Senator Elizabeth Warren Lauds the New York Stock Exchange for Investor Protections. It’s Currently Trading Multiple Alleged Frauds.

Senator Elizabeth Warren Grilling Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at September 28, 2021 Senate Banking Hearing

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 20, 2022 ~ Yesterday the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing to consider President Biden’s nominations for two Commissioners at the Securities and Exchange Commission (Jaime E. Lizárraga and Mark Toshiro Uyeda) as well as Michael Barr to be Vice Chairman for Supervision at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. (For the skinny on Barr’s fitness to supervise megabanks on Wall Street, see our hold-your-nose report here and David Dayen’s eyepopping report here.) During the hearing, Senator Elizabeth Warren noted the vast amounts of money that investors have lost in crypto coins and cryptocurrency and then moved on to compare the lack of protections that investors have in crypto versus the protections afforded in the stock market. Warren asked Barr the following: Warren: “If I bought a company’s stock, even the most hyped-up, junkiest one listed on the New York Stock Exchange, could I … Continue reading

Fed Chair Powell Says “Markets Are Orderly” and “Functioning.” They’re Not.

Federal Reserve Building, Washington, D.C.

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 19, 2022 ~ This past Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell sat for an interview with Wall Street Journal reporter Nick Timiraos as part of the newspaper’s “Future of Everything Festival.” During that interview, Powell told Timiraos that U.S. markets “are orderly, they’re functioning.” The precise exchange went as follows: (Watch it at 24:38 on YouTube video here.) Timiraos: “A Number of people have suggested to me the one thing that might slow you down or at least make this much more difficult would be some kind of market cataclysm. I wonder, in part, if that is why you are trying to be more transparent, not erratic, making sudden moves on your policy moves. My question there is, where’s your level of concern that financial stability and controlling inflation by raising interest rates, maybe a lot, might be fundamentally incompatible in that raising rates … Continue reading

Jerome Powell’s Fed in Two Frightening Charts

Jerome Powell (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 18, 2022 ~ The March 15-16 minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve show that there was agreement, given “elevated inflation and tight labor market conditions,” that the Fed needed to take decisive action to shrink its balance sheet, with FOMC participants reaffirming “that the Federal Reserve’s securities holdings should be reduced over time in a predictable manner primarily by adjusting the amounts reinvested of principal payments….” But Jerome Powell’s Fed did not actually announce a specific plan to shrink its balance sheet until May 4 and stated at that time that the plan would not go into effect until June 1 – almost three months after the FOMC indicated that the Fed should take decisive action. As a result of this stalling, the Fed’s balance sheet has remained at the $9 trillion level since its March 15-16 FOMC … Continue reading

Warren Buffett Is Taking a Flyer on $3 Billion of Citigroup’s Stock — After It Loses 40 Percent in a Year

Warren Buffett

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 17, 2022 ~ Tongues are wagging this morning about the 13F filing by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. The filing shows that in the first quarter of this year, Berkshire Hathaway bought 55,155,797 shares of Citigroup stock for its portfolio, which came to the tidy sum of $2.9 billion as of March 31, 2022. The tongue-wagging stems from the fact that over the past 52 weeks, Citigroup’s stock has lost 40 percent of its value, with no sign that the bleeding will stop anytime soon. Citigroup closed at $53.40 a share on March 31. It closed yesterday at $47.46. That means that Buffett’s wager on Citigroup is down 11 percent or a loss of $327.6 million so far. Knowing Citigroup’s history, things are highly likely to go from bad to worse from here. As Wall Street On Parade reported just last Friday, Citigroup’s Stock Price … Continue reading

Crypto’s Crash: 100-to-1 Leverage Goes Poof!


By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 16, 2022 ~ Crypto was in full-blown crash mode last week, wiping out more than $300 billion in market value. TerraUSD, a so-called stablecoin that is supposed to trade at a “stable” $1 value, crashed to a few cents on the dollar. Its sister cryptocurrency, Luna, likewise imploded. Then there was Bitcoin, which Warren Buffett has called “rat poison squared.” Bitcoin plunged further last week and is now down more than 30 percent year-to-date. So much for the hype that it would be an inflation hedge like gold. Coinbase, the big crypto exchange, knocked more wind out of the sails of the crypto market on Tuesday of last week when it filed its 10-Q (quarterly report) with the Securities and Exchange Commission and essentially said it had no idea what might happen to $256 billion it held for customers. The filing illuminated its shareholders … Continue reading

Citigroup’s Stock Price Is Still Down 84 Percent from the Year of Crash in 2008

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 13, 2022 ~ On January 2, 2008, the first trading day of the year that would become the biggest Wall Street crash since the Great Depression, Citigroup’s shares closed at $28.92. Yesterday, Citigroup’s shares closed at $4.66 (adjusted for the 1-for-10 reverse stock split the company did on May 9, 2011). That means that shareholders who have hung on to the stock for the past 14 years are still down 84 percent. In terms of assets, Citigroup is the third largest bank holding company in the U.S. with $2.29 trillion in assets as of December 31, 2021. (JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America rank first and second with $3.7 trillion and $3.2 trillion in assets, respectively, as of the same date according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.) Despite the fact that Citigroup blew itself up in 2008 with off-balance-sheet subprime … Continue reading

Scandalized Dallas Fed Keeps It All in “The Family” with Appointment of Lorie Logan as President

Lorie Logan, Head of Trading at the New York Fed

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 12, 2022 ~ Yesterday, Thomas Falk and Claudia Aguirre, who were co-chairing the Dallas Fed’s Search Committee, announced that they had found the ideal candidate to become the new Dallas Fed President. They said it was a person who would “understand the economic issues and needs of the residents of Texas, northern Louisiana and southern New Mexico,” the areas served by the Dallas Fed. Given that criteria, one might have suspected that their candidate would have some relationship with Texas or its neighboring states. But no. Falk and Aguirre selected a person who works 1500 miles from the Dallas Fed, Lorie Logan, the head of the trading desks for the New York Fed, the only one of the 12 regional Fed banks to have trading desks (one in New York near the New York Stock Exchange and one in Chicago near the futures exchange). … Continue reading

Senator Tells Treasury Secretary Yellen that Crypto Market Is Now Larger than Subprime Market that Triggered Global Financial Crisis

Janet Yellen

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 11, 2022 ~ As a result of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010, the U.S. Treasury Secretary chairs a key group of banking and Wall Street regulators called the Financial Stability Oversight Council – pronounced F-SOC for short. The idea behind F-SOC was that Wall Street’s insane binges into things like toxic subprime debt and credit default swaps would never again be allowed to sneak up on snoozing government watchdogs, take down the U.S. economy and put the Wall Street megabanks on a long-term feeding tube from the Fed as occurred from 2008 to 2010. Yesterday, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing to take testimony from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on F-SOC’s annual report to Congress and what F-SOC sees as the biggest threats right now to financial stability. There were numerous fireworks during the hearing, including when Senator Tim Scott, a … Continue reading

Charts: “Massive Buyers’ Strike” for Tech; Bitcoin as an Inflation Hedge Exposed as a Bad Joke; Megabanks in Freefall


By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 10, 2022 ~ Last October 6, Bloomberg News had a prominent headline on their digital front page that read: “Citi Says Banks Are In, Tech Is Out Ahead of Rates Lift-Off.” The thrust of the article was this: “In the race to find the best hedges against higher rates and inflation, Citigroup Inc.’s chief global equity strategist is moving with the tide toward global financial stocks. “Like a growing number of his peers, Robert Buckland expects value stocks to provide a degree of protection against the market turbulence brought about by rising bond yields.” There’s a sleight of hand in that phrasing, somehow transporting the riskiest megabanks and their trillions of dollars in opaque derivatives into “value stocks.” A global bank is to a value stock what a loaded grenade is to a box of granola. There is zero correlation. (See our warning about … Continue reading

These Stock Patterns Are Impossible – Without Brazen Manipulation that the SEC Is Choosing to Ignore

Frightened Wall Street Trader

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 9, 2022 ~ Beginning in November of 2008, the Fed was allowed by Congress to manipulate the U.S. bond market through purchases of bonds with money it creates at the flick of an electronic button. The Fed calls this “Quantitative Easing” or QE.  Beginning on September 17, 2019 – when overnight lending rates on repo (repo means repurchase agreements between financial institutions) touched 10 percent instead of the 2-1/2 percent that the Fed wanted the market to be at – the Fed began providing repo loans at “administered rates.” It did that by jumping into the repo market with both feet, proceeding to make trillions of dollars in cumulative loans to trading houses on Wall Street, at interest rates as low as 0.10 percent by the spring of 2020. During 2020, the Fed also artificially propped up money market mutual funds, commercial paper, Exchange … Continue reading