There Was a Flash Crash in the Stock Market Yesterday: Here’s Why You Should Be Very Concerned

James Gorman, Chairman and CEO Morgan Stanley (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 21, 2020 ~ At 10:52 a.m. yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average which was trading at a level of 29,348, began a bungee-style plunge. By 11:32 a.m. the market landed with a thud at a level of 29,013. Then the stock market began an equally inexplicable climb, closing the day down just 128 points. This is what is known as a “Flash Crash,” a sudden plunge in the market with no reliable explanation. No one on Wall Street has yet to offer a convincing explanation for the plunge. An early attempt to pass it off to worries about the coronavirus was easily dispelled because the news report of rising infections from the virus came much earlier than the plunge in the market. Our chart research also shows that the plunge was not related to the coronavirus because Procter & Gamble, a component of … Continue reading

Bloomberg Was Stopped, Frisked and Bruised at Debate

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 20, 2020 ~ Michael Bloomberg reaffirmed for those who have turned off the news since January 20, 2017 that no one, not even his own mock debate team, dares to tell a powerful billionaire what he doesn’t want to hear. And that’s one of the key reasons that billionaires are so dangerous to high public office – they hear only their own voice. Bloomberg’s performance on the Democratic Debate stage last night was painfully embarrassing. It was like watching an overly-hyped downhill skier, in his first appearance at the U.S. Olympics, trip on his skies getting off the chair lift and slide down the mountain on his belly – making a few awkward groans on the way down. Voters across the country who had been inundated with Bloomberg’s $409 million in advertisements (ten times what Senator Bernie Sanders has spent) were likely shaking … Continue reading

Paul Krugman Returns to Perpetuating the Big Lie for Wall Street

Paul Krugman

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 19, 2020 ~ Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist who won the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, is back to pedaling his Big Lie that Wall Street banks were not responsible for the financial crash of 2008 or the ensuing housing crash. This time he’s told such a doozie of a lie that there is no longer any doubt that he’s on a mission to restore Wall Street’s credibility, even if he has to rewrite the history of the financial crash and every official report that’s been published on it. The latest Big Lie from Krugman appeared in yesterday’s print edition but first appeared in the digital edition on Monday under a different headline, “Have Zombies Eaten Bloomberg’s and Buttigieg’s Brains?” In a very clever sleight of hand, Krugman is complaining, correctly so, about the fact that presidential candidate Michael … Continue reading

Fed Slashes 14-Day Repo Loans to $25 Billion; Will Cut Further in March

Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 18, 2020 ~ Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sat through two days of grueling hearings before the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee last week. At numerous times, the Fed and Powell were portrayed by Congressional members as sugar daddies for Wall Street while aloof to the financial suffering of the average American. (See Fed Chair Tells Congress There Is a 10-Year “Game Plan” to Deal with Financial Crisis But No Plan to Deal with Americans Left Devastated By It.) The House Financial Services Committee held its hearing on Tuesday. The Senate Banking Committee held its hearing on Wednesday. On Thursday, in a surprise move, the Fed announced that it would be trimming the $30 billion it has been making in 14-day loans (at about 1.60 percent interest) to Wall Street’s trading houses to $25 billion through March 12 and trimming … Continue reading

Strange Stuff on Wall Street: Big Job Cuts, Fed Bailout, Record Markets

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 18, 2020 ~ HSBC has become the latest bank with a big Wall Street footprint to announce job cuts. After announcing that its 2019 profits fell by about a third, it said it would cut 35,000 jobs over the next three years. Some of the job cuts are expected to fall within its investment banking business in the U.S. The HSBC news comes amid a steady drumbeat of similar news on Wall Street. In July of last year, another European bank with heavy derivative ties to Wall Street, Deutsche Bank, confirmed plans to cut 18,000 jobs. In the same month, Bloomberg News reported that Citigroup would be cutting hundreds of trading jobs. Then in September Commerzbank announced it would trim 4300 jobs. That news was followed by CNN reporting in December that Morgan Stanley would cut 1500 jobs. This is by no means … Continue reading

Bloomberg Has Built a Star Wars Machine to Try to Steal the Democratic Nomination

Billionaire Owner of Bloomberg News, Michael Bloomberg

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 17, 2020 ~ Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is used to getting his way. After serving two terms as New York City’s Mayor as a Republican, he used his own vast stash of cash to repeal term limits and give himself another four-year term, running as an Independent. Now he has promised to do the unprecedented: spend $1 billion of his own money to install himself as President of the United States, running on the Democratic ticket. Bloomberg’s campaign increasingly resembles an octopus with money gushing out of its tentacles into anything and everything that will inject Michael Bloomberg into the presidential dialogue on the local, national or social media stage. And there is an unusually dark curtain being drawn around the early days of that spending. While there has been much media ado about the first Federal Election Commission filing that Bloomberg made in … Continue reading

Fed Chair Powell Is a Member of a Private Club with a History of Racism and Sexism

Fed Chair Powell at Press Conference, January 29, 2020

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 14, 2020 ~ Congresswoman Katie Porter opened a hornet’s nest on Tuesday during a House Financial Services Committee hearing where Fed Chair Jerome Powell answered questions. As we reported, Porter held up a photo of Powell in black tie attending a lavish party for billionaires and politicians at the Washington D.C. home of one of the richest men in the world, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. As it turns out, that wasn’t even the worst part of the story. The real jaw dropper is that the Bezos party was the after-party for a secretive private club’s annual dinner. The so-called Alfalfa Club is a 107-year old, invitation-only club that bars the press from attendance and banned membership of blacks and women for the bulk of its existence. Fed Chair Powell is a member of that club. More on that shortly, but first some background. … Continue reading

Fed Chair Tells Congress There Is a 10-Year “Game Plan” to Deal with Financial Crisis But No Plan to Deal with Americans Left Devastated By It

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell Testifying Before House Financial Services Committee, February 11, 2020

 By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 13, 2020 ~ During his testimony to the Senate Banking Committee yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell let it slip out, for the first time, that the Federal Reserve has had a 10-year game plan to deal with the financial crisis. In response to a question on cyber threats from Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Powell stated the following: “They kind of pay us to be awake at night worrying about things. I would say that if you look at what happened in the financial crisis, we had a game plan there. We implemented it over the course of 10 years. I won’t say that it’s perfect or anything like that, but we have a plan that is meant to address those kinds of things.” “Those kinds of things?” The financial crisis, fueled by corruption and lax regulation of Wall Street banks, destroyed … Continue reading

Sanders’ Win in New Hampshire Is More Significant than Vote Tally Suggests

Senator Bernie Sanders (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 12, 2020 ~ Senator Bernie Sanders is the acknowledged Democratic winner in yesterday’s New Hampshire primary, eking out a slim vote lead with 25.7 percent of the vote in the crowded field. Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar came in second and third with 24.4 and 19.8 percent of the vote, respectively. The popular and respected Senator Elizabeth Warren, who hails from the neighboring state of Massachusetts, had an upset with just 9.3 percent of the vote, apparently losing ground among progressives to Senator Sanders. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who lost much of his support to fellow moderates Buttigieg and Klobuchar, registered in fifth place with a stunningly low 8.4 percent of the vote. All of the remaining candidates drew less than a 4 percent share. But Sanders’ win last night is far more significant than the vote percentages suggest. According to … Continue reading

Fed Chair Powell Is Grilled on Attending Lavish Party at Home of Jeff Bezos: Jared and Ivanka, Jamie Dimon Were in Attendance

Congresswoman Katie Porter

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 11, 2020 ~ The most sizzling moment thus far today in the House Financial Services Committee hearing with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was a line of questioning by Congresswoman Katie Porter of California. Porter began by reminding Powell that he had “frequently spoken about wanting to maintain the independence of the Federal Reserve.” She then asked: “Do you still have that belief?” Powell said he did. Porter then held up a photo of Powell in black tie and asked where the photo was taken. He said it was at a party following the Alfalfa Dinner at the home of Jeff Bezos. Porter then made Powell indicate that the photo was recent, sometime in late January of this year. Porter looked squarely at Powell and stated: “Can you imagine how attending a lavish party at Jeff Bezos’ $23 million home, along with Jared and … Continue reading

Two Days of Grilling Ahead for Fed Chair Powell

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 11, 2020 ~ At 10:00 a.m. this morning, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome (Jay) Powell, will take his seat in the Rayburn House Office Building to deliver his semiannual testimony to the House Financial Services Committee and answer a multitude of questions on what the Fed has been up to lately. Powell will repeat the process again tomorrow before the Senate Banking Committee. The public already knows the kinds of questions Democrats are going to lob at Powell tomorrow because Senators Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, Jack Reed and Tina Smith sent a letter to Powell on February 6, listing the specific questions they want answers to in preparation for the hearing on February 12. The questions are exclusively focused on the Fed’s unprecedented repo loans to Wall Street’s trading houses that began on September 17 of last year and have been … Continue reading

10,599 Corporate Lawyers Have Donated to Buttigieg’s Campaign: Here Are the Dirty Little Secrets

Pete Buttigieg

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 10, 2020 ~ Pete Buttigieg, a 38-year old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a city with a population of 102,000, who has never held an elected federal office and was unknown to the majority of Americans last spring, has magically risen to the top ranks of the field of Democratic contenders for President – a field that includes three sitting U.S. Senators and a former Vice President. On top of Buttigieg’s lack of experience in Washington, Buttigieg has almost no support from the black community, which would be essential for winning the Presidency. So exactly why has Buttigieg raised $77 million from some of the smartest and richest people in America. According to our tally from the Federal Election Commission’s data, 10,599 donor entries for Buttigieg list their occupation as lawyer or attorney. On top of that, there’s a high correlation between … Continue reading

The Fed Has a Dangerous Repo Problem: Here Are the Charts

Equity Fund Flows from Morningstar

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 7, 2020 ~ On both days this week that the New York Fed offered its $30 billion in 14-day repo loans to 24 trading houses on Wall Street, there was far more demand than the New York Fed had preannounced it would provide. On Tuesday, the demand was for $59.05 billion while the New York Fed provided only $30 billion. On Thursday, the demand was for $57.25 billion while the New York Fed provided $30 billion. In short, there is a growing demand for long-term loans at affordable rates on Wall Street – meaning one or more trading houses has a borrowing problem. The Fed’s loans this week were made at a below-market interest rate of 1.60 percent. The demand for the 14-day loans came on the same days that the New York Fed also funneled huge amounts of money in one-day loans … Continue reading

JPMorgan Chase Is Under Fourth Criminal Probe after Pleading Guilty to Three Prior Felony Counts

JPMorgan Chase Bank Building

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 6, 2020 ~ Yesterday, Bloomberg News reporters Tom Schoenberg and Liam Vaughan broke the story that JPMorgan Chase is under a criminal probe by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over charges of rigging gold, silver and other precious metals markets. Six traders who worked on the precious metals desk at JPMorgan Chase have been indicted thus far but this is the first report that the bank itself is also under a criminal investigation. This marks the fourth criminal probe of the bank in the past 8 years by the U.S. Department of Justice with the bank pleading guilty to three felony counts in two of the prior criminal investigations. Throughout this serial crime wave, the Board of Directors of JPMorgan Chase has kept Jamie Dimon in his seat as Chairman and CEO. Despite knowing that three of the bank’s traders had been … Continue reading

Bernie Sanders Leads the Popular Vote in Iowa; Wall Street-Friendly Bloomberg Has a Plan

Illustration by Keith Seidel from Mike! Wall Street's Mayor by Neil Fabricant

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” — Frédéric Bastiat, French Economist By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 5, 2020 ~ The real breaking news headline out of the Iowa Caucuses that had to be doled out over multiple days in measured bites of data is that Senator Bernie Sanders, who has promised to stop Wall Street’s plunder of the nation’s wealth, is leading the popular vote in the state. Despite mainstream media and cable news’ efforts to spin the long-delayed Iowa vote data as a big win for 38-year old Pete Buttigieg, whose name most Americans can’t spell or pronounce, the real too hot to handle news is that folks in the Heartland of America have rejected the … Continue reading

Iowa Caucuses: Only Buttigieg and Klobuchar Seem to Know the Results

Senator Amy Klobuchar Delivering a Speech to Supporters after the Iowa Caucuses

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 4, 2020 ~ If you stayed up late into the night waiting for the Iowa Caucuses to report on the winner in the Democratic bid for President, you are likely in a foul mood this morning. As of 6:30 a.m. this morning, vote tallies had not been officially released for any of the more than 1600 precincts. That stands in contrast to prior Iowa Caucuses when 25 percent of the votes were reported by 10 p.m. on the same night as the caucuses and 85 percent were reported by 11 p.m. As cable news commentators vented their frustrations last night, shortly after 1 a.m. the Iowa Democratic Party said they would be manually tallying the data to make sure that the results could be reported with “full confidence.” The Iowa Democratic Party had earlier in the evening held a meeting with campaign representatives … Continue reading

Fed Chair Powell Has Gone Rogue on Repo Loans and the Volcker Rule

Jerome Powell Is Sworn In As Federal Reserve Chairman on February 5, 2018 by Fed Vice Chairman Randal Quarles.

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 3, 2020 ~  The Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome (Jay) Powell, regularly states at his press conferences that the Federal Reserve is there to serve the interests of the American people. But his actions regularly undermine the credibility of that statement in a manner not all that dissimilar to Alan Greenspan, whose Fed chairmanship oversaw the gutting of Wall Street banking regulations and ended just before the greatest Wall Street collapse since the Great Depression. Powell goes out of his way to present himself at his press conferences as the quintessential public servant whose only mission is to perform the mandate set out by the elected representatives in Congress while his actions strongly suggest he is a wily rogue agent for Wall Street’s cartel of bank trading houses. Congress set out its mandate for the Federal Reserve and its fellow regulators to … Continue reading

As Fed’s Powell Spoke at His Press Conference, the Market Gave Him a Taste of a Taper Tantrum

Fed Chair Powell at Press Conference, January 29, 2020

  By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 30, 2020 ~ The typically calm and unruffled Fed Chairman Jerome (Jay) Powell had a furrowed brow yesterday as he walked to the podium at his press conference at 2:30 p.m. It was clear from the outset that Powell had been put on a short leash as to what he could and could not say about the underpriced repo loans that the Fed has authorized the New York Fed to shower on the trading houses of Wall Street to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars per week since last September 17. This is an unprecedented action by the Fed when there is no known financial crisis occurring. As we reported on Monday, the New York Fed has pumped a cumulative $6.6 trillion into those Wall Street trading houses in just the past four months – a third of the amount … Continue reading

New Report Reveals Goldman Sachs’ Crime Wave Under Last Three CEOs (Who Got Obscenely Rich in the Process)

(Left to right) Three Most Recent CEOs of Goldman Sachs: Henry (Hank) Paulson; Lloyd Blankfein; David Solomon, Current CEO.

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 29, 2020 ~ Yesterday, the nonprofit Wall Street watchdog, Better Markets, released an in-depth and scathing analysis of the past 20 years at Goldman Sachs. A bold headline summed it up as follows: “$874 Billion in Bailouts, 36 Major Legal Actions, $9.8 Billion in Fines and Settlements with Billions More Coming.” One key takeaway from this crime spree, write the authors, is this: “Goldman Sachs has amassed a RAP sheet showing that the financial crash of 2008 did little if anything to slow the pace of illegal activity that was well underway in the years leading up to the crash. Goldman Sachs was heavily engaged in illegal activity before the crash; they reached new heights of lawlessness in connection with the crash; and they continued to violate the law in the post-crash era….” Senator Bernie Sanders has repeatedly stated that the business model … Continue reading

Citibank, Which Foreclosed on Homes Under an Alias, Illegally Held Homes Off the Market for More than Five Years Says Regulator

Michael Corbat, CEO of Citigroup Since 2012

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 28, 2020 ~ On October 11 of last year, in a bland press release that drew little mainstream media attention, the Federal regulator of national banks, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, announced that Citibank had agreed to pay a $30 million fine over charges that it held homes on which it had foreclosed off the market for more than the statutory holding period of five years. Citibank is the federally-insured, deposit-taking bank that is part of the serially-miscreant Wall Street mega bank, Citigroup. The action comes at a time when rents are rising dramatically across the U.S. as a result of a shortage of affordable homes to purchase. What is extremely troublesome about the OCC’s action, and which continues a trend among federal bank regulators in the Trump administration, is just how little the regulators are willing to share with … Continue reading

Fed Repos Have Plowed $6.6 Trillion to Wall Street in Four Months; That’s 34% of Its Feeding Tube During Epic Financial Crash

Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 27, 2020 ~ According to the data made available on the public website of the New York Fed, since September 17, 2019 it has funneled a cumulative total of $6.6 trillion to some of  the 24 trading houses on Wall Street that are known as its “primary dealers.” The giant sum has been sluiced to Wall Street in the form of repurchase agreement (repo) loans without any details being provided to the elected representatives in Congress as to which firms are getting the money or what it’s being ultimately used for. But since the stock market has set repeated new highs since the program launched, some veteran market watchers believe the Fed is fueling a Ponzi-like rally in stocks. When the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, the General Accountability Office (GAO), tallied up the cumulative total that the Federal Reserve had secretly sluiced … Continue reading

Jamie Dimon Gets $31.5 Million Pay Despite Bank’s Criminal Charges as U.S. Slides Below Uruguay on Corruption Index

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 24, 2020 ~  Yesterday, Transparency International released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The CPI ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of government corruption, using 13 expert assessments and surveys of business executives. The most corrupt countries rank lower on the scale while a score of 100 represents the least corrupt. This year the United States ranked below Uruguay on the corruption gauge. The report found this about the U.S.:  “With a score of 69, the United States drops two points since last year to earn its lowest score on the CPI in eight years. This comes at a time when Americans’ trust in government is at an historic low of 17 percent according to the Pew Research Center.” The least corrupt nations are Denmark, New Zealand and Finland. Patricia Moreira, Managing Director of Transparency International, said this about the report’s … Continue reading

Goldman Sachs: The Vampire Squid’s Alum Control Two Fed Banks, the U.S. Treasury, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England

Government Sachs (Thumbnail Photo)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 23, 2020 ~ The head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Robert S. Kaplan), the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (Neel Kashkari), the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury (Steve Mnuchin), the President of the European Central Bank (Mario Draghi) and the head of the Bank of England (Mark Carney) all have two things in common: they sit atop vast amounts of money and they are all alums of Goldman Sachs. In addition, the immediate past President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, William Dudley, which secretly sluiced over $29 trillion to bail out Wall Street banks during the financial crisis and has now opened its money spigot for trillions of dollars more, worked at Goldman Sachs for more than two decades, rising to the rank of partner and U.S. Chief Economist. Goldman Sachs has been variously depicted … Continue reading

The Man Who Advises the New York Fed Says It and Other Central Banks Are “Fueling a Ponzi Market”

Scott Minerd

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 22, 2020 ~ On Monday, a member of the New York Fed’s own Investor Advisory Committee on Financial Markets, Scott Minerd, published a critique which he headlined as follows: “Global Central Banks Fueling a Ponzi Market,” with this scary subhead: “Ultimately, investors will awaken to the rising tide of defaults and downgrades.” The thrust of the article is that central banks (which include the New York Fed’s Wall Street money spigot that was launched on September 17, 2019) are creating a Ponzi scheme of liquidity that is hiding the true state of risk in both the stock and bond markets. The implication is that without the Fed’s cheap money flooding markets, interest rates on questionable debt would be much higher, thus providing a red flag for investors. Minerd develops his thesis as follows: “The disturbing trend is that despite the rally in risk … Continue reading

Bernie Sanders Hasn’t Quite Captured What Wall Street Does: It’s Actually a Fraud-Monetization System with a Money-Printing Unit Called the New York Fed

New York Fed Headquarters Building in Lower Manhattan

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 21, 2020 ~ Senator Bernie Sanders has come closer than anyone on the Presidential campaign trail in defining what Wall Street actually does. Sanders has repeatedly stated at his rallies that “the business model of Wall Street is fraud.” That analysis is correct but abbreviated. Sanders needs to go further. It’s not just Wall Street’s business model that has left the United States with the greatest wealth inequality since the Roaring Twenties (a time when Wall Street investment banks were also allowed to own deposit-taking banks). It’s how Wall Street is monetizing that fraud that poses an existential threat to the solvency of the United States and the impoverishment of millions of Americans. The attempted WeWork Initial Public Offering (IPO) of last year was a classic example of how Wall Street can put lipstick on a pig, pass it off as a hot … Continue reading