Shhh! Don’t Tell the Fed these Wall Street Banks Have Tanked 34 to 48 Percent Year-to-Date. (The Fed Thinks They’re a “Source of Strength”)

Federal Reserve Building, Washington, D.C.

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 24, 2020 ~ Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s oft repeated mantra this year – that the behemoth Wall Street banks “are a source of strength” in this economic crisis – is melting away faster than a snow cone in July, along with the share prices of these banks. So whom should Americans believe: The composite wisdom of the market or the opinion of a federal regulator whose supervision of these banks has been far from stellar. The market would seem to have spoken clearly on just how “strong” these banks are. Since the first trading day of the year, January 2,  to yesterday’s closing price, here’s the factual reality of just how much common equity capital these banks have bled: Citigroup is down a stunning 48 percent, losing almost half of its common equity capital; Bank of America has lost 35 percent; while … Continue reading

Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan’s PAC Are Financially Supporting Mitch McConnell’s Reelection Bid

Senator Mitch McConnell (Left); JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon (Right)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 23, 2020 ~ Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, can no longer hide his political leanings. We’ve got his Federal election records and they’re not pretty. Tens of thousands of Dimon’s employees are now going to have to come to grips with the fact that Dimon and their bank’s Political Action Committee (PAC) are supporting Mitch McConnell’s reelection, a man many would rather see pummeled in the public square than return to the U.S. Senate. According to Morning Consult, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is the second most unpopular member of the U.S. Senate, just behind Susan Collins of Maine. John Harris, the founding Editor of Politico, has a column up this morning where he calls McConnell “a skilled practitioner of the politics of decline” and refers to McConnell’s mind as “ruthless rationality.” Harris goes on to offer this … Continue reading

There’s a Pattern of Corporate Media Censoring News About Wall Street Banks’ Crimes

Better Markets Releases In-Depth Study on Bailout Dollars and Crime Spree of the Wall Street Mega Banks on April 9, 2019

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 22, 2020 ~ There are two opposing narratives living side by side in the United States: independent journalists and researchers have documented how the behemoth banks on Wall Street are as crooked as ever while the Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, repeatedly tells Congress and the press that these banks are a “source of strength” in this economic crisis. (Never mind that the Fed is flooding these banks with trillions of dollars in cumulative loans at less than 1 percent interest.) Corporate-owned mainstream media, that is dependent on financing from these same banks, prefers the Fed’s alternative version of reality. Wall Street On Parade has repeatedly written about critical reports showing serial corruption at these banks that have been censored by those Pulitzer prize winning media outlets. Yesterday provided another example: the New York Times refused to cover the International Consortium of Investigative … Continue reading

3-Count Felon, JPMorgan Chase, Caught Laundering More Dirty Money

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Has Survived a Raft of Criminal Charges Against His Bank

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 21, 2020 ~ The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has once again managed to do what federal bank regulators refuse to do in the United States – come clean with the American people about our dirty Wall Street banks. ICIJ dropped a bombshell investigative report yesterday about money laundering for criminals at some of the biggest banks on Wall Street, but you won’t find a peep about it on the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal or New York Times’ print editions. In fact, the New York Times, as of 6:44 a.m. this morning, hasn’t reported the story at all. The Wall Street Journal carries an innocuous headline, “HSBC Stock Hits 25-Year Low,” putting the focus on the British bank, HSBC, when its focus should be on the largest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase, a serial felon. JPMorgan Chase has … Continue reading

The Fed Announces New Bank Stress Tests: Will Look at What Would Happen if a Major Counterparty Defaulted

Randal Quarles, Vice Chairman for Supervision, Federal Reserve, Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee on May 12, 2020

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 17, 2020 ~ At the time the Fed released the results of its bank stress tests in June, it announced that because of the pandemic and unprecedented economic downturn, it would require additional stress testing of the biggest banks later this year. This afternoon, the Fed released those plans. Among the various hypothetical scenarios that the banks will have to perform against, 13 of the banks with significant trading operations will have to consider what would happen if a major counterparty blew up. The banks that will have to submit outcomes under this scenario include: Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Barclays US, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank USA, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street, UBS, and Wells Fargo. The Fed will release bank-specific results before the end of the year. All 34 banks will face two hypothetical … Continue reading

Nasdaq and Big Tech Tank as Fed Chair Powell Speaks at His Press Conference

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 17, 2020 ~ Nasdaq and its biggest stock components stomped their feet and gave the Fed Chairman a big thumbs down for his remarks at his press conference yesterday. As Fed Chairman Jerome (Jay) Powell began to speak at the press conference that commenced at 2:30 p.m. yesterday, the Nasdaq Composite stood at 11,204.36. By the time Powell stopped speaking at around 3:30 p.m., the Nasdaq stood at 11,066.15, down 138 points from an hour earlier. After a failed attempt to rally, the Nasdaq slumped to the closing bell, ending the day just 4 points from its low of the day, closing at 11,050.47. (See chart above.) As of 7:20 a.m. this morning, Nasdaq futures were suggesting a further big decline at the open. Big tech names led the decline in the Nasdaq yesterday. Companies like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Netflix depend on … Continue reading

What Happened to the Criminal Case against Goldman Sachs at Barr’s Justice Department?

U.S. Attorney General William Barr

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 16, 2020 ~ On December 6 of last year, four reporters at Bloomberg News signaled that the U.S. Department of Justice was close to a settlement of its criminal investigation of Goldman Sachs in the 1MDB matter. The reporters wrote as follows: “The Justice Department and other federal agencies, in internal discussions held in recent weeks, have weighed seeking penalties between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, the people said. That’s less than what some analysts have signaled Goldman might have to pay. While a settlement could be announced as soon as next month, the terms could change before a deal is finalized…” The terms, indeed, seem to have changed. It’s now more than 9 months since that article was published and there hasn’t been a peep out of the Justice Department about criminal charges against Goldman Sachs. According to the Bloomberg report, Barr … Continue reading

QAnon Joins Hits to Citigroup’s Brand: Dr. Evil Trade; Parmalat “Black Hole”; Enron; SIV Liquidity Puts; and Dracula Stock Options

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 15, 2020 ~ The business media was abuzz yesterday with reports that two of Citigroup’s federal regulators – the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve – are considering reprimanding the bank for failure to improve its risk management systems. Trust us: there is a lot more to this story than you’re reading about in the main stream press. Citigroup doesn’t do anything small. When it does something bad, it goes all in – sometimes even assigning a code name. Let’s start with the “Dr. Evil” trade. That was actually the code name that Citigroup traders assigned to an attempt to exploit a weakness in a European bond trading system. Citigroup was fined $26 million in 2005 by Europe’s Financial Services Authority for the trades. Citigroup employees gave another code name, “Buca Nero” – Italian for “Black Hole” – … Continue reading

Citigroup, Closely Tied to the Clintons, Had a Senior V.P. Outed as a QAnon Promoter, a Conspiracy Group that Reviles the Clintons

President Bill Clinton Signing Repeal of Glass-Steagall Act

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 14, 2020 ~ This is the perfect litmus test of just how little mainstream media knows about the dangerous Wall Street banks. Last Thursday, the fact-checking website, Logically, outed Jason Gelinas, who was living a secret-life as a promoter of the conspiracy group, QAnon, while also holding down a Senior V.P. technology position at Citigroup, a giant Wall Street bank that played a key role in the financial and economic collapse of 2008. But instead of headlining the story as “Citigroup V.P Outed as QAnon Promoter,” dozens of headlines described Gelinas as “NJ Man.” (Check out the “NJ Man” headlines here.) As far as we’re aware, there is no context in which the state of New Jersey would be relevant to this story, but there certainly is relevance when it comes to Citigroup. Citigroup has remained strangely silent about the matter, declining to … Continue reading

Citigroup Was Having a Helluva Bad Year – Now a Citi Senior VP Has Been Outed as the Man Behind a QAnon Conspiracy Website

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 12, 2020 ~  So far this year, the mega Wall Street bank, Citigroup, has lost 37 percent of its market value – outpacing peer banks like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. (See chart below.) Then there was the fat finger in August in the back office of Citigroup that wired $900 million by mistake to pay off the entire principal balance of a Revlon bond instead of making just the payment of interest on the bond. Citigroup is now embroiled in lawsuits with the Revlon lenders, attempting to get them to return the money. According to Institutional Investor, “a total of $526.4 million has yet to be returned” as of August 27. The lenders are refusing to return the funds to Citigroup on the basis that Revlon owed them the money anyway because Revlon had improperly changed the … Continue reading

Handed the Reins During Financial Crises: Obama – First Black President, 2009; Jane Fraser – First Female CEO of a Mega Wall Street Bank, Citigroup, 2021

By Pam Martens: September 10, 2020 ~ Leave it to those good ole white men of wealth and privilege to know when to cut and run. President George W. Bush and his Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, (former CEO of Goldman Sachs) handed the smoldering ruins of the U.S. economy to the first Black president in the history of the U.S., Barack Obama, on January 20, 2009. That was right in the midst of the Great Financial Crisis and just four months after some of the most iconic names on Wall Street had either collapsed or were forced into shot-gun marriages. We wrote the following in May 2008 during the runup to the election: “Wall Street, known variously as a barren wasteland for diversity or the last plantation in America, has defied courts and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for decades in its failure to hire blacks as stockbrokers. Now … Continue reading

The Fed Has Loaned $1.2 Billion from its TALF Bailout Program to a Tiny Company with Four Employees

Federal Reserve Building, Washington, D.C.

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 10, 2020 ~ This article was updated at 3:40 p.m. today. See Editor’s note below. ~ Every Wall Street bailout program that the Fed has created since September 17 of last year has, according to the Fed, been ostensibly created to somehow help the average American. According to the Fed’s Term Sheet for the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF), it’s going to “help meet the credit needs of consumers and businesses by facilitating the issuance of asset-backed securities.” Not to put too fine a point on it, but asset-backed securities and related derivatives are what blew up Wall Street in 2008, creating the worst economic downturn, at that point, since the Great Depression. According to the Fed’s TALF transaction data, it has made $2.6 billion in total loans. Forty-six percent of that money, $1.2 billion, went to a company that has 4 … Continue reading

The Wall Street Bank Selloff Yesterday Was More About Oil than Big Tech

Oil Rig

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 9, 2020 ~ The mega banks on Wall Street joined the tech wreck yesterday as illustrated on the chart above. The selloff in these banks can be attributed to, primarily, the selloff in the price of crude oil – which suggests the banks will be forced to increase loan loss reserves as the threat of more bankruptcies among debt-strapped U.S. oil producers increases. Domestic crude oil, known as West Texas Intermediate or WTI, had a $41 handle on Friday on the Nymex. Yesterday, that turned into a $36 handle – a decline of 12 percent from Friday. A WTI handle below $40 is panic-time for U.S. independent oil producers who are deep in debt and struggling to avoid bankruptcy. The big summer driving season that was expected to boost crude demand was officially over the day after Labor Day. But, in fact, a … Continue reading

The Fed Does Not Ride to the Rescue of Wall Street Yesterday: What’s Up?

Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 9, 2020 ~ The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a loss of 632 points yesterday (a 2.25 percent decline) while the Nasdaq erased 465 points for a loss of 4.11 percent. As Wall Street witnessed its most vicious correction since March over the past three consecutive trading sessions, a curious thing happened at the Fed. The Fed’s repo loan money spigot which had churned out more than $9 trillion cumulatively to the trading houses of Wall Street from the inception of the bailout program on September 17, 2019 to our tally in mid-March of this year, pumped out nary a drop of cold cash in repo loans as the market swooned. Big zeros in loans provided by the Fed populated their data sheets on all three days of the selloff. However, to comfort Wall Street with the knowledge that the Fed is … Continue reading

The Untold Story of the Nasdaq Whale: SoftBank’s a Guppy; JPMorgan’s a Whale

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 8, 2020 ~ Last week there was a big buzz among financial media outlets regarding the Japanese conglomerate, SoftBank. According to unnamed sources who spoke to the Financial Times, over the past few months SoftBank has paid about $4 billion in premiums, buying call options on individual U.S. technology stocks. The Financial Times called SoftBank the Nasdaq Whale and said its call buying had “stoked the fevered rally in big tech stocks before a sharp pullback” at the end of last week. A call option on an individual stock is a derivative that gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to purchase the actual stock at a specified price (strike price) over a specified time period. According to the Financial Times, the call options purchased by SoftBank gave it exposure to approximately $30 billion in the stock of big tech companies. … Continue reading