Jamie Dimon Has Spent $117 Billion Propping Up JPMorgan’s Share Price with Buybacks in 10 Years; He’s Counting on Trump’s MAGA Crowd to Rescue Him

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 5, 2024 ~ On January 17, Jamie Dimon stunned CNBC viewers when he launched into what sounded like a TV commercial for Republican Presidential candidate and 91-count indictee Donald Trump. Dimon stated: “Take a step back, be honest. He was kind of right about NATO, kind of right about immigration. He grew the economy quite well. Tax reform worked. He was right about some of China…He wasn’t wrong about some of these critical issues.” Dimon also said that Democrats need to be more respectful of their fellow citizens that identify as MAGA Republicans. Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich was one of the folks who caught Dimon’s act and published a sharp retort, writing: “Kind of right about NATO? Trump wanted the U.S. to withdraw from NATO — and may get his way if he becomes president again. This would open Europe further to Putin’s aggression. “Kind of … Continue reading

Bank Fraud Enters a New Era: Bank-to-Bank Wire Transfers Loot Customers

Piggy Bank Thumbnail

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 2, 2024 ~ Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee held a hearing under the title: “Examining Scams and Fraud in the Banking System and Their Impact on Consumers.” Let that title sink in for a moment – “Scams and Fraud,” “Banking System.” That’s the federally-insured banking system of the United States of America in which millions of Americans have entrusted their life savings because they believe it to be the safest place to put their money. Indeed, federally-insured banks had been the safest place to put money since 1933, when the Glass-Steagall Act was signed into law, until the repeal of the Act by the Wall Street friendly Bill Clinton administration in 1999. Thanks to that egregious repeal of critical consumer protection legislation, the following has happened: Trading casinos on Wall Street have been allowed to merge with federally-insured banks with a porous wall of … Continue reading

Senator Sherrod Brown Takes on the Fed’s Support of Wealth Stripping the Middle Class

Senator Sherrod Brown

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 31, 2024 ~ Smart Americans have found two ways to outwit the wealth extraction machinery on Wall Street. They buy a home and build its value over time with sweat equity; and/or they start their own small business. A very large number of Americans who are living comfortably in retirement today built their wealth through one or both of these avenues. Wall Street banks, on the other hand, typically extract wealth from the little guy in a multitude of insidious ways – from high interest credit cards to excessive fees, tricked-up mortgages and outright frauds. Nothing better illustrated this wealth stripping than the 2013 PBS program from Frontline called The Retirement Gamble. The program documented the following: If you work for 50 years and receive the typical long-term return of 7 percent on the stock mutual funds in your 401(k) plan, and your fees are 2 … Continue reading

JPMorgan Chase Has Used the Same Auditor for 58 Years, Despite Giant Frauds at the Bank in the Last Nine Years

Jamie Dimon Sits in Front of Trading Monitor in his Office (Source -- 60 Minutes Interview, November 10, 2019)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 30, 2024 ~ While many other countries mandate that publicly-traded companies rotate their audit firms after a maximum number of years, there is no such requirement in the United States at the present time. The 10-K (annual report) that JPMorgan Chase filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 21, 2023 carried this statement under the auditor’s name of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC): “We have served as the Firm’s auditor since 1965.” Let that settle in for a few moments as we take a quick tour through the last 10 years of JPMorgan Chase’s history under the same Chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon, and the same audit firm. In 2013, after the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that JPMorgan Chase had lied to its regulators while gambling in derivatives in London using depositors’ money from its federally-insured bank and losing $6.2 billion, the … Continue reading

The Fed Has a Dirty Little Secret: It’s Been Allowing the Wall Street Mega Banks to Calculate their Own Capital Requirements

Taming the Megabanks

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 29, 2024 ~ On July 27 of last year, the Vice Chair for Supervision at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Michael Barr, made the following statement as part of the proposed new capital requirements for mega banks in the U.S. – revealing the stunning news that the serially-charged mega banks on Wall Street have been allowed to use their own internal risk models to tell the Fed how much risk-weighted assets they have and, thus, how much capital they need to hold. Barr stated: “For a firm’s lending activities, the proposed rules would end the practice of relying on a bank’s own individual estimates of their own risk and instead use a standardized, but risk-based measure of credit risk. Standardized credit risk approaches do a reasonably good job of approximating risks, while internal models are prone to underestimate such risks. “Second, for a firm’s … Continue reading

The Battle Over Capital at the Mega Banks Must Expand to Breaking Them Up

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 25, 2024 ~ Last Thursday, 12 Democrats in the U.S. Senate sent a deeply insightful letter on a subject most Americans have never discussed around their kitchen table: adequate capital levels at the Wall Street mega banks that came close to bringing down the U.S. financial system in 2008. Before that financial crisis was over – the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s – millions of hardworking Americans had lost their jobs and millions more had their homes taken in foreclosure. If the U.S. is going to avoid a replay of that crisis, Americans are going to have to start having these critical conversations about the structure of Wall Street mega banks around the kitchen table. Americans are going to have to start engaging in the battle to shape the future of American democracy and more equitable wealth distribution, which requires dramatic reform … Continue reading

Robert Kaplan Was Heavily Trading on May 1, 2020; One Day After a Fed Blackout Period and the Same Day He Made a Shocking Prediction on TV

Robert Kaplan, President of the Dallas Fed

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 24, 2024 ~ To read main stream media headlines, one would think that the Federal Reserve Inspector General’s Office has exonerated former Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan of any legal action for trading like a hedge fund kingpin while he was privy to insider information at the Fed. In fact, all that the Inspector General’s report has cleared Kaplan of is this: “we did not find that his trading activities violated laws, rules, regulations, or policies related to trading activities as investigated by our office.” What the Inspector General did not investigate is everything that a real insider trading investigation would have encompassed. It did not investigate if Kaplan was shorting the market with his $1 million plus trades in and out of S&P futures contracts during a declared National Emergency over the COVID pandemic while making market diving predictions on TV; it did not … Continue reading

Naming Names: Professor Exposes the Banking Cartel that Has Hijacked U.S. Democracy

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 23, 2024 ~ Gerald Epstein is Professor of Economics and a Founding Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. A book he has spent the past decade researching and writing comes out today from the University of California Press: Busting the Bankers’ Club: Finance for the Rest of Us. Anticipation of this book’s release has caused some sweaty brows in the halls of Congress, on Wall Street, at Big Law, and in the economics community. That’s because Epstein is naming names – the names of the people who have sold out American democracy and the public interest by becoming sycophants for, or actual members of, the Bankers’ Club. The Chairman of the Bankers’ Club is the Federal Reserve, writes Epstein. That’s because the Fed has strongarmed its way to becoming both the supervisor of the Wall Street mega … Continue reading

A Fed Whistleblower Reveals Efforts to Silence Him 30 Years Ago

Walker F. Todd, Former New York Fed and Cleveland Fed Insider

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 22, 2024 ~ The U.S. Department of Justice needs to immediately appoint an independent Special Counsel to investigate how long and in how many ways the U.S. Central Bank (the Federal Reserve or simply “the Fed”) has been functioning as a protection racket for Wall Street mega banks. We’ll get to the latest revelation about the Fed bullying and intimidating a Fed official in a moment, but first some necessary background. In 2013 the American people learned that Carmen Segarra had been a bank examiner with a law degree at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, one of Wall Street’s key regulators. Segarra charged in a Federal lawsuit that she was bullied by colleagues to change her negative examination of the powerful Wall Street mega bank, Goldman Sachs. Segarra detailed how her colleagues also obstructed and interfered with her investigation. When she refused to … Continue reading

The DOJ’s Incestuous Relationship with Jamie Dimon Is Captured in a Graphic from an Historic Lawsuit

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 18, 2024 ~ On February 10, 2014, the non-profit watchdog, Better Markets, took a bold and historic action. It filed a federal lawsuit against the highest law enforcement agency and officer in the United States – the U.S. Department of Justice and the man who sat at its helm, Attorney General Eric Holder. The lawsuit challenged a $13 billion out-of-court settlement that had been agreed to by the Justice Department and the Wall Street mega bank, JPMorgan Chase, over its sale of toxic mortgages. Better Markets wrote on its website that this was at the time “The largest settlement in U.S. history from a single entity by more than 300%” and that it “granted JP Morgan blanket civil immunity for years of alleged, but undisclosed, pervasive, egregious and knowing fraudulent and illegal conduct that contributed to the 2008 financial crash and the worst economy since the … Continue reading