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

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

Could JPMorgan Chase Be Hit with a Fourth Felony Count for Rigging Precious Metals Markets?

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 11, 2019 ~ On September 25, 2013, after spending five years and 7,000 hours using taxpayers’ money investigating the potential rigging of the silver market, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) concluded that “there is not a viable basis to bring an enforcement action with respect to any firm or its employees related to our investigation of silver markets.” The investigation was provoked by multiple complaints asserting the market was rigged. The CFTC is a Federal regulator that oversees the U.S. commodities markets. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is also a Federal agency and the only one that can bring a criminal case against firms and individuals who commit conspiracy and fraud in commodity and securities markets. (The Securities and Exchange Commission can bring only civil, not criminal, cases.) On October 9 of last year, the DOJ used its criminal powers and … Continue reading

As Regulators Squirm in their Seats at Hearing, JPMorgan and Citigroup Get Slapped with More Rigging Charges by EU

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 17, 2019 ~ At a House Financial Services Committee hearing yesterday, Republicans attempted to marshal arguments for why U.S. banks needed more relief from regulatory oversight. Those arguments weren’t helped by the news of the day. As the hearing got underway, headlines were being promulgated around the globe that JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and three foreign banks had been fined $1.2 billion by the European Commission for rigging foreign exchange markets. The U.S. Department of Justice leveled criminal felony charges on the same two U.S. banks in 2015 for rigging the same market. Both banks admitted to the charges at that time. A decade after the greatest financial crash in the United States since the Great Depression; after the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation has failed miserably in stopping the ongoing crime spree by Wall Street’s largest banks; and as radical right-wing members of Congress … Continue reading

Wall Street’s Sleeping Cops Head to the Hill Tomorrow

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 15, 2019 ~ The House Financial Services Committee, Chaired by Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, has been doing the heavy lifting for Congress when it comes to oversight of the mega banks on Wall Street. After grilling the CEOs of these banks on April 10, the Committee will convene again tomorrow to grill the Federal regulators of these serially charged mega banks. The witness list includes: Rodney Hood, Chairman, National Credit Union Administration; Jelena McWilliams, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); Joseph Otting, Comptroller, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC); and Randal Quarles, Vice Chairman of Supervision, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The Committee has released a very impressive Memorandum, which lays out the Frankenbank framework that exists in the United States today. For example, consider this one sentence from the Memorandum: “U.S. G-SIBs [Global Systemically Important Banks] made … Continue reading

Reuters Drops a Bombshell: The Big Short Doomsday Machine Is Back

  By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 29, 2019 ~ In what can only be described as a new low in defining deviancy down on Wall Street, Thomson Reuters’ International Financing Review (IFR) reported this past weekend that some of the biggest names on Wall Street have returned to creating and/or trading synthetic collateralized debt obligations (Synthetic CDOs). The products were a major factor in bringing the U.S. financial system to the brink of failure in 2008. Synthetic CDOs also resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and reputational damage to these same Wall Street behemoths as investigators found that the firms were allowing hedge funds to pick “crap” subprime mortgage bonds to stuff in the CDOs in order to make windfall profits for the hedge fund, which shorted (bet against) the CDOs. The Wall Street firms had full knowledge of what the hedge funds were doing … Continue reading

Research Study on Ongoing Crime Spree by Wall Street Mega Banks Gets News Blackout: Here’s Why

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 12, 2019 ~ One day before Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee held an historic grilling of the CEOs of the mega banks on Wall Street, the nonprofit watchdog, Better Markets, released an in-depth research report on “Wall Street’s Six Biggest Bailed-Out Banks: Their RAP Sheets & Their Ongoing Crime Spree.” The report detailed facts, figures and this inescapable conclusion: “[Six Wall Street mega banks] have engaged in—and continue to engage in—a crime spree that spans the violation of almost every law and rule imaginable. Taking the breadth and depth of their illegal conduct as a whole, the six biggest banks in the country look like criminal enterprises with RAP sheets that would make most career criminals green with envy. That was the case not just before the 2008 crash, but also during and after the crash and their lifesaving bailouts…In fact, … Continue reading

Here’s Why Wall Street Bank CEOs Started to Sweat Yesterday about Today’s House Hearing

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 10, 2019 ~ At 8:00 a.m. yesterday, Politico’s Ben White and Aubree Eliza Weaver dropped the news nugget that the nonprofit watchdog, Better Markets, would be releasing one day ahead of today’s House hearing with the CEOs of the largest banks on Wall Street a report titled: “The RAP Sheet for Wall Street’s Biggest Banks’ Crime Spree,” which promised to detail, for the first time, “that of the more than $29 trillion in total bailouts, the six biggest banks in the country (Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo) received more than $8.2 trillion, or nearly one-third of the total bailouts provided to the entire financial system.” Wall Street On Parade has been reporting since 2012 that of the secret $16 trillion bailout loans made at almost zero interest rates by the Federal Reserve during the financial … Continue reading

Bloomberg News Bashes Wells Fargo While Canonizing JPMorgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon, Despite 3 Felony Counts at His Bank

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 3, 2019 ~ Since March 9 of last year, Bloomberg News has published over 80 negative articles on the mega bank Wells Fargo. Some of the more recent headlines are: Wells Fargo CEO Abruptly Steps Down, Succumbing to Scandals; Wells Fargo’s CEO Disputes Claim His Bank Is Too Big to Manage; Elizabeth Warren on Wells Fargo CEO’s Departure: ‘About Damn Time’. Judging by the reporting, one would think that Wells Fargo is either the most dangerous U.S. mega bank or the most criminal. But according to Federal regulators, that distinction goes to JPMorgan Chase. But oddly enough, Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, has been canonized by Bloomberg News for years, effectively endorsing him as the all-wise and customer-focused oracle of Wall Street. Wells Fargo has not been charged with a criminal felony count. Jamie Dimon, on the other hand, has … Continue reading

Memo to Maxine Waters: Wells Fargo Is Far from the Biggest Problem on Wall Street

By Pam Martens: February 26, 2019 ~ Yesterday, Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California, the Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, released the titles of the hearings she plans to hold during the month of March. Of the hearings held by this Committee in February, none addressed the systemic risk to the U.S. economy from the interconnected mega banks on Wall Street. According to the hearing list released yesterday for the month of March, systemic risks at the mega banks has again gone missing. The only mega bank to be grilled in March will be Wells Fargo, and that will focus on its “pattern of consumer abuses.” This lack of attention to the most dangerous, interconnected mega banks on Wall Street – JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley – by the newly installed Democratic Chair of the House Financial Services Committee does not bode well … Continue reading

Citigroup Pats Itself on the Back for Disclosing It Pays Women 29 Percent Less than Men

By Pam Martens: February 13, 2019 ~ In a blog post on January 19, Citigroup’s head of Human Resources, Sara Wechter, wrote that “Citi’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is longstanding.” She next bragged that “Last year, Citi was the first financial institution to publicly release the results of a pay equity review.” Three paragraphs later, we get the cold, hard facts: “median pay for women globally is 71% of the median for men” at Citigroup. Citigroup didn’t come up with the idea of releasing that data out of some newfound quest for transparency. The data came as a result of a pressure campaign by Arjuna Capital, an investment firm focused on sustainable investing. The campaign is introducing shareholder proposals at the big Wall Street banks, asking that the banks disclose, and then close, their gender pay gaps. After Citigroup released its data, Arjuna withdrew its shareholder proposal at Citigroup. At … Continue reading

In 2019, Wall Street Banks Will Determine the Future of America

By Pam Martens: January 2, 2019 ~  Inevitably, investors get the kind of Wall Street they demand and deserve. That’s a paraphrase of the French philosopher Joseph de Maistre’s view on an engaged or unengaged citizenry: “Every nation gets the government it deserves.” As groggy Americans arise this morning to face the reality that their holiday escapism is over and it’s back to the grind of work and daily doses of White House tyranny and dysfunction, at 8:00 a.m. Dow futures were pointing to an approximate 300 point drop at the open of trading in New York following the worst December for stocks since the Great Depression. In short, Americans have gotten both the stock market and the government they deserve for failing to meaningfully reform both following the epic 2008 financial crash which pointed so clearly to unprecedented corruption on Wall Street and within the corridors of power in … Continue reading

As Cable News Obsesses Over a Porn Star, Senate Prepares to Put the Next Wall Street Crash in Motion

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 8, 2018 The U.S. Senate is about to set in motion the next financial crash on Wall Street but you would never know it from watching cable news channels CNN or MSNBC last evening. Both news channels obsessed for endless hours over the Trump-Russia scandal and a hush money payoff to porn star Stormy Daniels, neglecting one of the most critical topics of the day: what was happening on the Senate floor this week. Some of the most informed Democratic voices in the U.S. Senate are making impassioned and heartbreaking appeals to their colleagues this week on the floor of the U.S. Senate to vote down Senate bill S.2155, which carries the Orwellian title: “The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act.” The bill is a Republican/Wall Street lobbyist masquerade to ostensibly help small community banks but will effectively gut enhanced oversight … Continue reading

Citigroup’s Loan to Kushner: The Devil Is in the Details­­­ of Citi’s Sordid History

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 1, 2018 Last evening, the front page digital edition of the New York Times dropped another bombshell in what increasingly feels like a badly scripted daily soap opera that could perhaps be called “As the White House Turns” or “Days of Our Messed Up Lives.” The Times report focused on big loans that were made to Jared Kushner’s family business by two financial firms after he met at the White House with executives from those firms. There was a $184 million loan from private equity firm Apollo. There was also a $325 million loan by mega Wall Street bank Citigroup shortly after a visit by Citigroup’s CEO Michael Corbat to Kushner’s office at the White House in the spring of 2017. Despite nepotism laws governing the Executive Branch, Kushner is both the son-in-law to President Trump as well as a Senior Advisor. Despite … Continue reading

Why Hasn’t Citigroup’s Banking Charter Been Yanked?

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 3, 2017 Citigroup was back in the news again last Tuesday when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reported that its banking unit, Citibank, was among the three banks with the highest average monthly complaints filed against it alleging credit card abuses. (The other two banks were Capital One and JPMorgan Chase.) This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Citigroup and its haloed Citibank. On May 20, 2015, Citigroup’s banking division pleaded guilty to a criminal felony charge for foreign currency rigging following a decade of serial charges against the global behemoth. (See rap sheet below.) Instead of putting this incorrigible recidivist out of business, the Federal government has continued to allow its shady proclivities to be perpetuated against an unsuspecting public. The U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve, which incompetently oversees Citigroup as it takes on massive derivative … Continue reading

Wall Street’s Kangaroo Courts Perpetuate a Business Model of Fraud

By Pam Martens: May 2, 2016 Speaking of the Wall Street and global banks that populate London’s financial district, John Mann, a Member of Parliament, asked the rhetorical question at a Treasury Select Committee hearing on February 4, 2014: “Have we or have we not just had the biggest series of quantifiable wrongdoing in the history of our financial services industry?…Is there any other industry in recorded history in this country who’s had a comparable level of quantifiable wrongdoing to your knowledge?” The answer, of course, is that there is no other industry on either side of the pond that has inflicted as much economic pain as Wall Street through “quantifiable wrongdoing.” And yet, the U.S. government continues to allow this serially crime-infested industry to run its own private justice system where both its customers and its employees are barred from taking their lawsuits into a court of law so … Continue reading

GAO Has Been Telling Congress that Financial Regulation Is in Disarray for 20 Years

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 30, 2016  Who could blame the researchers at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for thinking that responding to Congressional requests for studies on how to repair the nation’s ineffective maze of financial regulation is an exercise in futility. GAO has been spending boatloads of taxpayer money for the past two decades to define the problems for Congress as our legislative branch has not only failed to take meaningful corrective measures but actually made the system exponentially worse through the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999. During the 20 years that GAO has been warning about an ineffective financial regulatory system, taxpayers have been looted through a nonstop series of massive Wall Street frauds: the Nasdaq price fixing scandal; the rigged Wall Street research scandal leading to the $4 trillion dot.com bust; the four-decade Ponzi scheme of Bernie Madoff that was defined in … Continue reading

Was the First Obama Election Fixed? New Book Raises Suspicions

By Pam Martens: March 14, 2016 At Wall Street On Parade we call it continuity government. Michael M. Thomas, in a new book of quasi-fiction, calls it Fixers, the idea that no matter who comes and goes in the Oval Office, Wall Street has a fix in to make sure it is protected. The Thomas book could not come at a more inconvenient time for outgoing President Obama and the next leg of the continuity government that Wall Street hopes to install in the White House – otherwise known as Hillary Clinton. Fixers notes that the characters with speaking parts in the book are “wholly creatures of the author’s imagination and invention” but the securities “transactions and situations” in which those characters are involved are “matters of historical record.” So what you’re getting in Fixers is a spellbinding analysis of the actual dirty deals that toppled Wall Street in 2008 … Continue reading

The Craziest Video You’ll Ever Watch on JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 2, 2016 Two interesting things happened this week in Jamie Dimon’s world: two gutsy attorneys, Helen Davis Chaitman and Lance Gotthoffer, published a book comparing JPMorgan Chase to the Gambino crime family, explaining how the bank could and should be prosecuted under RICO statutes for serial frauds against the investing public. Taking a diametrically different tack, Bloomberg Markets magazine editor, Joel Weber, fawned over Dimon in a Bloomberg TV interview, repeatedly asserting that Jamie Dimon is all about the customer. This Bloomberg video is so hilarious we had to watch it several times to make sure it wasn’t satire.  As Weber makes his case that Dimon is all about the customer, his Bloomberg colleague, Stephanie Ruhle, is having none of it, reminding the obviously star-struck Weber that the big banks are hated in this country for good reason. Instead of acknowledging the serial frauds … Continue reading

The Kochtopus Strikes Out at The Big Short Movie

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 4, 2016 Call them astroturf organizations or neoliberal think tanks or corporate front groups – it all adds up to the same thing: big corporate bucks are engaged in a vicious propaganda war to recast the 2008 financial crash and its depression-like aftermath as the product of big government meddling rather than corporate lobbyists strong-arming deregulation of banking and Wall Street. The corporate cartel simply cannot allow mandates for tough new regulations to gain footing in Washington, otherwise the multi-decade work of the Kochtopus goes poof. (Kochtopus is short-hand for the political and front group money machine run by billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch.) The Koctopus now has its knickers in a twist over the release of the movie, The Big Short, directed by Adam McKay and based on the bestselling book by Michael Lewis, a former Wall Street insider. Prior to … Continue reading

Citigroup Was Using Taxpayer Bailout Funds While Committing Its Foreign Currency Felony

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 15, 2015  While the U.S. taxpayer was involuntarily shoveling over $2 trillion in bailout funds and loans into Citigroup from 2008 to 2010, the bank was committing at least one admitted felony on its foreign currency trading desk. And if ongoing testimony in a London court is to be believed, the U.S. Justice Department could have brought charges against individuals instead of settling its case for one single felony charge against the banking unit only. Citigroup’s banking unit, Citicorp, along with three other global banks (JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and RBS) admitted to a felony charge of rigging the foreign currency market brought by the U.S. Justice Department on May 20. Approximately $5 trillion in foreign currency trades are made globally each day, with billions of dollars to be made through advance knowledge of where prices will be fixed. Last Wednesday, the same day … Continue reading

Citigroup’s Unchecked Crime Wave Proves that America Is Headed in the Wrong Direction

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: August 5, 2015 Citigroup, the bank that played a central role in bringing America to its knees in 2008; received the largest taxpayer bailout in the history of finance to resuscitate its insolvent carcass; pleaded guilty to a felony count of rigging foreign currency trading in May and was put on a three year probation – is now under a string of criminal and civil investigations. On August 3, Citigroup filed its quarterly report (10Q) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Instead of reporting a pristine slate free of transgressions as one would expect from a felon on probation, Citigroup reported that it had settled allegations of money laundering with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Commissioner of the California Department of Business Oversight involving its Banamex USA unit. The bank was, as typical, able to pay a penalty of $140 million … Continue reading

Wiseguys: Drawing Parallels Between the Mafia and Wall Street Persists

By Pam Martens: November 19, 2014 Every now and then, someone raises the question of Mafia infiltration on Wall Street or suggests that Wall Street has become an Ivy-league educated, better tailored version of the mob. Now, two lawyers, Helen Davis Chaitman and Lance Gotthoffer have dramatically ratcheted up the debate, suggesting boldly in the latest chapter of their free on-line book that there are stark parallels between the Gambino crime family and JPMorgan Chase – the nation’s largest bank. Writer Matt Taibbi had a similar epiphany back in 2012 in an article for Rolling Stone titled The Scam Wall Street Learned from the Mafia – the story of how major Wall Street firms conspired together to rig bidding in the municipal bond market. Taibbi writes: “In fact, stripped of all the camouflaging financial verbiage, the crimes the defendants and their co-conspirators committed were virtually indistinguishable from the kind of … Continue reading