Without Any Legislative Powers, the Fed Is Rewriting the Law and Creating a Permanent $500 Billion Bailout Facility for Wall Street

Jerome Powell (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 8, 2022 ~ The Fed is doing something it’s never been allowed to do in its 109 years of operation. And, it’s doing it without any pushback from Congress. The Fed draws its statutory authority from the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 which created the Fed’s “discount window” for making loans to Fed member banks which are engaged in making loans for “agricultural, industrial or commercial purposes….” The Federal Reserve Act strictly prohibited the Fed from making loans “for the purpose of carrying or trading in stocks, bonds, or other investment securities….” After Wall Street trading casinos blew up the U.S. economy in 1929 and brought on the Great Depression of the 30s, Congress enacted the Glass-Steagall Act in 1933 which established federal deposit insurance for commercial banks and outlawed the merger of those federally-insured banks with Wall Street trading casinos (investment banks and … Continue reading

Secret Service, DHS, FBI: Trump Appointees Remain at the Helm of Agencies Involved in What the Public Perceives as Evidence Destruction and Coverups

Joseph Cuffari, Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security

By Pam Martens: August 5, 2022 ~ During my career in finance, I had the privilege to work for A.G. Edwards, a century old Wall Street firm led at the time by Ben Franklin Edwards III, the fifth generation of the Edwards family to steward the company. Once, when Edwards was visiting our branch in New York, he shared with us his philosophy on how to deal with a rogue broker. He said he would use a scalpel to remove him from the organization, making sure to get any cancer he might have spread. What kind of cancer could a crooked broker spread? Just think about how Bernie Madoff corrupted everything he touched: his accountants; his IT staff who cooked up fake client statements; his brother, Peter Madoff, who ridiculously served as his Chief Compliance Officer; and even the bank that held his business account, JPMorgan Chase, whose reputation was severely … Continue reading

After Tailoring Windfall Tax Cuts for His Wealthiest Donors, Senator Johnson Wants to Eliminate Social Security and Medicare as Entitlement Programs

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 4, 2022 ~ Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) spoke on a right-wing radio show this past Tuesday and suggested that Social Security and Medicare be eliminated as federal entitlement programs and become subject to approval by Congress each year as part of its discretionary spending authority. (You can listen to Johnson’s words at this link.) What Johnson is proposing is the decades-long dream of fossil fuels billionaire Charles Koch and his late brother, David. And that makes perfect sense because, to a large degree, Johnson owes his Senate seat to two Koch-funded front groups, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and Freedom Partners. In Johnson’s close 2016 race against Democrat Russ Feingold, Americans for Prosperity and the Freedom Partners Action Fund ran ad campaigns for Johnson. The Center for Media and Democracy reported last year that “In the 2016 cycle, Freedom Partners Action Fund, the main Koch-backed … Continue reading

Judge Orders Jury Trial for JPMorgan Whistleblower Who Claims Bank Fired Her for Reporting Suspicious Payments to Former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair

Tony Blair

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 3, 2022 ~ Playing out in a federal courtroom in Chicago have been JPMorgan traders telling a jury that it was standard operating procedure at the bank to rig precious metals markets in order to make huge profits for their trading desk. That case is U.S. v. Smith in the Northern District Court in Chicago. (Case number 1:19-cr-00669.) Now there may be more explosive revelations spilling out against JPMorgan Chase in the Southern District Court in Manhattan beginning this fall. That case is Shaquala Williams v JPMorgan Chase. (Case number 1:21-cv-0932.) Last week, Judge Jed Rakoff, who is overseeing the Williams case, ruled that JPMorgan’s motion for dismissal would not prevail on Williams’ claim for retaliatory dismissal and ruled that a jury trial would begin on November 7. (Judge Rakoff did dismiss the Williams’ claim that the bank’s actions had adversely affected a job offer.) … Continue reading

Meet Ken Klukowski, a Trump Administration Cooperating Witness in the Justice Department’s Criminal Investigation of January 6

Ken Klukowski

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 2, 2022 ~ Ken Klukowski is making a lot of people in the Charles Koch network of political operatives very nervous. According to a CNN report last Thursday, Klukowski “is cooperating in the DOJ’s January 6 criminal investigation, after investigators searched and copied his electronic records several weeks ago.” Those electronic records could open a lot of secrets that the Charles Koch network has kept behind a dark curtain for far too long. Klukowski arrived at the U.S. Department of Justice just 35 days before Trump’s term ended. According to the January 6 House Select Committee, Klukowski was “parachuted” into the Justice Department to help an environmental attorney there, Jeffrey Clark, prepare a letter to state officials which falsely claimed that the Justice Department had “identified significant concerns” about the vote totals in those states and the states should consider sending “a separate slate … Continue reading

Brace Yourself for Federally-Insured Bank Failures Caused by Crypto

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

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 1, 2022 ~ Last Thursday, during a Senate Banking Committee hearing, Senator Elizabeth Warren apparently grabbed the attention of federal regulators when she stated that Voyager, the crypto platform that filed for bankruptcy protection in early July, was promoting itself as being FDIC-insured. FDIC stands for Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and is the federal agency that oversees federal deposit insurance for the nation’s regulated banks and savings associations. Crypto trading platforms and their lending operations are not federally regulated; they are frequently tied to criminal activity; they are increasingly going bust and/or filing for bankruptcy protection and locking customers out of making withdrawals of their liquid funds and/or their crypto. Letting crypto get anywhere near a federally-insured bank would undermine public confidence in FDIC-insurance and undermine public confidence in the safety and soundness of all federally-insured banks in the U.S. And yet, federal bank … Continue reading

Wall Street Megabanks’ Multi-Billion Dollar Blunders Suggest Money Controls as Good as George Bailey’s Uncle Billy

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 29, 2022 ~ What do you get when you mix federally-insured banks with Wall Street trading casinos? You get the potential for catastrophic risks for the U.S. taxpayer and astronomical riches for the CEOs of the banks and the hedge fund titans they serve. Why is this Faustian bargain tolerated by Washington lawmakers – especially after the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression in 2008? Because the Wall Street fat cats throw a lot of money into the political campaigns of members of Congress, ensuring that no matter how many times these Frankenbanks make outrageous blunders involving billions of dollars, Congress will conduct a superficial investigation and move on. Below we examine outrageous money blunders by Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley – all of which have the earmarks of the brand of money incompetence as George Bailey’s Uncle Billy in Frank … Continue reading

Senate Banking Committee Will Hear Today About Getting “Pig Butchered” and an Explosion in Crypto Con Men Preying on the Unwary

Melanie Senter Lubin, Commissioner of the Maryland Securities Division; President of NASAA

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 28, 2022 ~ The Senate Banking Committee will hear today from two witnesses at its hearing titled: “Protecting Investors and Savers: Understanding Scams and Risks in Crypto and Securities Markets.” On tap will be Melanie Senter Lubin, the Commissioner of the Maryland Securities Division, who also serves as President of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), a group that represents state and provincial securities regulators in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Also giving testimony will be Gerri Walsh, the President of FINRA Investor Education Foundation and Senior Vice President of FINRA Investor Education. FINRA is the self-regulatory body that oversees Wall Street’s broker dealers and licensed traders. It also runs the discredited private justice system for Wall Street firms called mandatory arbitration. In the written testimony that Lubin provided to the Senate Banking Committee, she reveals that surveys conducted by NASAA for … Continue reading

Meet Marc Short, the Former Koch Exec Who Has Now Testified Before a Grand Jury Investigating the January 6 Attack

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 27, 2022 ~ Mainstream media has been abuzz over the past two days that Marc Short, the Chief of Staff to former Vice President Mike Pence, has testified under subpoena before a grand jury convened by the U.S. Department of Justice, which has now broadened its investigation of the January 6 attack on the Capitol to the masterminds. But is that really the headline? We think the real headline is that Marc Short was previously an executive at the fossil fuels conglomerate Koch Industries, a private company run by billionaire Charles Koch who has been setting up political front groups for four decades. Short went on to become President of a Koch-related dark money group called Freedom Partners from 2011 to 2016. Freedom Partners plowed hundreds of millions of dollars into political operations in an effort to put fossil fuel friendly pawns in Congress … Continue reading

Federal Data Show JPMorgan Chase Is, By Far, the Riskiest Bank in the U.S.

Growth in Assets at Six Largest U.S. Bank Holding Companies, 2016-2022 (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 26, 2022 ~ The long-tenured Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, likes to use the phrase “fortress balance sheet,” when talking about his bank to Congress or shareholders. But the data stored at its federal regulators show that the bank is, by far, the most systemically dangerous bank in the United States. And, despite its high risk profile, neither Congress nor federal regulators have restricted its growth. Its assets have soared by 65 percent since the end of 2016 and stood at $3.95 trillion as of March 31, making it the largest bank in the United States. Making this situation even more dangerous, the bank has admitted to five criminal felony counts over the past eight years and a multitude of civil crimes and multi-billion dollar fines — all during the tenure of Dimon. Neither Congress nor federal regulators nor the Justice Department … Continue reading