Search Results for: blackrock

Fed Chair Powell Had 4 Private Phone Calls with BlackRock’s CEO Since March as BlackRock Manages Upwards of $25 Million of Powell’s Personal Money and Lands 3 No-Bid Deals with the Fed

Fed Chair Jerome Powell (left); BlackRock CEO Larry Fink (right)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 7, 2020 ~ Earlier this year, Wall Street On Parade reported that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, had an upward range of $11.6 million invested with the investment management firm, BlackRock, and its iShares Exchange Traded Funds, according to Powell’s 2019 financial disclosure form. Powell’s 2020 financial disclosure form is now available. It was signed by Powell on May 15, 2020 and it shows that Powell’s holdings in BlackRock investments have reached an upward range of $24.95 million – an increase of $13.35 million over the prior year’s upward range. (See Editor’s note below.) The date that Powell signed his latest financial disclosure, May 15, is noteworthy. It means that more than 45 days after the New York Fed had hired BlackRock to manage its commercial mortgage-backed securities program and its $750 billion primary and secondary purchases of corporate bonds … Continue reading

BlackRock Authored the Bailout Plan Before There Was a Crisis – Now It’s Been Hired by three Central Banks to Implement the Plan

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 5, 2020 ~ It’s called “Going Direct.” That’s the financial bailout plan designed and authored by former central bankers now on the payroll at BlackRock, an  investment manager of $7 trillion in stock and bond funds. The plan was rolled out in August 2019 at the G7 summit of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming – months before the public was aware of any financial crisis. One month later, on September 17, 2019, the U.S. Federal Reserve would begin an emergency repo loan bailout program, making hundreds of billions of dollars a week in loans by “going direct” to the trading houses on Wall Street. The BlackRock plan calls for blurring the lines between government fiscal policy and central bank monetary policy – exactly what the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve are doing today in the United States. BlackRock has now been … Continue reading

BlackRock Is Bailing Out Its ETFs with Fed Money and Taxpayers Eating Losses; It’s Also the Sole Manager for $335 Billion of Federal Employees’ Retirement Funds

Laurence (Larry) Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 4, 2020 ~  BlackRock, the international investment management firm run by billionaire Larry Fink, has played an outsized role in Federal Reserve bailouts of Wall Street. As it turns out, it’s also been quietly managing hundreds of billions of dollars for more than five million federal government employees in their retirement plan, known as the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). During the last financial crisis of 2007 to 2010, the Federal Reserve gave BlackRock no-bid contracts to manage the toxic assets held in three programs known as Maiden Lane, Maiden Lane II and Maiden Lane III. These were Special Purpose Vehicles set up by the New York Fed. Maiden Lane purchased $30 billion of toxic assets from Bear Stearns as an inducement by the New York Fed to get JPMorgan to purchase the good parts of Bear Stearns. Maiden Lane II purchased mortgage-backed securities … Continue reading

BlackRock Begins Buying Junk Bond ETFs for the Fed Today: It’s Already at Work for the Central Bank of Israel

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 12, 2020 ~ It’s off to the races today for BlackRock. The New York Fed, with authority from the Federal Reserve Board and backstopped with taxpayers’ money, will begin the first phase of the Fed’s unprecedented leap into shoring up the sagging prices of investment grade corporate debt and junk bonds. BlackRock has been selected by the New York Fed to be the investment manager for these bailout facilities and will begin Phase I today by buying up Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) containing investment grade corporate bonds as well as junk bonds. Making the situation particularly dicey is that BlackRock just happens to be one of the largest purveyors of said ETFs. The screaming conflict-of-interest that this raises in the minds of many is not ruffling any feathers at the New York Fed (which is itself a bundle of conflicts wrapped in a … Continue reading

Fed Chair Powell Has Upwards of $11.6 Million Invested with BlackRock, the Firm that Will Manage a $750 Billion Corporate Bond Bailout Program for the Fed

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 5, 2020 ~ Most Americans likely assume that Jerome Powell, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, is an economist, like the prior chairs of the Fed over the past 40 years. He’s not. Powell is a former investment banker at the Wall Street firm, Dillon Read; a former partner at the controversial private equity and leveraged buyout firm, the Carlyle Group, which has spent over $1 billion over the past decade lobbying the federal government; and a former lawyer at Davis Polk, a Big Law firm that played a key role advising the government and Treasury in the 2008 Wall Street bailout. Powell’s background would be strange enough but now consider this. The Vice Chairman for Supervision at the Fed, Randal Quarles, who is in charge of supervising the largest and most dangerous Wall Street bank holding companies in the U.S., has an … Continue reading

Icahn Called BlackRock “An Extremely Dangerous Company”; the Fed Has Chosen It to Manage Its Corporate Bond Bailout Programs

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 30, 2020 ~ In 2015, the legendary Wall Street investor, Carl Icahn, called BlackRock “an extremely dangerous company.” (See video clip below.) Icahn was specifically talking about BlackRock’s packaging of junk bonds into Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and calling them “High Yield,” which the average American doesn’t understand is a junk-rated bond. The ETFs trade during market hours on the New York Stock Exchange, giving them the aura of liquidity when one needs it. Icahn said: “I used to laugh with some of these guys…I used to say, you know, the mafia has a better code of ethics than you guys. You know you’re selling this crap.” Icahn warned that “if and when there’s a real problem in the economy, there’s going to be a rush for the exits like in a movie theatre, and people want to sell those bonds, and think … Continue reading

Wall Street’s Felon Banks to Go Live with their Own Stock Exchange this Month

New York Stock Exchange

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 2, 2020 ~  Members Exchange (MEMX), a brand new stock exchange, has announced that it will begin live trading of select stocks for the first time on September 21 with a full phase-in on September 29. Criminal histories are, apparently, no barrier to running a stock exchange in the United States to the deeply conflicted way of thinking of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which issued its approval to operate the exchange on May 5. Investors in the new stock exchange are some of the most serially-charged Wall Street banks, including JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and UBS, along with the hedge fund, Citadel Securities. BlackRock, which is up to its neck in the Federal Reserve’s deeply conflicted bailout programs, is also an investor, as is the high-frequency trading firm, Virtu Financial, and others. JPMorgan Chase has been criminally investigated by the U.S. Department … Continue reading

The Fed Created an Emergency Lending Program to Hold Interest Rates Down; the Tiny Country of Sri Lanka Was the Major User

Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C.

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 6, 2020 ~ At Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference on July 29, he persisted in his explanation that all of the Fed’s bailout programs are really about helping the American people get back on their feet. Here’s one more, among a growing mountain, of reasons to question that. Sri Lanka is an island country situated in the Indian Ocean and located about 9,000 miles from the United States. Its population of approximately 21 million ranks it the size of the state of Florida. Despite those statistics, Sri Lanka somehow became the main participant in an emergency lending facility set up by the Fed. According to an official statement by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), “the CBSL has decided to pledge a sum of USD 1 billion worth of US Treasury Bonds held in the CBSL reserve and enter into the … Continue reading

The Fed Rides to the Rescue of JPMorgan and Citi Again – This Time It’s Their Commercial Real Estate Mortgages

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 20, 2020 ~ Quietly, on July 13, the New York Fed published a list of asset-backed loans that it had approved for eligibility in one of its emergency lending  programs, the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, otherwise known as TALF. The New York Fed stuck a smattering of small business loans and one student loan product on the list. Everything else was securitized pools of mortgages on commercial real estate, much of it issued by JPMorgan and Citigroup. TALF was supposed to help the consumer by keeping interest rates down on consumer loans. It’s pretty tough to find a connection between the consumer and commercial real estate mortgages on hotels, shopping malls and office buildings. One thing notable about the New York Fed’s approved list is that the securitizations of these commercial mortgages by JPMorgan had occurred as far back as 2013 and … Continue reading

Powell and Mnuchin Agree to Work with a Proposed “Department of Reconciliation” to Deal with Effects of Slavery and Segregation

Fed Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 1, 2020 ~ Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin apparently fear unleashing more angry protesters across the country screaming “no justice, no peace” into an air increasingly filled with COVID-19 droplets, more than they fear Trump Tweeting reprisals against them in the wee hours of the morning. Both Powell and Mnuchin raised their hands yesterday during the House Financial Services Committee hearing to agree to work with a proposed Department of Reconciliation to deal with the country’s history of slavery, segregation and ongoing “invidious discrimination” of people of color. The hearing had been called by the Chair of the Committee, Maxine Waters, to take testimony on “Oversight of the Treasury Department’s and Federal Reserve’s Pandemic Response.” That topic was frequently framed around questions of racial discrimination and inequality. The raised hands from Powell and Mnuchin came in response to questioning … Continue reading

Fed Launches Corporate Bond Buying Program, Gobbling Up Fossil Fuels and Tobacco Bonds

cigarette burning

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 28, 2020 ~ Taxpayers’ money under the CARES Act is going up in smoke — literally. As of today, there are more than 32,000 people in the United States hospitalized with COVID-19, with thousands struggling to breathe from a virus that attacks the respiratory system as well as other parts of the body. So what has the Federal Reserve decided to do to help out during this national health crisis? It’s propping up the prices of the bonds issued by fossil fuel corporations and Big Tobacco – two serial polluters of the air we breathe. The Fed decided to release its first list of individual corporate bond purchases in its Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility today – on Sunday – when folks are out taking a walk with face masks in an effort to avoid dangerous particles in the air. The same Fed … Continue reading

$340 Billion of the $454 Billion that Mnuchin Was to Turn Over to the Fed is Unaccounted For

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 22, 2020 ~ President Donald Trump has been sacking federal watchdogs at the speed of a bullet train. In just a six-week period in April and May, the President fired five Inspectors General of federal agencies. In last Friday night’s coup d’état, Attorney General William Barr, acting as consigliere for the President, ousted the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the federal prosecutor that oversees prosecutions of Wall Street banks in that district. The privately owned Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which is in charge of the bulk of the Fed’s bailout programs, also resides in that district. Barr and the President want to put a man with zero experience as a prosecutor in charge of that office, Jay Clayton, who currently heads the Securities and Exchange Commission which has only civil enforcement powers. Clayton represented 8 of the … Continue reading

Fed Chair Powell Attempts to Blame U.S. Inequality on Globalization – Gets Smacked Down by Bloomberg Reporter

Michael McKee, Bloomberg TV

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 11, 2020 ~ Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conferences are typically snooze sessions. Yesterday’s virtual press conference got off to a similar start with mainstream media reporters asking about inflation and monetary policy instead of the more critical questions they should have been asking in the midst of the worst labor market and business closures since the Great Depression and food pantry lines that stretch for blocks. Fortunately, two reporters shook things up at the very end of the press conference. Nancy Marshall-Genzer of Marketplace, which airs on public media stations, bluntly asked Powell this: “Is there more the Fed could do to deal with inequality, for example, use the Black unemployment rate as a benchmark.” Powell’s answer was an abomination. First Powell stated that inequality is not related to monetary policy. Next, he decided to target a more specific villain – … Continue reading

The Fed Just Pulled Off Another Backdoor Bailout of Wall Street

Wall Street Bank Logos

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 10, 2020 ~ The Federal Reserve has authorized 11 financial bailout programs thus far. Despite Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s reassurances at his press conferences that these programs are to help American families, a full 10 of these programs are actually bailouts of Wall Street banks or their trading units. The latest Wall Street bank bailout to come out of hiding is the Fed’s Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF). This program was supposed to buy up corporate bonds in the secondary market in order to help corporate bond markets regain liquidity. Thus far, the only thing the SMCCF has bought up are Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) holding investment grade and junk-rated bonds. The SMCCF program began operations on May 12. By May 18 the Fed had spent $1.58 billion buying up ETFs. The ultimate goal of the facility, at this point, is to … Continue reading

Fed Admits Corporate Bond Buying Will Be at Least a 5-Year Debt Bailout

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 27, 2020 ~ On May 13 the House Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions held a virtual roundtable with federal regulators. One of the regulators in attendance was the Vice Chair for Supervision at the Federal Reserve, Randal Quarles. At the very end of what evolved into a roundtable beset with static and inaudible passages, it was Utah Congressman Ben McAdams’ turn to ask questions. McAdams’ voice was sharp and crisp. He politely said he had a question about the corporate bond buying program that the Fed was launching (for the first time in its 107-year history). The exchange went as follows: McAdams: “Do you anticipate holding these investments through the life of the purchased bond or do you anticipate selling them at a date TBD [to be determined]? Quarles: “Our intention is to buy and hold.” That answer from … Continue reading