The Stock Market Is Broken as a Bellwether; Here’s How to Fix It

New York Stock Exchange

By Pam Martens: January 15, 2021 ~ I sat behind a trading terminal at two Wall Street firms from 1986 to 2006. I can assure you that if the President of the United States was refusing to accept the outcome of a presidential election and urging a coup d’é·tat by his civilian militia, the stock market would have sold off by double digits. This era’s stock market has yawned at the spectacle. I can further assure you that if an actual, violent coup d’état did occur inside the halls of Congress and played out in real time on every television network and cable news program in the country and around the world, there would have been a crash in the stock market. (I was sitting behind my trading terminal on October 19, 1987 when the Dow Jones Industrial Average crashed 22 percent by the end of the trading day and … Continue reading

The Untold Story of How the Republican Attorneys General Association, Funded with Large Sums from Corporate Felons, Including OxyContin Drug Pusher Purdue, Participated in Recruiting the Mob that Attacked the Capitol

Chris Carr, Attorney General of Georgia and Chairman of RAGA

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 14, 2021 ~ If there was ever a DEFCON 1 warning to Americans that campaign finance reform must be a top priority of the incoming President Biden administration, it is the cautionary tale of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) and their recruitment efforts of the mob that descended on the Capitol of the United States on January 6. Five people are now dead from that siege, including a Capitol Police officer, and dozens injured. The U.S. Attorneys office for Washington, D.C. has also confirmed that two live pipe bombs with timers were found in front of the Republican National Committee and Democrat National Committee, both located near the Capitol. When one thinks of a group with the word “Association” in their name, it invokes the idea that this is a fraternal organization or a trade association. What doesn’t come to mind is … Continue reading

Sherrod Brown, One of Wall Street’s Biggest Critics, Set to Take the Gavel at Senate Banking

Senator Sherrod Brown

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 13, 2021 ~ On January 7, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee, released a statement indicating that he is to become the new Chair of that Committee. The announcement came as the Democrats are set to take control of the full Senate from Republicans as a result of the Georgia runoff. Yesterday, Brown went a step further and held a conversation with major media outlets to discuss the agenda he will set as the new Chair of Senate Banking. The formal appointment process making Brown the official Chair has yet to occur, thus Brown is the “presumed” Chair. We get the feeling that Senator Brown took the very wise and preemptive step of getting mainstream media to announce his Chairmanship yesterday because he clearly understood that Wall Street’s mega banks would be fighting behind the scenes … Continue reading

Wall Street’s Felon Banks Take a Short Holiday from Financing Political Campaigns

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 12, 2021 ~ Five-count felon JPMorgan Chase is shocked – shocked! – that corporate financing of “the people’s House” has led to corruption and instability in Washington. The Board of Directors of JPMorgan Chase obviously did not see money as a corrupting influence because it has boosted the pay of its Chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon, to $31.5 million annually despite the fact that Dimon sat at the helm of this bank through its unprecedented five felony counts in a span of six years. The bank admitted to all five counts and got deferred prosecution agreements every single time from the U.S. Department of Justice. Not one of the myriad federal regulators of this bank demanded that Dimon step down as unfit to oversee a bank holding $2 trillion in depositors’ life savings as this six-year crime spree went unchecked. Now JPMorgan Chase, … Continue reading

Meet the “Conservative” Groups that Fueled a Violent Insurrection at the Capitol on January 6

Amy Kremer, Chair of the Women for America First that Organized the January 6, 2021 Event (Thumbnail

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 11, 2021 ~ It is perhaps the height of irony that the groups behind the event that led to the worst battle in the U.S. Capitol building since the British attempted to burn the place down in 1814 (during the War of 1812) call themselves Peaceably Gather, Moms for America, and the Rule of Law Defense Fund. Those names stand right alongside a group that acknowledges what it expects to go down: WildProtest.com. Many of the web pages for the nine groups listed as Coalition Partners for the January 5th and 6th event have quietly disappeared from the Internet. Fortunately, the Internet Archives’ Wayback Machine has allowed us to reconstruct what these groups were doing and saying in the leadup to an event that has, thus far, resulted in dozens of serious injuries and the deaths of five people, including a Capitol Police … Continue reading

After Mnuchin Demanded that Fed Chair Powell Return Hundreds of Billions from Its Emergency Lending Facilities, Fed Sends Back Just $41.3 Billion

Fed Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 8, 2021 ~ We have become convinced that the allocation of $454 billion under the CARES Act stimulus legislation to cover any losses incurred in the Fed’s emergency bailout programs was a dog and pony show created by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (who has testified to Congress that he helped write the legislation) in order to provide Mnuchin with a slush fund to trade in markets. (See Trump Issued an Executive Memorandum Giving Mnuchin a $50 Billion Slush Fund; Mnuchin Gave Himself $386 Billion More.) Our suspicions are heightened by the fact that the Fed ran very similar emergency bailout programs from 2007 to 2010 and did not require any funds from the Treasury to backstop losses. The Fed simply relied on collateral from the Wall Street firms borrowing from the Fed. If those firms don’t have the collateral today, then they’re … Continue reading

After Coddling Trump for Four Years, WSJ Editorial Board Joins Other Newspapers in Calling for Trump to Leave Office Immediately

Donald Trump

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 8, 2021 ~ The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board, which has coddled Trump for his entire four years in office, now apparently realizes that its own credibility is being called into question. So it is now calling for Trump to resign, writing as follows yesterday: “In concise summary, on Wednesday the leader of the executive branch incited a crowd to march on the legislative branch. The express goal was to demand that Congress and Vice President Mike Pence reject electors from enough states to deny Mr. Biden an Electoral College victory. When some in the crowd turned violent and occupied the Capitol, the President caviled and declined for far too long to call them off. When he did speak, he hedged his plea with election complaint. “This was an assault on the constitutional process of transferring power after an election. It was also … Continue reading

Trump’s “Patriots” Disgrace U.S. on Front Pages Across Five Continents

Hamburger Morgenpost, January 7, 2021 (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 7, 2021 ~ There is growing anger in America today as the public has time to digest the violent video footage of Trump’s citizen militia storming the Capital building yesterday. According to the Washington, D.C. Police Chief, Robert Contee, four people died during the melee, one woman from a gunshot wound inside the Capital building and three others from “medical emergencies.” Contee also reported that at least 56 police officers were injured. As questions grow as to why the Capitol Police were not adequately prepared for the invasion, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy announced at a news conference today that the military is erecting a seven-foot, non-scalable fence around the full perimeter of the Capitol. McCarthy also announced that 6,200 National Guard troops from Washington, D.C. and six states will be deployed to the area. McCarthy said these security measures will be in place … Continue reading

Death and Mayhem Inside the Capitol Building and the Stock Market Gains 437.8 Points. Why?

Attack on the Capitol, January 6, 2021

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 7, 2021 ~ As a violent mob of Trump’s citizen militia scaled walls, broke windows and seized control of the Capitol building yesterday around 2 p.m., the Dow Jones Industrial Average set a new intraday high of 31,022.65. It gave up very little by the 4 p.m. close, gaining 437.8 points on the day. The Trump operatives were attempting to stop Congress from confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral win. Dressed in paramilitary clothing or jeans and red MAGA hats, the mob overpowered the Capitol Police inside and outside the building, gaining access to both Senate and House chambers and lawmaker offices, including the office of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Jamie Stiehm, a US political columnist, was inside the Capitol building and reported the following for the BBC: “I went inside to the House of Representatives and up into the press … Continue reading

Janet Yellen’s Cash Haul of $7 Million Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg; She Failed to Report Her Wall Street Speaking Fees from JPMorgan and Others in 2018

David Zervos and Janet Yellen, April 2, 2018

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 6, 2021 ~ On December 29 we needed a clarification from former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers about his opinion column against Congress issuing $2,000 stimulus checks. We sent him an email at 10:13 a.m. and received a very clear response from him directly at 12:51 p.m. that day — a span of a few hours. Compare that timely response to Janet Yellen’s respect for the media’s obligation to report a full set of facts to the American people. Three days ago, we contacted Yellen at four different entities with which she is affiliated. Only the Brookings Institution responded, saying she was on leave. President-elect Joe Biden’s media team did not respond at all, nor did the Washington Speakers Bureau and University of California, Berkeley. Yellen is Biden’s nominee for U.S. Treasury Secretary. In anticipation of her Senate confirmation hearing, she has released her … Continue reading

Pull Back the Curtain on Trump’s Call to Georgia Election Officials and Out Pops the Kochtopus

Cleta Mitchell, Law Partner at Foley & Mitchell

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 5, 2021 ~ Last Saturday, the sitting President of the United States, Donald Trump, called the Secretary of State of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, and told him this: “I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break.” The Washington Post has posted the audio of the call. That phone call has come under withering criticism as an attempt to coerce votes from a state Trump lost in the November 3 election. Among those on the call as an apparent advisor to Trump was attorney Cleta Mitchell, who at no point suggested to Trump that what he was saying might be illegal. Mitchell is a long-time law partner at Foley & Lardner, which is now attempting to distance itself from the mess. The law firm released a statement which coyly stated: “We are aware of, and are concerned by, Ms. Mitchell’s … Continue reading

Wall Street’s Casino Banks, Taking Deposits from Savers, in 1929 and Today

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 4, 2021 ~ Following the stock market crash in 1929, more than 9,000 banks in the United States failed over the next four years. In just the one year of 1933, more than 4,000 banks closed their doors permanently as a result of insolvency. The 1930s banking crisis came to a head on March 6, 1933, just one day after President Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated. Following a month-long run on the banks, Roosevelt declared a nationwide banking holiday that closed all banks in the United States. On March 9, 1933 Congress passed the Emergency Banking Act which allowed regulators to evaluate each bank before it was permitted to reopen. Thousands of banks were deemed insolvent and permanently closed. It is estimated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) that depositors lost $1.3 billion to failed banks in that era. That would be … Continue reading

Gallup Polling: For the Past 18 Years, U.S. Adults Have Preferred Real Estate as an Investment Over Stocks

Americans' Views on the Best Long-Term Investment

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: December 31, 2020 ~ Happy New Year’s Eve 2020 and welcome to a correctly skeptical America when it comes to Wall Street. Despite the President of the United States using his bully pulpit for the past four years to tell Americans how great the stock market is (see here, here and here, for example) Gallup polling shows that U.S. adults have consistently favored real estate as the better long-term investment over stocks. (See chart above.) In fact, in the April 1-14 poll that Gallup conducted this year, stocks reached their lowest score versus real estate since 2012. In the spring poll, which followed the sharp stock market selloff in March, 35 percent of adults rated real estate the better long-term investment versus 21 percent who voted for stocks. The perception that Wall Street is a rigged arena for the benefit of the one percent … Continue reading

These Are the Very Real Dangers to the U.S. Economy of Not Issuing $2,000 Stimulus Checks 

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: December 30, 2020 ~ The question of just how much fiscal stimulus and COVID-19 relief payments are needed right now in order to prevent the U.S. economy from going off a cliff requires a recognition of what we do not know about the actual fragility of the U.S. economy over the next 12 months and the current fragility of the financial system of the United States. We start from the factual premise that the current financial crisis did not originate as a result of the pandemic. The plumbing of the financial system broke on September 17, 2019, months before the first COVID-19 case was discovered anywhere in the world. We know this because this is the date that the Federal Reserve announced it would begin acting as lender of last resort to the repo loan market on Wall Street. (Repos are a form of … Continue reading

Every Time Larry Summers Challenges Bernie Sanders, It Ends Badly for All Americans

Larry Summers, Official Oil Portrait of U.S. Treasury Secretary by Everett Raymond Kinstler

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: December 29, 2020 ~ As Senator Bernie Sanders advocates for $2,000 pandemic relief checks for struggling Americans, Larry Summers is challenging the premise of $2,000 checks using ginned-up statistics that were dubiously published by Bloomberg News on Sunday. Larry Summers stepped into Robert Rubin’s post as Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton after Rubin left to make $15 million a year serving on Citigroup’s board. Citigroup was the Frankenbank that both Summers and Rubin made possible by advocating for the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. That seminal piece of legislation from 1933 had successfully banned the combination of deposit-taking banks with Wall Street’s casino trading houses for 66 years until these two men and their ilk got Clinton to sign its repeal in 1999. At the November 12, 1999 signing ceremony for the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the legislation that repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, Summers said … Continue reading