Is Citigroup Under Orders from Its Regulators to Break Itself Up?

Jane Fraser, Citigroup CEO

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 20, 2022 ~ The last thing that Fed Chairman Powell needs in his second term are the sleazy details of the Fed’s trading scandal being released by investigators and to have to bail out the same megabank that Fed Chair Bernanke secretly bailed out from December 2007 through at least mid-July 2010. Obviously, we’re talking about Citigroup. Citigroup has been announcing major asset sales so rapidly since December that one has to wonder if the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and/or the Fed is cracking the whip. (We’ll get to the significant details of why that might be the case in a moment.) On January 11, Citigroup announced that it intended to sell its consumer, small business and middle-market banking operations of Banco Nacional de México, otherwise known as Banamex. In 2017, Citigroup settled a criminal probe with the U.S. Department of Justice … Continue reading

A Nomura Document May Shed Light on the Repo Blowup and Fed Bailout of the Gang of Six in 2019

Fed Chair Jerome Powell Testifying Before Senate Banking Committee, November 30, 2021

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 19, 2022 ~ There are numerous reasons that members of Congress, bank regulators, and mainstream media don’t want to talk about the repo blowup in 2019 and the massive Fed bailout that followed. Economist Michael Hudson previously explained how the Fed lacked authority to bail out a handful of trading houses on Wall Street under the dictates of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation. Dodd-Frank restricted the Fed to using its emergency lending powers to rescue a “broad base” of the U.S. financial system. As we detailed on Monday, there was no “broad base” of the U.S. financial system being bailed out by the Fed in the last quarter of 2019: 62 percent of a cumulative $19.87 trillion in rolled-over repo loans went to just six trading houses: Nomura Securities International ($3.7 trillion); J.P. Morgan Securities ($2.59 trillion); Goldman Sachs ($1.67 trillion); Barclays Capital ($1.48 … Continue reading

After Its President Created the Biggest Trading Scandal in Fed History, Dallas Fed Chair Calls Robert Kaplan’s Tenure “Great Leadership”

Thomas J. Falk Represents the Public on the Dallas Fed Board of Directors

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 18, 2022 ~ Last Thursday evening, at 5:00 p.m. Dallas time and 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, when millions of folks on the East Coast are sitting down for dinner, the Dallas Fed held a virtual Town Hall. Given the fact that the President of the Dallas Fed, Robert Kaplan, had to step down in disgrace in September, after trading like a hedge fund kingpin in 2020 while simultaneously having access to confidential market-moving information as a voting member of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), there was a very good reason for the Dallas Fed to hold a Town Hall. But stunningly, the tone-deaf Dallas Fed did not focus the Town Hall on how its Board and management had negligently supervised Robert Kaplan, allowing him to trade in and out of S&P 500 futures in over $1 million trades during a year … Continue reading

Nomura, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs Received a Cumulative $8 Trillion from the Fed’s Emergency Repo Loans in Fourth Quarter of 2019

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

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 17, 2022 ~ The Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010 ordered the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an investigative body for Congress, to audit the Fed’s alphabet soup of emergency lending programs conducted during and after the 2008 financial crisis. The GAO found that a cumulative $16.1 trillion had been pumped out to Wall Street firms by the Fed – at super cheap interest rates. The GAO provided data for the peak amounts outstanding and also a cumulative total. Why is a cumulative total essential and relevant? Because one institution in 2008, Citigroup, was insolvent for much of the time the Fed was flooding it with cheap loans. (Under law, the Fed is not allowed to make loans to an insolvent institution.) And when an insolvent institution is getting loans rolled over and over by the Fed for a span of two and a half … Continue reading

Economist Michael Hudson Says the Fed “Broke the Law” with its Repo Loans to Wall Street Trading Houses

Economist Michael Hudson

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 14, 2022 ~ Even within economic circles, there is a growing nervousness that the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States – with the power to electronically create money out of thin air, bail out insolvent Wall Street megabanks, balloon its balance sheet to $8.8 trillion without one elected person on its Board while the U.S. taxpayer is on the hook for 98 percent of that, and allow its Dallas Fed Bank President to make directional bets on the market by trading in and out of million dollar S&P 500 futures during a declared national emergency – has carved out a no-law zone around itself. The latest ruckus stems from the Fed’s release on December 30 of the names of the 23 Wall Street trading houses and the billions they borrowed under its cumulative $11.23 trillion emergency repo loan facility that the … Continue reading

$2.7 Billion in Credit Default Swaps Blew Up One Day Before the Fed Launched Its Repo Loan Bailouts in 2019

Frightened Wall Street Trader

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 13, 2022 ~ On September 16, 2019, exactly one day before the Federal Reserve would embark on its first emergency repo loan operations since the financial crisis of 2008, $2.7 billion in credit default swaps (CDS) on a single name blew up. The dealers in those credit default swaps were the very same trading houses on Wall Street that sought, and received, tens of billions of dollars in repo loans from the Fed in an operation that grew to a cumulative $11.23 trillion before its conclusion on July 2, 2020. (In just the last quarter of 2019, the Fed pumped a cumulative $4.5 trillion in repo loans into Wall Street’s trading houses, according to the transaction data it released on December 30 of last year. That was before even one case of COVID-19 had been reported in the U.S.) On September 16, 2019 the … Continue reading

Judge Rakoff Signs a Dangerous Protective Order in Whistleblower Case Against 5-Count Felon JPMorgan Chase

Judge Jed Rakoff

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 12, 2022 ~ On January 6, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff signed a dangerous Protective Order in the Shaquala Williams v JPMorgan Chase case which resides in the Southern District of New York. Williams is a whistleblower who has critically important information to share with the public regarding this five-count felon bank. The Protective Order may make it impossible for the public to ever learn the essential details of what Williams is alleging. We’ll get to the problematic parts of the Protective Order shortly, but first some necessary background. Williams is an attorney who formerly worked in compliance at JPMorgan Chase. Part of her role was to make sure that the bank adhered to a non-prosecution agreement it had signed with the Justice Department in 2016. In 2016 the Justice Department had charged that JPMorgan’s Asia subsidiary engaged in quid pro quo agreements with … Continue reading

Mainstream Media Has Morphed from Battling the Fed in Court in 2008 to Groveling at its Feet Today

Media Logos

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 11, 2022 ~ It’s now day 13 since the Fed released the names of the Wall Street trading houses that borrowed $4.5 trillion cumulatively, just in the fourth quarter of 2019, from the Fed’s repo loan facility. Not one mainstream media outlet has reported those names of the Wall Street firms or the amounts borrowed – despite the fact that we have prodded them to do so, and despite the fact that some of the largest borrowers were also bailed out by the Fed during and after the financial crash of 2008. The Fed, which is releasing the data on a rolling quarterly basis, had previously released the names of the banks and the amounts borrowed for the last 14 days of September 2019. That cumulative total came to $769.2 billion, or an average of $54.94 billion per day that the Fed was throwing … Continue reading

On March 31, the Fed Has to Name Names under Four of its Emergency Loan Programs to Wall Street. Will the Media Censor that News Also?

Fed Chair Jerome Powell Testifying Before Senate Banking Committee, November 30, 2021

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 10, 2022 ~ The Fed has kept a very tight lid on the names of the banks that received emergency loans from three of its funding facilities that it abruptly launched in mid March 2020. These are not only the most opaque of the Fed’s “official” bailout programs, set up under Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act, but they are also the first three 13(3) emergency lending programs that the Fed launched in 2020. The Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF) and Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF) were both announced by the Fed on March 17, 2020. The Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (MMLF) was announced the very next day. The legal deadline, under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, for releasing the names of the Wall Street firms that borrowed from these facilities, and the amounts borrowed, is March 31 of this year. In … Continue reading

These Charts Are the Smoking Guns in the Fed’s 2019-2020 Emergency Repo Loan Bailouts

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 7, 2022 ~ Nine days ago the Fed released the names of the Wall Street trading houses that had borrowed a cumulative total of $4.5 trillion in emergency repo loans from the Fed during just the last quarter of 2019. From September 17, 2019 through July 2, 2020, the same banks had borrowed a cumulative total of $11.23 trillion. The Fed is slowly doling out the names of the banks and the specific amounts borrowed on a quarterly basis, after eight quarters of time has elapsed. The Fed is only releasing the information because the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010 made it a legal obligation of the Fed to do so. The Fed had fought a multi-year court battle with the press after the 2008 financial crisis to keep its secret bailouts to Wall Street firms hidden from the American people. Strange as … Continue reading