Meet Marc Short, the Former Koch Exec Who Has Now Testified Before a Grand Jury Investigating the January 6 Attack

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 27, 2022 ~ Mainstream media has been abuzz over the past two days that Marc Short, the Chief of Staff to former Vice President Mike Pence, has testified under subpoena before a grand jury convened by the U.S. Department of Justice, which has now broadened its investigation of the January 6 attack on the Capitol to the masterminds. But is that really the headline? We think the real headline is that Marc Short was previously an executive at the fossil fuels conglomerate Koch Industries, a private company run by billionaire Charles Koch who has been setting up political front groups for four decades. Short went on to become President of a Koch-related dark money group called Freedom Partners from 2011 to 2016. Freedom Partners plowed hundreds of millions of dollars into political operations in an effort to put fossil fuel friendly pawns in Congress … Continue reading

Federal Data Show JPMorgan Chase Is, By Far, the Riskiest Bank in the U.S.

Growth in Assets at Six Largest U.S. Bank Holding Companies, 2016-2022 (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 26, 2022 ~ The long-tenured Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, likes to use the phrase “fortress balance sheet,” when talking about his bank to Congress or shareholders. But the data stored at its federal regulators show that the bank is, by far, the most systemically dangerous bank in the United States. And, despite its high risk profile, neither Congress nor federal regulators have restricted its growth. Its assets have soared by 65 percent since the end of 2016 and stood at $3.95 trillion as of March 31, making it the largest bank in the United States. Making this situation even more dangerous, the bank has admitted to five criminal felony counts over the past eight years and a multitude of civil crimes and multi-billion dollar fines — all during the tenure of Dimon. Neither Congress nor federal regulators nor the Justice Department … Continue reading

Shhh! Don’t Tell the Public that their Investor Advocate at the SEC Has Gone Poof, Along with His Most Recent Reports

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 25, 2022 ~ His name is Rick Fleming and there is a very good chance that you’ve never heard of him. Now, there’s a very good chance that you’ll never see the reports that he meticulously compiled twice a year over the past eight years that he served in the role of Investor Advocate on behalf of retail investors at the Securities and Exchange Commission. If you click on this SEC link where his reports are supposed to be housed, you’ll find that the majority of his reports since 2019 result in an “Oops! Page Not Found” message. The role of Investor Advocate at the SEC was created under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010 following the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression, which resulted from unparalleled corruption on Wall Street and inept federal oversight. The Dodd-Frank legislation clearly intended for the … Continue reading

From the Secret Service to the Fed, Inspectors General Are Enablers to Corruption at the Agencies they Oversee

Joseph Cuffari, Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 22, 2022 ~ The Inspectors General of federal agencies are supposed to be the first line of defense against corruption within that agency. Increasingly, they have become part of the problem of corruption, coverups and cronyism. The January 6 House Select Committee has now stumbled upon this problem in a big way. Hopefully, it will lead to meaningful legislative reform of a seriously broken system of “watchdogs” that increasingly operate as lapdogs. According to a letter sent by Ronald L. Rowe, Assistant Director of the Secret Service, to the January 6 House Select Committee on Tuesday of this week, the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the parent agency of the Secret Service, first requested text messages from the Secret Service more than a year ago. The request covered a full month of text messages prior to and including the January … Continue reading

Secret Service Bio for Tony Ornato Says He Was Responsible for “All Aspects of” “Military Operations” that Supported Trump

Anthony (Tony) Ornato

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 21, 2022 ~ The official government website for the Secret Service has a bizarre and alarming bio for Anthony (Tony) Ornato, the Secret Service agent who was allowed by his superiors to become Assistant to President Donald Trump and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at the White House. The bio notes that Ornato “was detailed from the Secret Service” to assume these highly political roles. Because the Secret Service provides protective services to members of both political parties, it has historically been seen as a law enforcement agency that should studiously avoid any appearance of political bias. Ornato not only served under one of the most politically-toxic Presidents in U.S. history, whom tens of millions of Americans believe attempted to overthrow the U.S. government, but Ornato was allowed to return to the Secret Service and become Assistant Director of the Office of Training. … Continue reading

As Questions of Evidence Destruction Hit the Secret Service, a Book Reveals that Secret Service Agents Spread the Big Lie of a Stolen Election on Social Media

Zero Fail (Book Jacket Thumb Nail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 20, 2022 ~ Scandal is once again swirling around the Secret Service. This time it’s over the destruction of U.S. government records in the form of text messages sent by Secret Service agents and officials on the pivotal days of January 5-6, 2021 when plans for, and the attack of, the Capitol were taking place. The timeline around the destruction of the records is as follows: On January 16, 2021 four House of Representative Committees wrote to the Secret Service requesting communications and preservation of documents concerning the attack on the Capitol; On January 25, 2021 Secret Service agents were reminded by superiors to back-up communications data but were given carte blanche as to what communications to keep and what to delete before communication devices were replaced on January 27, 2021; June 28, 2022 Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to White House Chief of … Continue reading

There Are Three Separate Cases in Federal Court Accusing JPMorgan Chase of a Culture of Fraud

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

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 19, 2022 ~ JPMorgan Chase is the largest federally-insured bank in the United States. It is also one of the largest trading houses on Wall Street. That’s the Faustian bargain the Clinton administration entered into with Wall Street when it repealed the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999. According to data from the FDIC, as of June 30 of last year, JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. had 4,925 branches in 44 U.S. states holding $2.01 trillion in deposits. Many of those deposits belong to mom and pop savers who have no idea that the bank has admitted to five criminal felony counts since 2014 and has a rap sheet that is the envy of the Gambino crime family. (Apparently, a federal judge in New York overseeing a current JPMorgan case is just as naïve about the bank’s criminal history. More on that shortly.) The bulk of Americans … Continue reading

A Headline at Politico Declares that the U.S. Can’t Be a Financial Leader without Crypto; The Headline Was Written by a Crypto Firm

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 18, 2022 ~ Yesterday we spotted a headline at the news outlet, Politico, that read: “Meeting the Moment: Without cryptocurrency regulatory approval, the U.S. risks its status as a financial leader.” Posing as actual journalism with a byline by a person named Jennifer Gregory, the article provides a lengthy interview with Michael Sonnenshein, the CEO of Grayscale Investments, a peddler of Bitcoin. Sonnenshein uses the interview to whine about a recent Securities and Exchange Commission decision that didn’t go his way and tout how his powerful outside law firm, Davis Polk, plans to appeal the decision. In small print, the article notes that it is actually “Sponsored by Grayscale Investments.” In other words, it’s an advertisement posing as real journalism. Unfortunately, this co-branding between the Bitcoin company, Grayscale, and the news outlet, Politico, goes much deeper than just this one headline. On March 24 … Continue reading

The Fed’s Inspector General Clears Jerome Powell of Wrongdoing in the Trading Scandal, One Day After Five Senators Accuse Him of Hampering the Investigation

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 15, 2022 ~ Yesterday afternoon, Mark Bialek, the Inspector General of the Federal Reserve, released a memorandum clearing Fed Chair Jerome Powell and former Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida of wrongdoing in the trading scandal that has engulfed multiple officials of the Federal Reserve. Curiously, that memorandum came just one day after Senator Sherrod Brown, Chair of the Senate Banking Committee, and four other Democratic colleagues in the Senate, sent Powell a letter about the trading scandal. The letter suggested that Powell was hampering the investigation and took him to task for failing to put the force of law and a chain of command in place for the Fed’s newly upgraded trading restrictions. Even more curious, the memorandum from the Fed’s Inspector General came just hours after Wall Street On Parade reported on Senator Brown’s letter and called attention to the fact that the … Continue reading

Senators on Senate Banking Committee Accuse Fed Chair Powell of Hampering Trading Scandal Investigation

Senator Sherrod Brown

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 14, 2022 ~ This month marks the 10th month since the worst insider trading scandal in the 109-year history of the Fed made media headlines. Yesterday, Senator Sherrod Brown, the Chair of the Senate Banking Committee, along with two of his fellow Senators on that Committee (Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock) and two additional Senators who do not serve on that Committee (Jeff Merkley and Kirsten Gillibrand) sent a stunning letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The overall thrust of the letter suggested that the Fed had attempted to quiet public outrage over the Fed’s trading scandal by issuing new trading conduct rules for Fed officials but had failed to put the force of law behind those rules or set up a proper chain of command. But three sentences in the letter also strongly suggest that the Fed Chairman is actually hampering the … Continue reading