At Year End, 4,127 U.S. Banks Held $7.7 Trillion in Uninsured Deposits; JPMorgan Chase, BofA, Wells Fargo and Citi Accounted for 43 Percent of That

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 11, 2023 ~ If the dark secrets about the U.S. banking system that federal regulators have been keeping since the financial crash of 2008 are allowed to be aired in public Congressional hearings as a result of the current banking crisis – and mainstream media will grow a backbone and cover those hearings – it could help the U.S. avoid a catastrophic financial reckoning down the road. For years, Wall Street On Parade has been reporting that just four banks in the U.S. control more than 85 percent of all the opaque derivatives in the banking system. We have also regularly reported how federal agencies have singled out these four banks for posing systemic risk to the financial stability of the United States. We’re talking about JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup’s Citibank. On March 30, we crunched the numbers from … Continue reading

Academic Study Finds that One of the Four Largest U.S. Banks Could Be at Risk of a Bank Run

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 9, 2023 ~ The systemic threats to the U.S. financial system were not remedied when Congress passed the watered-down Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation in 2010. While that has been evident with each Federal Reserve bailout of the mega banks and their derivative counterparties, the threat has now gained increased urgency for Congress to confront as a result of a new academic study. A team of four highly-credentialed academics at four separate universities present compelling evidence that one of the four largest U.S. banks, with “assets above $1 trillion,” could be at risk of a bank run. The study is titled: “Monetary Tightening and U.S. Bank Fragility in 2023: Mark-to-Market Losses and Uninsured Depositor Runs?” Its authors are Erica Jiang, Assistant Professor of Finance and Business Economics at USC Marshall School of Business; Gregor Matvos, Chair in Finance at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern … Continue reading

Deposits at JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo Shrank by $465 Billion Y-O-Y; More than Twice the Total of 4,000 Small Banks

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 8, 2023 ~ Since the banking crisis began making headlines at expensive media real estate, the narrative has been that deposits are fleeing the small commercial banks and flooding into the biggest banks that are perceived as too-big-to-fail and thus offer a safer venue for deposits. Because these mega banks are the same ones that the Fed has been bailing out since the financial crisis of 2008, that narrative requires believing that our fellow Americans are dumber than a stump. We decided to check out that narrative for ourselves. Not only is that scenario wrong, but it is so decidedly wrong, and it’s so easy to get the accurate figures, that from where we sit it looks like there might have been an agenda by someone to harm smaller banks. (Since it’s short sellers who have benefited to the tune of more than $7 … Continue reading

Americans Are Wrong to Worry About FDIC-Insured Bank Deposits; They Need to Worry About Sales Hustlers Inside those Banks and Short-Selling Barbarians

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 4, 2023 ~ Federal deposit insurance was created under the Banking Act of 1933 and became effective on January 1, 1934. Since that time, no depositor in a federally-insured bank account has ever lost a dime of their deposits if they stayed within the deposit insurance cap and they made sure that the deposit was actually in a federally-insured instrument. For example, you can’t buy the corporate bonds of a federally-insured bank and get federal deposit insurance on the bonds. You can’t walk into a federally-insured bank and sit down with a fast-talking insurance salesman and buy an insurance product, such as an annuity, and get federal deposit insurance on the annuity. You can’t walk into a federally-insured bank and sit with a wily securities salesman (a/k/a “wealth advisor”) and get federal deposit insurance on a stock mutual fund he might decide to sell … Continue reading

Short Sellers Cratered Silvergate Bank and First Republic; They’re Now Targeting PacWest and Numerous Other Regional Banks

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 3, 2023 ~ President Joe Biden is putting the national security of the United States at risk by not suspending the short-selling of federally-insured banks. Concerns over the safety and soundness of the U.S. financial system could cause money flight out of the U.S., impacting the strength of the U.S. dollar and a loss of confidence by our foreign allies. This is also a matter that impacts the financial lives of every American, because every American – rich, poor or middle class – will suffer the consequences in terms of ability to access bank credit and higher fees on that credit as a result of rebuilding the rapidly depleting federal Deposit Insurance Fund that protects bank deposits. The second, third and fourth largest bank failures in the history of the U.S. have now occurred in the span of seven weeks (First Republic Bank, Silicon … Continue reading

There Was a Blood Bath in Some Bank Stocks Yesterday: So Much for Jamie Dimon’s Prediction That It’s the End of the Banking Crisis

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 2, 2023 ~ There are two critical things you need to know about JPMorgan Chase’s Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon’s ability to stabilize the banking crisis: (1) he’s tried twice and failed both times; (2) his bank is a key financier of hedge funds, some of which are undermining bank stock prices with short selling. The Financial Times reported on April 5 that “Hedge funds made more than $7bn in profits by betting against bank shares during the recent crisis that rocked the sector, their biggest such haul since the 2008 financial crisis.” Shares of First Republic Bank have lost billions of dollars more in market value since April 5, meaning the $7 billion haul for short sellers is now an understatement. The one thing that would help dramatically to stem the banking crisis is for President Biden (a man who derives his powers … Continue reading

JPMorgan Chase, Officially the Riskiest Bank in the U.S., Is Allowed by Federal Regulators to Buy First Republic Bank

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 1, 2023 ~ On Wall Street, the business model is you eat what you kill. Jamie Dimon and the bank he helms, JPMorgan Chase, just devoured First Republic Bank after Dimon had orchestrated the worst “rescue” of First Republic in the history of banking rescues. Given the outcome, one has to wonder if this rescue flop was a bug or a feature. (See Related Articles below.) After 7 weeks of Jamie Dimon’s “rescue,” First Republic and its preferred shares had been downgraded by credit rating agencies to junk; its common stock had lost 98 percent of its market value, closing at $3.51 on Friday and at $1.90 in pre-market trading early this morning; its long-term bonds were trading at 43 cents on the dollar; and depositors continued to flee the bank. And in order to pay out all those deposits that were taking flight, … Continue reading

Banks that Put Up $30 Billion to “Rescue” First Republic May Have Been Trying to Rescue their Own Exposure to $247 Trillion in Derivatives

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 27, 2023 ~ Ever since 11 banks on March 16 donned the garb of heroic fire fighters, rushing to extinguish an inferno at a competitor bank before it spread further, we have been asking ourselves the question – why just this group of 11 banks. We’re talking about the action on March 16 when 11 banks chipped in a total of $30 billion and bizarrely placed those funds as uninsured deposits into First Republic Bank – which was in full scale unraveling mode because of bond losses and – wait for it – too many uninsured deposits. Four banks contributed two-thirds of the total deposits with JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo ponying up $5 billion each. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs deposited $2.5 billion each; while BNY Mellon, State Street, PNC Bank, Truist and U.S. Bank each deposited $1 billion, … Continue reading

Jamie Dimon’s Deeply Conflicted Role as “Rescuer” of First Republic Bank Requires a Credible Investigation

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

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 26, 2023 The Board of Directors and shareholders at the largest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase – which has more than 5,000 Chase Bank branches dotting the landscape from coast to coast – have ample reason to ask themselves where the loyalties of the bank’s Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon exactly lie. Dimon, who has come under withering negative publicity for the bank’s many years of catering to the cash payoff needs of child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, had an urgent incentive to want to change the subject. So a media blitz ensued around his role as rescuer of the sinking carcass of a much smaller bank, First Republic Bank – which has its own dubious distinction of being the bank that wired the hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels by Trump attorney, Michael Cohen. For just how broadly Dimon’s “rescue” of … Continue reading

The Warning Bell at the Federal Agency Created to Monitor Systemic Bank Risk Failed to Ring

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 25, 2023 For years Wall Street On Parade saluted the work of the Office of Financial Research (OFR) in sounding the alarms about the risks building up in the U.S. banking system – even when it was politically unpalatable for the OFR to do so. Then the Trump/Koch administration took over and gutted OFR and put a crony in charge. It does not appear that the damage to staffing and talent under the former Trump/Koch administration has been adequately repaired under the Biden administration. The OFR was created after the near collapse of the U.S. financial system in 2008. It derives its statutory role from the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010. Its key job is to issue timely alerts and research reports to keep the Financial Stability Oversight Council (F-SOC) informed of emerging financial threats or weaknesses that have the potential to crater … Continue reading