Search Results for: rap sheet

A Private Citizen Would Be in Prison If He Had Citigroup’s Rap Sheet

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 27, 2017 Since its financial meltdown in 2008 and unprecedented bailout by the U.S. taxpayer, Citigroup (parent of Citibank) has been repeatedly charged by its Federal regulators with odious crimes against its pooled mortgage investors, credit card and banking customers, student loan borrowers, and for its foreclosure frauds. It has paid billions of dollars in fines for its past misdeeds while new charges pile up. In 2015, it became an admitted felon for participating in rigging foreign exchange markets. In short, Citigroup is a lawbreaking recidivist. If it were a mere human, it would be serving a long prison term. Instead, its fines for charges of egregious acts are getting smaller, not larger. Last Tuesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which typically has a good track record of holding the big Wall Street banks accountable for their misdeeds, imposed an unusually feeble … Continue reading

DOJ Calls Out UBS Rap Sheet; Ignores Homegrown Citigroup’s Rap Sheet

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 22, 2015 When the U.S. Department of Justice held its press conference on Wednesday to announce that five mega banks were each pleading guilty to a felony charge, paying big fines and being put on probation for three years, Assistant U.S. Attorney General Leslie Caldwell specifically took a battering ram to the reputation of Swiss bank, UBS. Four banks — Citicorp, a unit of Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays — pleaded guilty to an antitrust charge of conspiring to rig foreign currency trading while UBS pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud for its earlier involvement in rigging the interest rate benchmark, Libor. In explaining why the Justice Department was ripping up the non-prosecution agreement it had negotiated with UBS in December 2012 over its involvement in the Libor fraud and now charging it with a … Continue reading

Taxpayers Are on the Hook for 98 Percent of the Fed’s $6.98 Trillion Balance Sheet

Piggy Bank Thumbnail

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 19, 2020 ~ If there has been any positive outcome from the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been that the American people are beginning to take a cold, hard look at how the U.S. economy has been engineered as a vast wealth transfer system for the one percent. We have peeled back the dark curtain further today on how the Federal Reserve has been structured as an unlimited money spigot to enrich that one percent as it privatizes profits for the criminally-inclined Wall Street titans and socializes the losses to the law-abiding 99 percent of hardworking Americans. ~~~ The Federal Reserve Board of Governors consists of seven individuals appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. As of today, only five of those Governor seats have been filled. As of last Wednesday, these five unelected individuals were overseeing … Continue reading

These Two Graphics Show Why New York City Is the Virus Epicenter in the U.S.

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 23, 2020 ~ For want of a mask the largest economy in the world has been gutted, with Goldman Sachs now projecting that U.S. GDP could contract by as much as 24 percent in the second quarter. New York City, a major contributor to U.S. GDP, is now the epicenter of coronavirus cases in the U.S. We saw this as a likely outcome from the moment that we learned that droplets could be spread from person to person through the air. According to the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan, “the average population density of the U.S. is 87 people per square mile.” But in New York City, “the population density is 27,012 people per square mile,” far greater than any other major city in America. Let that sink in for a moment. The population density in New York City … Continue reading

Fed’s Balance Sheet Spikes by $253 Billion, Now Topping $4 Trillion

Congress on Fed's 2019 Money Spigot to Wall Street

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 18, 2019 ~ Shhh! Don’t tell Congress that the Federal Reserve is back to electronically creating money out of thin air to throw at a liquidity problem (of an, as yet, undetermined origin) on Wall Street. And be sure not to mention that the Fed’s balance sheet has shot up in a period of just 42 days by $253 billion. And, of course, don’t remind Congress that before the last Wall Street crisis was over the Fed had secretly, with no oversight from Congress, piled up a $29 trillion tab to bail out Wall Street — a fact it fought years in court to keep under wraps. On September 4, 2019, the Fed’s assets on its balance sheet stood at $3.761 trillion. As of October 16, that figure is $4.014 trillion, edging closer to the $4.5 trillion peak it reached in 2015 following … Continue reading

Fed’s Powell Admits a Bigger Bailout for Wall Street Is Coming; Fed’s Balance Sheet Ballooned by $176 Billion Since September

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell Speaking at the National Association of Business Economists on October 8, 2019

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 9, 2019 ~ Yesterday, at a speaking event in Denver at the National Association of Business Economists, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged that a larger, long-term bailout of Wall Street is coming. His two key points were buried in a subterfuge of puffery but came across loud and clear: “…my colleagues and I will soon announce measures to add to the supply of reserves over time.” And this: “As we indicated in our March statement on balance sheet normalization, at some point, we will begin increasing our securities holdings to maintain an appropriate level of reserves. That time is now upon us.” Let that final statement sink in for a moment. Under the previous Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen, balance sheet normalization at the Federal Reserve meant reducing the Fed’s unprecedented $4.5 trillion balance sheet to get back to something near pre-crisis levels. … Continue reading

Wall Street’s Dark Pools Get a Bonanza Wrapped as Reform by the SEC

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 25, 2018 ~ The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has had two separate Wall Street lawyers at its helm for the past five years (under both the Wall Street- friendly Obama administration as well as the current Trump administration), has released a 558-page document that attempts to pass itself off as reforming Wall Street’s Dark Pools. Instead, it simply tinkers around the meaningless edges of reform. Dark Pools are trading venues that should not exist in an efficient, transparent and honest securities market. They are effectively unregulated stock exchanges being run internally by some of the biggest Wall Street banks on Wall Street: The same banks (like Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch) that have been serially charged with abusing their customers. Instead of sending their stock trades to the New York Stock Exchange or another independent stock exchange, the … Continue reading

The New Banking Crisis — In Two Frightening Graphs

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 27, 2016 After repeated, but ignored, warnings over the past two years from researchers at the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Financial Research (OFR), the new banking crisis has arrived with a vengeance and at a most inopportune time – when confidence is already draining from the financial system because of two U.S. presidential candidates with the highest disapproval ratings in modern history.  Yesterday, Germany’s largest financial institution, Deutsche Bank, lost 7.06 percent by the close of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. That plunge in one of the most globally-interconnected banks dragged down the shares of every major Wall Street bank yesterday: Bank of America lost 2.77 percent; Morgan Stanley declined by 2.76 percent; Citigroup lost 2.67 percent; Goldman Sachs shed 2.21 percent; and JPMorgan Chase closed down 2.19 percent. Deutsche Bank, whose shares traded at more than $120 pre-crisis in 2007, … 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

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

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

Aid to “Badly Managed” States Versus Aid to “Badly Managed” Wall Street Banks

Great Bank Heist

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 14, 2020 ~ According to the official press briefing transcript on August 8, President Donald Trump explained the stalemate between his administration and the Democrats in passing the latest stimulus bill as follows: “…what the Democrats primarily want is bailout money. It has nothing to do with the China virus. It has nothing to do with anything that we’ve been talking about over the last period of time. They want to bailout states that have been badly managed by Democrats, badly run by Democrats for many years — and, in fact, in all cases, many decades.  And we’re not willing to do that.” But according to the U.S. Government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, two of the states making outsized contributions to the GDP of the United States are California and New York. They are just two states out of a total of 50 … Continue reading

Citigroup Has Made a Sap of the Fed: It’s Borrowing at 0.35 % from the Fed While Charging Struggling Consumers 27.4 % on Credit Cards

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 2, 2020 ~ The first thing you need to know about Citibank and its parent, Citigroup, is that they have an extensive rap sheet. (See here). The second thing you need to know is that Citigroup is a serial predator that perpetually promises its regulators that it’s going to reform, but never does. The third thing you need to know is that Citigroup has made a sap out of the Federal Reserve – not once, but twice. During the last financial crisis of 2007 to 2010, Citigroup somehow induced the Fed to secretly give it $2.5 trillion cumulatively in below-market rate loans for 2-1/2 years to prop up its sinking carcass. Citi got the cheap loans (often at below one-half of one percent) and then went right on charging its struggling credit card customers high double-digit interest rates. Citi played a major role … 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

Citigroup, an Admitted Felon with a History of Abusing Customers, Is Handling Billions from the Stimulus Bill

Great Bank Heist

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 2, 2020 ~ Yesterday CNBC reported that Citigroup is one of the banks selected by the Small Business Administration to handle billions of dollars earmarked in last week’s stimulus bill to help small businesses get back on their feet and keep their employees paid during the coronavirus crisis. Citigroup’s Citicorp subsidiary was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, a criminal felony count brought by the U.S. Department of Justice on May 20, 2015 for its role in rigging foreign currency trading. Its rap sheet for a long series of abuses to its customers and investors since 2008 is nothing short of breathtaking. (See its rap sheet at the end of this article.) During the financial crash of 2007 to 2010, Citigroup received the largest bailout in global banking history after its former top executives had walked away with hundreds of millions of dollars … Continue reading