From Jeffrey Epstein to Sam Bankman-Fried to Madoff – JPMorgan Banks the Creepy Crooks

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 16, 2023 ~ If yesterday had been National Creepy Crooks Day, JPMorgan Chase would have taken top honors. Bloomberg News reported on the creepy emails that former JPMorgan Chase executive Jes Staley was sending back and forth from his email account at the bank to child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, as the bank was only too happy to handle 55 accounts worth hundreds of millions of dollars for Epstein. One set of emails suggested Staley was having kinky or sexual relationships with individuals dressed up as Disney characters. (Leave it to JPMorgan to take down not only its own brand but taint Disney’s brand as well.) Anyone who has ever worked at a major Wall Street brokerage firm or investment bank knows full well that emails are monitored by the company. This suggests that Staley knew he had nothing to fear from the bank’s … Continue reading

FTX Bankruptcy Judge to Rule Today on an Independent Examiner – After 76 Days of Delay

John T. Dorsey (2016 Photo from Internet Archives' Wayback Machine)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 15, 2023 ~ Editor’s Update: Judge Dorsey denied the motion by the U.S. Trustee for the appointment of an independent examiner at this morning’s hearing. In making his ruling, he cited the arguments made by Sullivan & Cromwell. ~~~ Judge John Dorsey is the presiding judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware where Sam Bankman-Fried’s collapsed crypto exchange, FTX, filed its Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. The U.S. Trustee, who provides oversight on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice in bankruptcy cases, filed a motion on December 1 of last year requesting the appointment of an independent examiner in the FTX bankruptcy case, reminding the court that the appointment is mandatory under bankruptcy law if requested by the U.S. Trustee and debts exceed $5 million. Today marks the 76th day that this critical issue has been pending before this court. The Big Law … Continue reading

Crypto on Tap Today at Senate Banking Hearing: Two of Three Witnesses Will Push Nutty Ideas

Senator Sherrod Brown

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 14, 2023 ~ To understand the deteriorating condition of American democracy, one needs to be able to spot corrupt patterns. Let’s take the Senate Banking Committee, for example. We previously explained how the Senate Banking Committee has subpoena power to get at the truth but never uses it, relying on Senator Elizabeth Warren to send out an endless stream of letters demanding information – which typically never comes because the target of those letters knows that a failure to respond will not result in a subpoena. The failure of the Senate Banking Committee to issue subpoenas stems from the fact that, according to the Congressional Research Service, the Senate Banking Committee has adopted a rule that requires a majority vote to issue a subpoena for documents or witnesses. And since this Committee has too many right-wing Republican members who take campaign funds from powerful players … Continue reading

Sam Bankman-Fried, BlockFi and Sullivan & Cromwell: A Viper’s Nest of Conflicts and Intrigue

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 13, 2023 ~ On December 21, Big Law firm Sullivan & Cromwell filed a conflict disclosure with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, where it was hoping to be officially appointed as lead counsel for the bankruptcy estate of Sam Bankman-Fried’s collapsed crypto house of cards – FTX, Alameda Research and its more than 100 opaque affiliates. Judge John Dorsey signed the order making Sullivan & Cromwell lead counsel on January 20, despite a mind-numbing list of conflicts of interests, including extensive past legal work for the FTX group and personal legal work for its now indicted kingpin, Sam Bankman-Fried. The disclosure showed that in addition to FTX and Alameda Research, Sullivan & Cromwell had 10 other current crypto clients, including four major crypto competitors to FTX — BlockFi, Coinbase, Gemini, and Kraken. Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New … Continue reading

Credit Suisse Tanks Yesterday to $3.02; It’s Lost Over 90 Percent of Its Market Value Since 2007; It’s Not Alone

Credit Suisse (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 10, 2023 ~ Credit Suisse continued its long death spiral yesterday, losing 15.64 percent of its market value in one trading session to close at $3.02 on the New York Stock Exchange. The trading action came on the heels of an earnings report that was excruciatingly bad – even for Credit Suisse. The Global Systemically Important Bank (G-SIB), which means it’s interconnected to other G-SIBs that could bring down the global financial system, reported yesterday that its clients had yanked over $100 billion in just the fourth quarter — which was more than eight times the outflow in the third quarter. Its pre-tax loss for the quarter was $1.51 billion, marking its fifth consecutive earnings loss. Credit Suisse is Switzerland’s second largest bank, after UBS, but its troubled history looks more like that of a bank in a banana republic. On March 26, 2021, … Continue reading

FTX Bankruptcy Lawyers Channel their Inner Sam Bankman-Fried – Bill $21,000 for their Meals Over Just 20 Days

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 9, 2023 ~ The shenanigans going on in Judge John Dorsey’s bankruptcy courtroom, which is overseeing the FTX bankruptcy proceedings of Sam Bankman-Fried’s collapsed crypto empire, are reaching levels that should be attracting the attention of federal prosecutors. The head of the newly-created FTX Task Force, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, has called the looted FTX customer accounts “one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.” On Monday, February 6, the lead counsel in the bankruptcy case, Sullivan & Cromwell, and its hand-picked CEO for FTX, John Ray, argued vehemently against the appointment of an independent examiner in the FTX matter. The independent examiner has been requested since December 1 by the U.S. Trustee, who works for the U.S. Department of Justice. Sullivan & Cromwell law partner, James Bromley, and Ray, cited the high cost likely to … Continue reading

There Are Very Strange Things Going On at Goldman Sachs

David Solomon, Chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 7, 2023 ~ Goldman Sachs’ online bank, Marcus, is offering an interest rate on its savings accounts that is 350 times the interest rate being offered by its competitors, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. That’s not normal. Not normal at all. (Above screen shots were taken this morning. Chase and Bank of America screen shots come from BankRate; Marcus screen shot comes from Marcus.) Marcus is the online banking platform offered by Goldman Sachs Bank USA – a federally-insured bank backstopped by the U.S. taxpayer. But what 99 percent of Americans don’t know about Goldman Sachs Bank USA is that it is the unit of Goldman Sachs that holds trillions of dollars in derivatives, including the kind of credit derivatives that blew up the U.S. economy in 2008 and would have taken down Goldman Sachs were it not for sneaky bailouts. According to … Continue reading

Bombshell Emails Raise Questions about What Sullivan & Cromwell Knew about Fraud at Sam Bankman-Fried’s Crypto Firms

Andrew (Andy) Dietderich, Law Partner at Sullivan & Cromwell

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 6, 2023 ~ Just four days before Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange, FTX, collapsed into bankruptcy, Sullivan & Cromwell law partner Andrew (Andy) Dietderich sent an email to an attorney representing Voyager Digital’s Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in its bankruptcy proceedings, stating that FTX was “rock solid.” At the time, Sullivan & Cromwell was representing FTX in a very aggressive move to purchase $1 billion of Voyager’s crypto assets. The law partner representing the Voyager creditors was Darren Azman of law firm McDermott Will & Emery. The email exchange on November 7, 2022 went as follows, according to exhibits McDermott Will & Emery submitted to the Voyager bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York last week: Azman: “We are getting a lot of inbounds regarding liquidity issues at FTX/Alameda. We also had a lot of leftover questions from the last town hall. … Continue reading

Charlie Munger’s OpEd in the WSJ Is Spot On About Banning Crypto; But Calling It “Gambling” Fails to Capture Its Dangers

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 3, 2023 ~ Charlie Munger is the 99-year old billionaire who graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law and has been the close business partner of legendary investor, Warren Buffett, at Berkshire Hathaway for more than four decades. For years now, both Munger and Buffett have been outspoken about the dangerous scam called cryptocurrencies. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal gave Munger space for a 393-word OpEd in which he urges the U.S. to ban crypto as China has done (and a lot of other countries). Unfortunately, those 393 words are competing with years of a nonstop barrage of hyped promises from right-wing Republicans in Congress who are happy to take big political donations from the crypto cabal; big public relations and marketing firms padding their bottom lines with what effectively amounts to money from defrauded crypto customers; K-Street lobbyists also on the dole to … Continue reading

18 States Send a Message to FTX Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey: We’re Watching You

John T. Dorsey (2016 Photo from Internet Archives' Wayback Machine)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 2, 2023 ~ A showdown in the Delaware bankruptcy proceedings for Sam Bankman-Fried’s collapsed crypto exchange, FTX, before presiding Judge John Dorsey is scheduled for next Monday morning at 9:30. (You can listen to the hearing live at this link. Just turn on your speakers and click on the box with the flag.) The battle lines have been drawn for the showdown – but not in the manner that Big Law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, had hoped. The U.S. Trustee, who represents the U.S. Department of Justice in bankruptcy cases, has been asking Judge Dorsey to agree to the appointment of an independent examiner in the case since December 1. And over the past two months, the deeply conflicted Sullivan & Cromwell law firm has been aggressively opposing the U.S. Trustee’s pursuit of an independent examiner. Yesterday, a Joinder was filed by the securities … Continue reading