Eight Wall Street Mega Banks Have Teamed Up to Run Television Ads in a Bogus Scare Campaign

The People Who Make Up the Financial Services Forum

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: December 11, 2023 ~

During the Sunday, December 10 news program on CNN, “State of the Union with Jake Tapper and Dana Bash,” a deceptive, scare-mongering TV commercial popped up, warning that federal banking regulators’ proposed plan to require the mega banks on Wall Street to hold more capital against their riskiest trading activities “will increase the cost of mortgages and car payments” and “hurt small businesses, making it harder for them to access credit, meet payroll and run their operations.”

The ad featured images of a farmer on his tractor, an auto mechanic, a worried small business owner, and other emotion-packed images.

Wall Street On Parade has been warning our readers for weeks about this deceptive campaign by the Wall Street mega banks, so we jumped to our feet to get closer to the TV screen and read the fine print to see who paid for this tricked-up television advertisement.

The small print in the ad said it was “Paid for by the Financial Services Forum.” Who is the Financial Services Forum? Its total membership consists of the eight CEOs of the eight largest banks on Wall Street. Its Board of Directors is limited to these same eight CEOs and its Chair and Vice Chair also rotate exclusively among these eight CEOs.

These CEOs rank among the most obscenely paid executives of publicly-traded companies in America. Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, as well as crime boss, of JPMorgan Chase, made $34.9 million in total compensation last year and has become a billionaire on the backs of the banks’ shareholders, which include many public employees’ pension funds. The ratio of Dimon’s pay to the pay of the median worker at JPMorgan Chase was 393 to 1 last year. This is not a group of people who can genuinely say they are concerned about the welfare of the little guy or gal in America.

With the exception of the CEOs of State Street and Bank of New York Mellon, this is also the pack of mega banks that blew up Wall Street and the U.S. economy in 2008, leaving millions of those same small businesses and struggling families they profess to care so much about today in bankruptcy and foreclosure. At the same time, these banks received tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts and secret infusions of trillions of dollars in cumulative loans for two and a half years from the Federal Reserve. (See the Levy Economic Institute’s research paper: $29,000,000,000,000: A Detailed Look at the Fed’s Bailout by Funding Facility and Recipient.)

The Vice Chair of the Financial Services Forum is Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup. That bank was a financial basket case in 2008 from its risky trading activities and derivatives. It took the following bailouts to prop it back up as its publicly-traded stock lost 90 percent of its value and was trading at 99 cents in March of 2009: An infusion of $45 billion in capital from the U.S. Treasury; a government guarantee of over $300 billion on its dubious “assets”; a guarantee of $5.75 billion on its senior unsecured debt and $26 billion on its commercial paper and interbank deposits by the FDIC; and a secret revolving loan facility from the Federal Reserve that sluiced a cumulative $2.5 trillion in below-market-rate loans from 2007 to the middle of 2010.

What condition is Citigroup in today? See our report from November 7: Citigroup May Slash 24,000 Jobs; Its Stock Has Lost 92 Percent Since January 2007.

The Financial Services Forum describes itself like this:

“The Financial Services Forum is an economic policy and advocacy organization whose members are the chief executive officers of the eight largest and most diversified financial institutions headquartered in the United States. The Forum promotes policies that support savings and investment, financial inclusion, deep and liquid capital markets, a competitive global marketplace, and a sound financial system.”

The hard reality is that the majority of these banks are serial lawbreakers with shocking rap sheets and remain the recipients of endless bailouts from the Federal Reserve. (See watchdog Better Markets’ report: Wall Street’s Ongoing Crime Spree – 490 Major Legal Actions and Nearly $207 Billion in Fines and Settlements; and our report: Former New York Fed Pres Bill Dudley Calls This the First Banking Crisis Since 2008; Charts Show It’s the Third.)

The Financial Services Forum also has this to say on its website: “Our banks are strong, stable and safe.” The truth of the situation resides in the following reports from Wall Street On Parade:

May 9, 2023: Academic Study Finds that One of the Four Largest U.S. Banks Could Be at Risk of a Bank Run

July 6, 2023: Large Banks Have Bled $921 Billion in Deposits Since April 2022 — the Fastest Pace in 40 Years — and a Much Larger Decline than Small Banks

October 9, 2023: International Bank Study, Using 150 Years of Data, Shows Mega Banks Like the Big Four in the U.S. Produce Financial Instability and More Severe Crises

The Financial Services Forum has now set up a full blown propaganda website called AmericansCantAffordIt.com. The “about” section of the website fails to mention that its “members” consist solely of these eight obscenely paid CEOs of the mega banks on Wall Street, who have a personal, vested interest in getting richer by gutting any regulations that seek to rein in their risky trading.

For what this propaganda battle is really about, see our report from last week: Wall Street CEOs Want the Line Between a Federally-Insured Bank and a Wall Street Trading Casino Erased; Regulators Want Higher Capital to Prevent That.

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