Goldman Sachs Refuses to Say If It Was Placing Trades for Dallas Fed President Kaplan as Materially False Statement Released by Board on Kaplan’s Relationship with Goldman Sachs

Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C.

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 28, 2021 ~ The biggest trading scandal in the Federal Reserve’s 108-year history took down two Federal Reserve Bank Presidents yesterday. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, who traded in and out of REITs last year in amounts of $1,000 to $50,000, will leave this Thursday; Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, whose trading made Rosengren look like a Boy Scout, will step down from his post at the end of next week. Kaplan was making repeated trades of “over $1 million” in S&P 500 futures (an instrument used during and after stock exchange hours by hedge funds) as well as making “over $1 million” trades in a litany of individual stocks. Just as a poker player can give away his hand with a tell, financial disclosure statements can also provide a tell as to the name of the Wall Street firm that is placing the … Continue reading

Robert Kaplan Was Trading Like a Hedge Fund Kingpin for Five Years while President of the Dallas Fed; a Dozen Legal Safeguards Failed to Stop Him

Robert Kaplan, President of the Dallas Fed

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 27, 2021 ~ Dallas Fed President, Robert Kaplan, wasn’t just trading like an aggressive hedge fund kingpin in 2020, he’s been doing the same thing for five years at the Dallas Fed while simultaneously having access to non-public, market moving information from the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate setting FOMC meetings and other confidential communications. In 2017 and 2020, Kaplan was a voting member of the FOMC. In the other years since he joined the Dallas Fed in 2015, he sat in on the confidential FOMC deliberations and was allowed to participate in the discussions. Each of Kaplan’s financial disclosures forms dating back to when he first became Dallas Fed President on September 8, 2015 (which we obtained directly from the Dallas Fed), show that Kaplan was trading in and out of S&P 500 futures, a highly speculative form of trading used by hedge funds and … Continue reading

Woman Who Helped Expose Wall Street Mega Banks’ Vast Holdings of Physical Commodities Is Nominated as a Top Bank Regulator

Cornell Law Professor Saule Omarova, Testifying at a House Hearing on April 14, 2021

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 24, 2021 ~ Yesterday, President Biden took the bold step of nominating Saule Omarova to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a top federal bank regulator. Omarova is a Law Professor at Cornell and has written extensively on systemic risk containment. Prior to joining Cornell in 2014, Omarova was Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law. Prior to her academic career, Omarova worked for the corporate law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell, in their Financial Institutions Group. In 2006-2007, she served at the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a Special Advisor for Regulatory Policy to the Under Secretary for Domestic Finance. Omarova represents a triple threat to the insidious behavior of mega banks on Wall Street: she has an in-depth knowledge of how they operate; she is not timid about explaining it to investigative bodies … Continue reading

When It Comes to Frauds, Wells Fargo Is on the Bunny Slope Watching JPMorgan Hop Moguls on the Black Diamond Trail

Hannah Lang, Reporter for American Banker

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 23, 2021 ~ There was a strange occurrence at Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference yesterday. Hannah Lang, a reporter for American Banker, asked Powell a question about Wells Fargo. Powell read his answer directly from a script in a binder he had on the podium. (You can watch the exchange in the video clip below. Be sure not to miss the exchange that follows Lang’s question when Mike Derby of the Wall Street Journal grills Powell on the outrageous trading that Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan was doing last year to enrich himself (while his country was in a declared National Emergency and pandemic crisis). Lang mentioned that Senator Elizabeth Warren had cited “what she called ungovernable behavior” from Wells Fargo and called for Powell to break up the bank by revoking its bank holding company charter.  Lang asked  under what circumstances the … Continue reading

Three Gutsy Reporters Grill Fed Chair on Biggest Trading Scandal in Fed’s 108-Year History

Michael Derby, Fed Reporter for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones News

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 22, 2021 ~ Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell took a few wonky questions from various reporters at his press conference today and then Jeanna Smialek, Federal Reserve and Economy reporter for the New York Times, was called on. Smialek was the first reporter to lead the elephant in the room out into the open. The exchange went as follows: Smialek: “Prior to recent media reports, were you aware of the kind of security buying and selling that [Dallas Fed and Boston Fed] Presidents Kaplan and Rosengren were participating in last year? And I wonder if you thought those were appropriate?” Powell: “So, no I was not aware of the specifics of what they were doing. So let me just say a couple of things about this subject. We understand very well that the trust of the American people is essential for us to effectively … Continue reading

Jerome Powell Will Face 17 Reporters Today at a Press Conference as the Fed Faces the Worst Trading Scandal in Its History. How Many Reporters Will Punt on the Topic?

Jerome Powell (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 22, 2021 ~ Michael Derby of the Wall Street Journal broke the story on September 7 that Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan was trading in and out of millions of dollars of individual stock positions in 2020. Last year was a year of unprecedented crisis when Kaplan was a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and had access throughout the year to non-public, market-moving information. On September 18, Wall Street On Parade reported that Kaplan was not just trading individual stocks but was, astonishingly, also trading S&P 500 futures contracts in transactions of more than $1 million in 2020. The most popular and liquid S&P 500 futures contract is the E-mini, which can provide a trader with as much as 95 percent leverage. The stock exchanges are only open in the U.S. from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (EDT) weekdays, but … Continue reading

Wall Street Watchdog, Better Markets, Calls Fed Presidents’ Trading Binge “Pandemic Profiteering” or, Possibly, “Illegal Insider Trading”

Dennis Kelleher

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 21, 2021 ~ Fortunately for Americans, the keen-eyed Wall Street watchdog group, Better Markets, is not living in the same alternative reality universe as the cable financial news network, CNBC. Last Friday, CNBC published a crazy headline regarding Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan trading tens of millions of dollars of individual stocks and S&P 500 futures in 2020 while Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren traded in and out of REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts). The trading occurred despite both men being privy to non-public, market moving information coming from the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States. CNBC’s headline read: “After years of being ‘squeaky clean,’ the Federal Reserve is surrounded by controversy.” CNBC was royally roasted on Twitter for its “squeaky clean” fairy tale. CNBC’s flight from reality comes after the Fed’s former Chair, Janet Yellen, went straight from her position at … Continue reading

Bank Stocks Sell Off on China Evergrande Concerns as Investors Worry about Who Has Exposure to its $300 Billion in Debt

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 20, 2021 ~ Global bank stocks took a bruising today as questions grow as to just how much exposure large financial institutions have to the teetering China Evergrande Group, a real estate development company in China which owes more than $300 billion in debt that it can’t repay. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 614.4 points by the closing bell today, or 1.78 percent, while global mega banks were down anywhere from more than 7 percent for foreign banks to more than 3 percent for U.S. mega banks. (See chart below.) A big question roiling markets is who has exposure as a counterparty to Credit Default Swaps on China Evergrande Group or other troubled Chinese companies. Where there is lack of transparency on such an issue, investors tend to sell first and ask questions later. Many of the China-related ETFs that trade in the … Continue reading

The Justice Department Has Serious Grounds to Subpoena Trading Records from Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan

Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C.

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 20, 2021 ~ Fed watchers are stunned that Fed Chair Jerome Powell thinks it is appropriate for the Fed to investigate itself following one of the most arrogant and brazen trading scandals in the history of the Fed. The focal point of that scandal is Robert S. Kaplan, the President of the Dallas Fed, who held non-public, market moving information throughout last year but nonetheless traded in and out of tens of millions of dollars of individual stocks as well as – wait for it – S&P 500 futures, an instrument used by speculators to make highly leveraged, directional bets on the market. S&P 500 futures extend the trading day to almost 24/7 from Sunday evening to Friday night. The type of trading done by Kaplan appears to be expressly prohibited by the Code of Conduct of the Dallas Fed. Appendix A on “Disqualifying … Continue reading

Dallas Fed President Traded S&P 500 Futures. Dallas Fed Will Not Say If He Shorted the Market During Pandemic Crisis in 2020.

Robert Kaplan, President of the Dallas Fed

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 18, 2021 ~ A transaction that has been missed by major news outlets on the financial disclosure form for Dallas Fed President, Robert Kaplan, is a line item showing that Kaplan made “multiple” trades of more than $1 million in S&P 500 futures. This is a stunning revelation for a multitude of reasons. First, Kaplan’s financial disclosure form shows that he already had exposure to the S&P 500 through more than $1 million in an S&P 500 Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), which trades during regular stock market hours. Using S&P 500 futures gave Kaplan access to making directional bets on where the market would go after the stock market closed, which is typically when the Fed makes market-moving announcements. The most popular and liquid S&P 500 futures contract is the E-mini S&P 500. A person can get as much as 95 percent leverage on … Continue reading