Search Results for: boli

Financial Lynching Must Be Part of the National Debate

U.S. Capitol With Storm Clouds

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 1, 2020 ~ As we watched the dangerous scenes of protesters interacting with riot police and the ransacking of banks and businesses in cities across the United States this past weekend, a warning from the 19th century abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, came to mind: “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” The protests last week and this past weekend were sparked by unspeakable cellphone videos of a Minneapolis policeman, Derek Chauvin, torturing and murdering George Floyd with his knee crushing his throat for almost nine minutes as Floyd lay handcuffed and pinned face down on the ground by Chauvin and three other police officers. Only Chauvin has been charged with third degree … Continue reading

Wall Street’s Banks Could Profit by Millions on Coronavirus Deaths of Employees

Bank Logos (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 7, 2020 ~ If it sounds ghoulish, it’s because it is ghoulish. Some of the biggest banks on Wall Street have been intimidating their traders to come back to work despite an executive order from the Governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, ordering people to remain at home during the coronavirus outbreak unless they work for essential businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies and hospitals. New York State, home to Wall Street, is now the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States with 5,489 deaths as of today or 44 percent of all deaths from coronavirus in the entire United States. Now, it turns out, while Wall Street traders have taken on greater health risks of catching the coronavirus by traveling to work on mass transit and working in a potentially contaminated building, some of the biggest banks will collect a … Continue reading

10,599 Corporate Lawyers Have Donated to Buttigieg’s Campaign: Here Are the Dirty Little Secrets

Pete Buttigieg

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 10, 2020 ~ Pete Buttigieg, a 38-year old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a city with a population of 102,000, who has never held an elected federal office and was unknown to the majority of Americans last spring, has magically risen to the top ranks of the field of Democratic contenders for President – a field that includes three sitting U.S. Senators and a former Vice President. On top of Buttigieg’s lack of experience in Washington, Buttigieg has almost no support from the black community, which would be essential for winning the Presidency. So exactly why has Buttigieg raised $77 million from some of the smartest and richest people in America. According to our tally from the Federal Election Commission’s data, 10,599 donor entries for Buttigieg list their occupation as lawyer or attorney. On top of that, there’s a high correlation between … Continue reading

Democratic Debate July 30, 2019: Highlights that Sizzled

Democratic Debate Hosted by CNN, Tuesday, July 30, 2019

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 31, 2019 ~ Last night’s Democratic Debate could have covered all the positions in the field at Yankee Stadium and had one player left over. In fact, the debate roster should have been limited to nine contenders instead of ten because former Maryland Congressman John Delaney was clearly batting for the other team. Time and time again, Delaney sounded like a die-hard Republican. And Delaney was aided and abetted by CNN moderator Jake Tapper, who phrased one question to Senator Bernie Sanders this way: Tapper: “Let’s start the debate with the number-one issue for Democratic voters, health care. And Senator Sanders, let’s start with you. You support Medicare For All, which would eventually take private health insurance away from more than 150 million Americans, in exchange for government-sponsored health care for everyone. Congressman Delaney just referred to it as bad policy. And previously, … Continue reading

JPMorgan Managing Director Dies Suddenly; Has Links to Other JPM Deaths

By Pam Martens: March 18, 2019 ~ When you are the largest bank in the United States and you’ve been compared to the Gambino crime family in a book by two trial lawyers; when you’ve pleaded guilty to three criminal felony counts brought by the United States Justice Department in the past five years; when you’ve paid over $30 billion in fines over charges of crimes against the public and investors since 2008; and when you’ve had an unprecedented string of employees leaping to their death from buildings, dropping dead at home or on the street, and two alleged murder-suicides by employees — all in just the past five years – one might think that law enforcement might show some interest – especially since this employer – JPMorgan Chase – holds tens of billions of dollars of Bank-Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) on its workers. (This death benefit, by the way, … Continue reading

Koch Advances Its Wall Street Playbook, Gutting the Office of Financial Research

Dino Falaschetti, Donald Trump's Nominee to Head the Office of Financial Research, Has Close Ties to Two Koch-Funded Front Groups

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 9, 2018 ~ As we have previously reported, there is indisputable documentation that Charles Koch, the fossil fuels billionaire who sits at the helm of Koch Industries, is in charge of the de-regulatory agenda in the Trump administration through a web of front groups. More proof came yesterday. Reuters announced that the Trump administration had “formally told” around 40 staff members of the Office of Financial Research (OFR) that “they will lose their jobs as part of a broader reorganization of the agency….” Reuters also reported that the agency’s budget has already been cut by 25 percent “to around $76 million.” Imagine having only $76 million to police an industry where just one of the big Wall Street banks, JPMorgan Chase, had profits of $8.32 billion in its last quarter. Charles Koch has long understood that if you can’t repeal the legislation that … Continue reading

Why Did Trump Just Bully the Federal Reserve on Interest Rates

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 20, 2018 ~ Could we start hearing chants of “lock him up” against Fed Chair Jerome Powell at Trump rallies? Could Powell be ridiculed as “Little Interest Rate Man” on Trump’s Twitter feed? Trump may be attempting to plant those seeds of angst in Powell’s brain. In addition to playing with Powell’s head, President Donald Trump accomplished two things in his interview on CNBC yesterday when he made it clear that he’s “not thrilled” with the Federal Reserve’s plans to continue raising interest rates. He threw more red meat to his base (many of whom want to abolish the Fed altogether) and he laid the groundwork for scapegoating the Fed if the economy goes south on his watch. Trump had this to say about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates to CNBC anchor Joe Kernen (see full interview in video below): “I’m not … Continue reading

An Open Letter to Fellow Americans on the 242nd Anniversary of our Nation

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 4, 2018 ~ Happy Independence Day. Or not. Today marks the 242nd anniversary of America adopting the Declaration of Independence and throwing off the yoke of King George III – the tyrant against whom much of our founding document was written. These are among the charges that the crafters of this historic document leveled against the King: “He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good… “He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries… “For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world… “For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury…” Now consider where we Americans stand today. Within six months of assuming the most powerful position in the world, President Donald Trump, who … Continue reading

Facebook and JPMorgan Chase: Case Studies in Exploitive Monetization

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 5, 2018 Last week the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, gave a harsh critique on how Facebook is making its money. Cook told an MSNBC Town Hall: “The truth is we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer, if our customer was our product. We’ve elected not to do that.” Cook has good reason to believe that Facebook has “monetized” its customers. After a whistleblower from the data mining company, Cambridge Analytica, exposed that Facebook had allowed the private information on 50 million Facebook users to be exploited for micro-targeting on behalf of the Trump presidential campaign, the company has come under withering criticism. Yesterday, in a press conference, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, conceded to reporters that the privacy breach by Cambridge Analytica could have affected as many as 87 million Facebook users. The company also announced … Continue reading

U.S. Economy at Risk from Trump’s Poll Numbers

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 15, 2017 A new poll is out from the Associated Press/NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago. It doesn’t bode well for Donald Trump’s presidency nor for the U.S. economy. Despite Wall Street’s century-old propaganda campaign to convince Washington that it controls the levers to economic growth in the U.S., and thus must be placated on its every desire, informed citizens understand that economic power rests in the hands of the consumer in a nation where two-thirds of GDP is consumer spending. Likewise, consumer confidence in the President of the United States impacts one’s willingness to open the purse strings and buy. The thinking is: if the country is headed in the wrong direction, how safe is my job? Perhaps I should stop spending and put money away for a rainy day. The new poll shows that 64 percent … Continue reading

Breaking Up the Big Wall Street Banks Is Back in the Headlines

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 24, 2017 In the past two weeks, newspaper headlines have revived the debate on whether the mega Wall Street banks continue to pose a systemic threat to the U.S. banking system and the economy. This is a desperately needed public debate that demands facts – not a revisionist history of what actually caused the 2008-2010 Wall Street collapse and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. This recent attention has been fueled by reports that Gary Cohn, former President of Goldman Sachs who now heads Donald Trump’s National Economic Council, met privately this month with members of the Senate Banking Committee and indicated he would be open to the restoration of a modernized version of the Glass-Steagall Act. (Mr. Cohn did not refute those reports.) The 1933 Glass-Steagall Act was passed by Congress at the height of the Wall Street collapse and … Continue reading

We’re All Minorities Now

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 21, 2017 The one percent now effectively owns Washington: the making of our laws, the writing of Executive Orders, the running of Federal agencies with the power to put crooks among the one percent in prison – or not, and they are now the overseers of gutting Federal programs that benefit the 99 percent. One thought comes to mind about this state of affairs. The abolitionist and writer, Frederick Douglass, once said: “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” The majority of Americans, whether they are yet aware or not, now walks in the shoes of Frederick Douglass. We’re all minorities now. The billionaires and their lackeys rule. How did a … Continue reading

Obama’s Perpetual Farewell Tour

By Pam Martens: January 19, 2017 The man who was compared to a Messiah when he won the presidential election in 2008 has been on an excruciatingly long goodbye tour. First there was his farewell speech to the United Nations in September. Next came his farewell tour across Europe in November – the Messiah’s last foreign trip. Then there was his farewell speech in the U.S. Yesterday, there was a tortuously vacuous farewell press conference, which toward the end, had the feeling that actors from central casting had replaced real journalists in the press room in order to memorialize the greatness of this President. Whenever I think about this President, I think of Bruce Dixon, the Managing Editor of the Black Agenda Report in 2008 during Obama’s first presidential campaign. The Black Agenda Report writes for black Americans. Dixon wrote the following in February 2008: “Whether it is truly possible … Continue reading

WikiLeaks Fallout: Donna Brazile to America, Don’t Believe Your Lying Eyes

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 13, 2016 After the prior Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, resigned in disgrace in July after Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks released emails showing that the DNC had actively engaged in derailing the presidential candidacy of Senator Bernie Sanders to tip the field to Hillary Clinton, the woman who replaced Wasserman Schultz as Interim Chair of the DNC, Donna Brazile, is under the gun for putting her finger on the scale for Hillary Clinton. On March 12, 2016, Brazile was serving in the dual capacity as a Vice Chair of the DNC and a contributor to CNN. The recent WikiLeaks release of emails shows that on that date at 4:39 p.m., Brazile sent an email to Jennifer Palmieri, Communications Director for the Hillary Clinton campaign, titled: “From time to time I get the questions in advance.” The title clearly conveys … Continue reading

If Elizabeth Warren Wants to Probe Worker Abuse on Wall Street, Start With the Unprecedented Rash of Deaths and Suicides

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 28, 2016 On September 22, 2016 eight Senate Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley and Sherrod Brown, wrote to the Department of Labor requesting an investigation of the banking behemoth, Wells Fargo, to determine if it violated labor laws. The letter came amidst the public outcry over news that Wells Fargo’s employees had opened as many as 2 million customer accounts without authorization in order to meet stringent sales quotas for cross-selling products. The Senators wrote in the letter: “…dozens of former and current Wells Fargo employees have come forward to describe the lengths they went to in order to meet the bank’s aggressive sales quotas. When quotas weren’t met, employees faced threats of termination; mandated hours of unpaid overtime; harassment; and other forms of retaliation. For years Wells Fargo employees have described a management culture characterized by ‘mental abuse,’ being … Continue reading

The Untold Story of 9/11: Bailing Out Alan Greenspan’s Legacy

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 11, 2016 Today marks the 15th Anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001 and yet the American public remains in the dark about critical details of hundreds of billions of dollars of financial dealings by the Federal Reserve in the days, weeks and months that followed 9/11. What has also been lost in the official 9/11 Commission Report, Congressional hearings and academic studies, is how Wall Street, on the day the planes slammed into the World Trade Towers, was on the cusp of being exposed by the New York State Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, as the orchestrator of a fraud of unprecedented proportion against the investing public. That investigation was stalled for more than six months. It would have been politically incorrect to do perp walks outside Wall Street’s biggest investment banks as families mourned the loss of their loved ones; … Continue reading

The Next President of the United States and the Economy

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 7, 2016 Wall Street was determined that a Democratic Socialist like Senator Bernie Sanders would never occupy the Oval Office. In hindsight, Wall Street may come to seriously regret that it and a full blown conspiracy at the Democratic National Committee blocked the ascendancy of one of the most popular and trusted presidential candidates in a generation. Trust and confidence are essential ingredients for a healthy stock market and U.S. economy. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. consumers spent over $12 trillion last year “on all kinds of stuff, including new cars, furniture, clothes, groceries, beauty products, electronics, visits to doctors and dentists, and tickets to sporting events and movies.” The total U.S. GDP for 2015 was $17.947 trillion. That makes the consumer the Decider in Chief of what happens in the U.S. The consumer’s willingness to spend represented 66.86 percent … Continue reading

SEC and Stock Frauds: Can This Dog Hunt?

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 16, 2016 A dubious search engine company trading over-the-counter on Wall Street, with a felon as a “General Design and Marketing Strategist” who was banned from the industry for previous stock frauds, and with the craziest SEC filings and disclosure documents you’ll ever read in your lifetime, was finally halted from trading yesterday by the SEC – but only after reaching a market value of $35 billion. The SEC said in its announcement of the trading halt of the company, NeuroMama, Ltd., Inc., that it had “concerns” about “the identity of the persons in control of the company’s operations and management, false statements to company shareholders and/or potential investors that the company has an application pending for listing on the NASDAQ Stock Market, and potentially manipulative transactions in the company’s stock.” Yesterday’s SEC statement simply does not do justice to the insanity of … Continue reading

What’s Really Behind the Washington Post’s Efforts to Marginalize Bernie Sanders?

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 20, 2016  An article in the Washington Post yesterday continued the paper’s unrelenting efforts to marginalize Senator Bernie Sanders and his effort to press forward on his call for a political revolution in America.  The Post article brandished its most preposterous cudgel yet: the cost of Senator Sanders’ continuing protection by the Secret Service, which it suggested was a drain on taxpayers. Calling Sanders the “now-vanquished Democratic presidential candidate,” the Post’s John Wagoner laments that even though “Hillary Clinton has clinched the party’s nomination,” Sanders is still receiving Secret Service protection which could be costing taxpayers more than $38,000 a day. In fact, Clinton hasn’t clinched anything until there is an official vote taken at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 25-28, no matter how much corporate media might wish otherwise. And since there has never been a Presidential candidate like Clinton, … Continue reading

Hollywood and Bernie Sanders Take Over Reforming Wall Street

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 14, 2016  As Presidential candidate and Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, stumps around the country telling tens of thousands of plundered Americans that Wall Street’s business model is fraud, Hollywood is amplifying that message to millions of moviegoers this year with a series of films that roll back the curtain on how Wall Street has morphed into a crime syndicate.  Wall Street is accustomed to having its legions of high-paid lobbyists and sycophants at the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal doing the heavy lifting in its serial campaign to recast the financial crash in 2008 and its attendant economic implosion as something other than outright fraud. Even when new, serial, diabolical frauds sprang up post-crisis, like JPMorgan’s London Whale, or the cartel rigging of the interest rate benchmark Libor, and the multi-bank foreign currency conspiracy, the lie repeated a thousand times … Continue reading

Michael Hudson’s New Book: Wall Street Parasites Have Devoured Their Hosts — Your Retirement Plan and the U.S. Economy

By Pam Martens: August 31, 2015  The riveting writer, Michael Hudson, has read our collective minds and the simmering anger in our hearts. Millions of American have long suspected that their inability to get financially ahead is an intentional construct of Wall Street’s central planners. Now Hudson, in an elegant but lethal indictment of the system, confirms that your ongoing struggle to make ends meet is not a reflection of your lack of talent or drive but the only possible outcome of having a blood-sucking financial leech affixed to your body, your retirement plan, and your economic future. In his new book, “Killing the Host,” Hudson hones an exquisitely gripping journey from Wall Street’s original role as capital allocator to its present-day parasitism that has replaced U.S. capitalism as an entrenched, politically-enforced economic model across America. This book is a must-read for anyone hoping to escape the most corrupt era … Continue reading

Wall Street Front Group Pleads for Government Help in New York Times OpEd

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 17, 2015 After the U.S. government pumped the secret, astronomical sum of more than $13 trillion into Wall Street during the years surrounding the 2008 financial crisis to bail it out of its own greedy and reckless gambles, Wall Street is shamelessly asking for more government handouts in the opinion pages of the New York Times. The woman pitching this pathetic poppycock, Kathryn S. Wylde, was actually on the Board of Directors at the New York Fed during the crisis – the very institution that sluiced the secret $13 trillion into Wall Street’s coffers. If you live outside of New York City, you’ve never heard of the Partnership for New York City. Even if you live inside New York City, unless you’re part of the black tie cocktail circuit, you’ve still never heard of the group. So when the New York Times gave … Continue reading

Wall Street Banker Deaths Continue; Where Are the Serious Investigations?

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 2, 2015 Last Thursday, 29-year old Thomas J. Hughes, later described by his brother as “one of the happiest people I know,” allegedly took his life by jumping from a luxury apartment building at 1 West Street in Manhattan. Before any serious investigation had taken place, the New York tabloids had dismissed the matter as a suicide. Hughes was an investment banker on Wall Street. In any serious investigation, law enforcement is required to look at any potential motive for foul play. But when it comes to serial deaths among Wall Street bankers and technology personnel, occurring repeatedly over the last 18 months in highly unusual circumstances, the deaths are almost instantaneously labeled non-suspicious by the police. But there are two glaring motives for foul-play in almost all of these deaths involving Wall Street or global banks. First, major Wall Street banks hold … Continue reading

These Two Women Are Rattling Wall Street With Common Sense Values

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 27, 2015 Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts is a household name in America. Kara Stein is not. But both of these women are having a seismic impact on entrenched Wall Street group-think in Washington. Stein is one of the five Commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), appointed by President Obama and sworn in just 22 months ago. Stein brought a unique set of qualifications to the SEC: from 2009 to 2013, Stein served as Staff Director of the Securities, Insurance, and Investment Subcommittee of the Senate Banking Committee. She is credited with playing a key role in drafting significant portions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. What Warren and Stein have in common are values of right and wrong that resonate deeply with the American people and the willingness to speak common sense truths that challenge the … Continue reading

Wall Street’s Wealth Transfer System Is Imperiling the U.S. Economy

By Pam Martens: April 13, 2015 For nine years now we have written about Wall Street’s institutionalized system of transferring wealth from decent, hardworking Americans to the denizens of Wall Street and those it selectively chooses to favor in the one percent class. The methods of wealth transfer are as diverse as they are diabolical, thus even well intentioned members of Congress cannot stem the havoc on the financial well being of the average American and the overall economy. One facet that all of these wealth transfer systems have in common is that they all masquerade under a benign sounding name. The 401(k) plan is viewed by most Americans as a way to save for retirement. That’s a good thing – right? It is not a good thing when two-thirds of your savings over a working lifetime end up in Wall Street’s pocket, as carefully demonstrated by Frontline and math-checked … Continue reading