one Congressman, Kenny Marchant (R-TX), had the courage to ask Powell about the Fed’s intervention in the repo loan market beginning on September 17. Since that time the Fed has been pumping hundreds of billions of dollars each week (that the New York Fed creates electronically out of thin air) into its 24 primary dealers on Wall Street. These primary dealers are not commercial banks that might be inclined to use the funds to make loans to local businesses or to consumers to buy a house and help their local economies. No, 23 of the 24 primary dealers are stock brokerage firms and investment banks that engage in leveraged bets in the stock, bond, commodities, and derivatives markets. The 24th is a foreign bank. (See … Continue reading

JPMorgan Has Radically Changed Its Balance Sheet, Shrinking Its Cash at the Fed by $145 Billion

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 13, 2019 ~ JPMorgan Chase is not a bank that federal regulators can simply put on autopilot and hope for the best. When the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations conducted a formal probe into how the bank lost $6.2 billion of its federally-insured bank’s deposits by gambling in derivatives in London in 2012, the Chair of the subcommittee, former Senator Carl Levin, said that the bank had “piled on risk, hid losses, disregarded risk limits, manipulated risk models, dodged oversight, and misinformed the public.” Over the past five years, the bank has admitted to three criminal felony charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and is currently under an ongoing criminal probe by federal prosecutors over charges that its traders ran an eight-year criminal enterprise out of its precious metals trading desk in New York. But it seems that the Federal … Continue reading

This Fed President Thinks Wall Street Banks Should Stop Whining for the Fed to Bail Them Out and Plan for their Own Liquidity

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 12, 2019 ~ Later this afternoon, Neel Kashkari, the outspoken President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, will deliver the keynote address at a conference on “Wisconsin and the National Economy” at the Madison campus of the University of Wisconsin. Tomorrow, he’ll be taking questions at a Town Hall in the University of Wisconsin’s Student Union on the La Crosse campus. Given Kashkari’s recent remarks on his lack of sympathy for the whining New York bankers who are demanding a liquidity bailout from the Fed – and on their own terms – we’ll be watching closely to see what he has to say today and tomorrow. Last month Kashkari gave a harsh and candid interview with Yahoo! Finance (see YouTube video clip below) about the complaints from New York bankers that the New York Fed was tardy in riding to rescue the … Continue reading

The Fed’s Repo Bailout and JPMorgan’s 38 Trading Floors

Jamie Dimon Sits in Front of Trading Monitor in his Office (Source -- 60 Minutes Interview, November 10, 2019)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 11, 2019 ~ Since September 17 of this year, the central bank of the United States, the Federal Reserve, has been pumping hundreds of billions of dollars each week to unnamed trading firms on Wall Street. We know the loans are going to trading firms because the loans are being made to the 24 primary dealers (see list below) with whom the New York Fed conducts open market operations. (The list includes one foreign bank and 23 stock brokerage houses and investment banks.) The New York Fed has publicly disclosed that the loans are going to primary dealers but will not say which firms are getting the bulk of the money. The Fed did something very similar to this under a facility it called the Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF) during the financial crisis. It kept the names of the firms getting the … Continue reading

Jamie Dimon Tells 60 Minutes He’s a Patriot; There’s Good Reason to Think He’s a Crime Boss

Is Jamie Dimon a Patriot

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 10, 2019 ~ Jamie Dimon was interviewed by Lesley Stahl this evening on the CBS investigative news program, 60 Minutes. The gist of Dimon’s argument is that candidates for President, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren, should stop vilifying him simply because he’s “successful.” Dimon also wants the public to know that it’s “dead wrong” to think he’s not a “patriot.” Dimon is a bit more than “successful” when it comes to the pile of money he has accumulated. According to Forbes, Dimon is worth $1.6 billion. The bulk of that money has come from stock grants while serving as Chief Executive Officer of the largest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase, since December 31, 2005 as well as Chairman of the Board since December 31, 2006. Unfortunately, there is a very substantive argument against Dimon being a patriot and a very persuasive argument … Continue reading

This Federal Agency Is Investigating Why the Fed Is Bailing Out Wall Street Again

Jelena McWilliams, Chair of the FDIC

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 8, 2019 ~ Jelena McWilliams is a Trump appointee who currently serves as the Chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the federal agency responsible for insuring the deposits of commercial banks and savings associations in the United States. McWilliams also knows her way around Wall Street. Her resume at the FDIC states that “Before entering public service, she practiced corporate and securities law at Morrison & Foerster LLP in Palo Alto, California, and Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells LLP) in Washington, D.C.” As a corporate lawyer, McWilliams “represented publicly and privately-held companies in mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, strategic business ventures, venture capital investments, and general corporate matters.” McWilliams put her Wall Street savvy to work from 2012 to 2017 in the positions of deputy staff director, chief counsel and senior counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee where … Continue reading

Wall Street’s Liquidity Crisis: It’s Not Getting Better

Deutsche Bank Thumbnail

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 7, 2019 ~ This morning, Wall Street’s money spigot arm of the Federal Reserve, the New York Fed, paid out $35 billion in 14-day term loans to Wall Street’s trading houses. The problem was, this morning the banks wanted $41.15 billion or $6.15 billion more than the Fed was offering. That’s a very clear sign that liquidity remains tight on Wall Street and we have yet to enter the pivotal year-end period when banks try to dress up their books by dumping or parking their most toxic positions. Between the term loan and the overnight loan, the New York Fed paid out $115 billion this morning to unnamed securities firms on Wall Street. (The Fed won’t say who is doing all of this borrowing and Congress can’t summon the willpower to hold a hearing.)  According to the most recent schedule provided by the … Continue reading

Dangerous Liaisons: New York Fed and JPMorgan’s Incestuous Relationship

New York Fed Headquarters Building in Lower Manhattan

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 6, 2019 ~ The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (New York Fed) is just one of the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks around the country. But it has amassed enormous powers for itself since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913. Three of those powers dwarf all others: the ability to create money electronically at the push of a button; the accepted right to meddle in the markets; and the supervision of some of the largest bank holding companies in America. After Wall Street blew itself up under the indulging and incompetent supervision of the New York Fed in 2008 and it was exposed that the Fed had secretly created $29 trillion in electronic money to bail out zombie banks – most of that funneled out by the New York Fed – most rational folks would have assumed that Congress would have … Continue reading

The Fed’s Wall Street Bailout May Go into Overdrive in December

Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 5, 2019 ~ The Fed is in deep fear, while also in deep denial, about what happened last December. Its fear is that it could happen again this December. Its denial is that its lax supervision of the Wall Street mega banks is largely responsible for the mess. The stock market news on December 24 of last year was not what folks want to be reading about on Christmas Eve. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had plunged 653 points on Christmas Eve and headline writers across major media were declaring the month to have been the worst December for stocks since the Great Depression. But the declines in the broader stock market averages paled in comparison to the December carnage that occurred in the share prices of the mega banks on Wall Street and, to the Fed’s consternation, the insurance companies that are … Continue reading

As the Fed Throws Hundreds of Billions a Week at Wall Street Banks for Liquidity, JPMorgan’s IIF Can Afford to Buy El Paso Electric

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 4, 2019 ~ David Dayen of American Prospect has a must-read article. The headline and subhead read: “JPMorgan Gets Back Into the Electricity Business: An El Paso, Texas, electric utility is being purchased by an investment fund with deep, undisclosed ties to the big bank.” Dayen is not buying into the idea that it’s an investment fund at JPMorgan that’s buying El Paso Electric, a publicly traded electric utility, but that the deal is simply being “laundered through an allegedly independent investment fund,” due to the fact that “48 executives of the investment fund are actually paid employees of JPMorgan….” Why wouldn’t JPMorgan Chase want to admit that it plans to make an outright purchase of an electric utility company serving 429,000 customers in Texas and New Mexico? For starters, the bank has been charged, and admitted to, three criminal felony counts within … Continue reading

McDonald’s CEO Gets Fired for Relationship with Subordinate; Jamie Dimon Survives Three Felony Counts and an Organized Crime Trading Desk Charge

Steve Easterbrook, Fired CEO of McDonald's

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 4, 2019 ~ Corporate America is increasingly sending conflicting messages to its top executives: engaging in relationships with subordinates, consensual or otherwise, will cost you your job – but criminal acts involving looting the public, not so much. Steve Easterbrook, the CEO of the fast food chain, McDonald’s, was fired by his Board yesterday for engaging in a consensual relationship with an employee, in violation of company policy. The Board of the largest bank in the United States, on the other hand, JPMorgan Chase, has not fired its Chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon, despite the following occurring on his watch: $6.2 billion in losses from a high-risk gamble with derivatives in London in 2012 – using, mind you, the deposits of its federally-insured bank. Then came 2014 when the bank was charged for its role in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. The Madoff … Continue reading

Fed Loans: These Charts Hold a Big Clue to the Liquidity Squeeze on Wall Street

S&P 500 Versus Morgan Stanley (MS), Credit Suisse (CS), Citigroup (C) and Deutsche Bank Since January 1, 2007

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 1, 2019 ~ Fed Chairman Jerome Powell had a Greenspan moment on Wednesday during his press conference. He made several Goldilocks statements about the banks that are going to come back to haunt him just as former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan’s Alice in Wonderland remarks to Congress in the leadup to the greatest financial crash since the Great Depression have now made him appear to have been either lying to Congress or dangerously out of touch. It took just a few moments for us to pull up some charts to disprove the statements made by Powell. Powell stated the following during the Q&A portion of the press conference: “So, we monitor financial stability risks very carefully all of the time. It’s what we do since the financial crisis, as I’ve mentioned before. Currently, we don’t see large imbalances. This long expansion is notable … Continue reading

Fed’s Latest Plan for Bailing Out Wall Street Banks: Let Them Overdraft their Accounts at the Fed

Victoria Guida, Reporter for Politico (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 31, 2019 ~ Yesterday, following the announcement of another 1/4 point interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell held a press conference at 2:30 p.m. It proved to be an embarrassing and shameful example of New York City-centric business journalism. Seven business journalists from leading business news outlets that cover Wall Street asked questions in the first 23 minutes of the press conference. Not one of these reporters asked about the liquidity crisis on Wall Street that has resulted in the Fed offering $690 billion a week to 23 Wall Street securities firms and one foreign bank as well as a newly launched “don’t call it QE4” operation by the Fed to buy up $60 billion a month in Treasury bills from Wall Street dealers. The Fed began its repo loan interventions on September 17 of … Continue reading

New York Fed’s Repo Loans Are Foaming the Hedge Fund Runways

Mark Carney, BOE Governor (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 30, 2019 ~ There is growing evidence that the New York Fed, the Wall Street feeding tube team of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, is using its massive new repo loan operations to securities firms (primary dealers) to foam the Wall Street runways to try to avoid a crash landing as money gushes out of hedge funds by the tens of billions of dollars. According to a report at eVestment, investors pulled $29.37 billion from hedge funds in the third quarter of this year, bringing the total year-to-date to an eyebrow-raising $76.86 billion. That’s more than twice the amount that was withdrawn in all of last year. Hedge funds are highly-leveraged, so $76.86 billion in withdrawals could translate into hundreds of billions of dollars of liquidations in stock and bond markets. The report further notes that this is the “sixth consecutive quarterly … Continue reading

Federal Reserve Spokesman Explains How It Creates Money Out of Thin Air to Pump Out to Wall Street

The Wall Street Bubble

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 29, 2019 ~ On January 19, 2011, the Federal Reserve released a video on YouTube to quell the public uproar over its unaccountable money creation operations. The spokesman for the Fed in the video was their Senior Adviser at the time, Steve Meyer, now an Adjunct Professor of Finance at The Wharton School. The Fed was in the middle of its second round of quantitative easing (QE2) and Meyer states this: “The Fed will not keep buying large amounts of securities on an ongoing basis.” The Fed was so intent on conveying the “temporary” nature of its unprecedented actions that it put that statement by Meyer on the screen. (See screen shot above.) Meyer then immediately adds this about the Fed: “Its purchases are a temporary measure to help the economy recover.” But the Fed’s purchases were not temporary. On September 13, 2012 … Continue reading

The Fed Fears an Explosion on Wall Street: Here’s How JPMorgan Lit the Fuse

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 28, 2019 ~  JPMorgan Chase is the largest bank in the United States with $1.6 trillion in deposits from more than 5,000 retail bank branches spread across the country. When it withdraws liquidity from the U.S. financial system, that has a reverberating impact.  According to the filings that JPMorgan Chase makes annually with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), since 2013 JPMorgan Chase has spent $77 billion buying back its own stock. That includes the whopping $17.01 billion it has spent in just the first nine months of this year buying back its stock. But here’s the shocking news. According to its SEC filings, JPMorgan Chase is partly using Federally insured deposits made by moms and pops across the country in its more than 5,000 branches to prop up its share price with buybacks. The wording in the filing is as follows: “In … Continue reading

Remembering Mark Pittman, the One Journalist Who Would Have Been All Over the Fed’s Latest Wall Street Bailouts

Mark Pittman

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 25, 2019 ~ Today would have been Mark Pittman’s 62nd birthday. Pittman died of a heart attack at age 52 on November 25, 2009 in the midst of a pitched court battle with the Federal Reserve to obtain data on its secret loans to Wall Street. Writing for Bloomberg News, Pittman was one of the preeminent chroniclers during the financial crisis of the Federal Reserve’s hubris in refusing to shed any light on what eventually turned out to be an astounding $29 trillion of money it created out of thin air to bail out Wall Street’s mega banks and their foreign bank derivatives counterparties. Pittman had appeared in the documentary, American Casino, produced by Leslie and Andrew Cockburn. In that documentary, the Cockburns brilliantly pieced together for the American people the wealth transfer scheme concocted by the mega banks on Wall Street, which … Continue reading

Quietly, U.S. and Foreign Banks Have Increased their Borrowings from U.S. Money Market Funds

New York Stock Exchange

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 25, 2019 ~ Memories are apparently very short at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC seems to have forgotten that a run on money market funds holding bank commercial paper set off a panic after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy filing on September 15, 2008. The government had to step in and guarantee the funds. Despite those disastrous days, the SEC has allowed money market funds being sold in the U.S. to hold a staggering $642 billion in the instruments of foreign banks, as of September 30, 2019. It categorizes those instruments as: certificates of deposits, time deposits, sponsored asset-backed commercial paper, and repurchase agreements (repos) where the bank is the counterparty. On top of the $642 billion in the instruments of foreign banks, the money market funds are holding another $292 billion in the instruments of U.S. banks, bringing the total … Continue reading

What Are They Smoking at CNBC?

WSOP Staff: October 25, 2019 ~ Yesterday, the headline above appeared at CNBC. The headline writers there must be living in an alternative reality. Let us remind CNBC viewers what 2019 is actually shaping up to be: it’s the year that the highest priced stock in the price-weighted Dow Jones Industrial Average, Boeing, can’t figure out how to safely fly the plane, the 737 Max, that it has sold to airlines around the world. The stock charts of two of the biggest IPOs of the year, Uber and Lyft, look like crash landings themselves. Another much hyped IPO, WeWork, couldn’t achieve liftoff because its Chairman and CEO was engaging in shady self-dealings with the company. And yet, despite Adam Neumann’s disastrously failed management of his company, SoftBank paid him $1.7 billion to take a hike as thousands of about-to-be fired workers looked on in disgust. And, we should add, despite … Continue reading

Fed Ups Its Wall Street Bailout to $690 Billion a Week as Media Snoozes

Media Buries Its Head in the Sand over Fed's Repo Loans

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 24, 2019 ~ Yesterday the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (New York Fed) announced that the giant money spigot it turned on for Wall Street on September 17 would be growing exponentially beginning today. The New York Fed will now be lavishing up to $120 billion a day in cheap overnight loans to Wall Street securities trading firms, a daily increase of $45 billion from its previously announced $75 billion a day. In addition, it is increasing its 14-day term loans to Wall Street, a program which also came out of the blue in September, to $45 billion. Those term loans since September have been occurring twice a week, meaning another $90 billion a week will be offered, bringing the total weekly offering to an astounding $690 billion. It should be noted that if the same Wall Street firms are getting these … Continue reading

Elizabeth Warren Demands Repo Loan Answers as NY Fed Repo Data Disappears

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 22, 2019 ~ From this past Friday evening through Sunday, if you clicked on any of the web pages at the New York Fed pertaining to the hundreds of billions of dollars it has been pumping out weekly to Wall Street’s securities firms since September 17, you saw the message below: We emailed the New York Fed’s media contact and asked why all of the other web pages at the New York Fed were working just fine but only its repo operation data and announcements had up and disappeared. We received no response. The web pages have since been restored with some tweaking that seems to have the intent of making this massive money spigot to Wall Street, for the first time since the financial crisis, appear to be just your ole run of the mill open market operation from your ole reliable … Continue reading

WeWork’s Unraveling Is Another Indictment of Wall Street’s Universal Bank Model

Adam Neumann

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 22, 2019 ~ WeWork is just one more in a long series of Wall Street scandals that prove that the universal banking model is little more than a thinly-disguised wealth transfer system from the pockets of average Americans to the 1 percent. Just two months ago WeWork’s two lead Wall Street underwriters, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, were planning to offer WeWork’s shares to the public investor at a valuation in excess of $47 billion. Now we are learning that the company may run out of money next month and has an actual valuation of $8 billion or less. WeWork’s founder, Adam Neumann, who was attempting to cash out of his company that had never made a dime of profits in its nine years of existence and had run up losses of $900 million in just the first six months of this year, … Continue reading