Redditors Are Furious at the SEC’s New Ad Campaign Portraying them as Idiot Investors

Gary Gensler

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 2, 2022 ~ Redditors at the subreddit Superstonk are posting obscenities directed at Gary Gensler, Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), over the new ad campaign from the SEC that appears to target young Reddit investors as fools that do no research before investing, lose all their money, and deserve a whipped-cream pie in the face. (Yes, a young investor actually gets a whipped-cream pie in the face during two of the ads. See videos below.) CNBC ran one of the new SEC ads yesterday. So-called “meme stocks” are heavily associated with Reddit and are specifically called out in the SEC ads, thus Redditors have concluded that the ads are directed at them. We’ve been carefully observing the Securities and Exchange Commission for the past 37 years. This is the first time that we have ever witnessed the SEC heaping humiliation on … Continue reading

Senator Sherrod Brown Goes After 0-Count Felon Wells Fargo; Ignores 5-Count Felon JPMorgan Chase

Senator Sherrod Brown

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 1, 2022 ~ Wall Street On Parade was previously a big fan of Senator Sherrod Brown, the Chair of the Senate Banking Committee. Not so much anymore. Brown supported the nutty nomination of Saule Omarova to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the regulator of national banks, while attempting to spin the naysayers as part of a smear campaign. So far this year, the Senate Banking Committee has held hearings on tangential areas while ignoring the biggest threats to financial stability in the U.S.: the $200.18 trillion in notional derivatives (face amount) concentrated at just five Wall Street megabanks (JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America). There have been no subpoenas flying from the Senate Banking Committee as the Fed continues to cover up the largest trading scandal in its history and refusing to release to … Continue reading

Credit Unions and Banking Groups Warn of “Devastating Consequences” of a U.S Central Bank Digital Currency

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 31, 2022 ~ Credit union and banking trade groups have released a joint letter to the chair and ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, warning of “devastating consequences” if the Federal Reserve moves forward with a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). The letter was sent on May 25, one day before the Committee convened a hearing on “Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: Examining the Benefits and Risks of a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency.” That hearing took testimony from only one witness, Lael Brainard, the Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve. The fact that credit unions, which frequently serve unionized labor, joined with banking trade groups to sign off on the letter, lends credibility to the “devastating consequences” the letter enumerates of a Central Bank Digital Currency. A CBDC would allow the Federal Reserve to compete for deposits with credit … Continue reading

Stable Coin and Cryptocurrency Investors Are Not the Only Ones in Tears: Ten Crypto Mining Stocks Have Fallen by 50 to 80 Percent Year-to-Date

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 26, 2022 ~ In October 2008 a group or individual using the name Satoshi Nakamoto released a paper outlining a new system for digital cash called Bitcoin. To this day, no one knows who Satoshi Nakomoto really is. For all we know, he/it/they could have been a strawman for the fossil fuels industry. Why do we say that? Because the major beneficiary of crypto has been the fossil fuel industry which has seen a growing demand for its dirty energy from crypto mining companies while the big losers have been the environment, local communities and average citizens around the world hoping to breathe clean air and save the planet for their children and grandchildren. Consider what Senator Elizabeth Warren had to say about crypto at a Senate hearing in June of last year: “Cryptocurrencies have turned out to be a fourth-rate alternative to real … Continue reading

New York Fed Stuns with New Report: At Year End Its Trading Desk Owned 38 Percent of All 10-30 Year U.S. Treasuries

New York Fed Headquarters Building in Lower Manhattan

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 26, 2022 ~ On Tuesday, the New York Fed’s trading desk released its annual report showing what it was up to in 2021. The New York Fed is the only one of the Federal Reserve’s 12 regional Fed banks to have a trading desk operation with speed dials to Wall Street’s trading houses, so we’re always interested in reading the “official” version of what’s been happening there. The report is a deeply sanitized version of the facts on the ground. (For example, there is nothing in the report to indicate that the New York Fed has established a second trading floor near the futures exchange in Chicago.) However, there is one paragraph in the newly-released report that took our breath away. It reveals that the New York Fed’s trading operation (officially called the System Open Market Account or SOMA) currently owns 38 percent of … Continue reading

JPMorgan Whistleblower Names Former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair in Court Documents as Receiving “Emergency” Payments from Bank

Tony Blair

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 25, 2022 ~ An attorney turned whistleblower who worked in compliance at JPMorgan Chase, Shaquala Williams, has named former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair as one of the parties receiving improperly processed “emergency payments” from the bank. Williams is suing the bank for retaliating against her protected whistleblowing activities by terminating her employment after she raised concerns about these payments to Blair and other serious compliance issues. (The case is Shaquala Williams v JPMorgan Chase, Case Number 1:21-cv-09326, which was filed last November in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York.) The new revelation naming Tony Blair was contained in a transcript of Williams’ deposition that was filed with the court last week. Prior to that, Blair had been referred to simply as “a high risk JPMorgan third-party intermediary for Jamie Dimon…” in the Williams’ complaint. The fact that Williams … Continue reading

Wall Street Traders Are Being Ordered to Hand Over their Personal Phones for Examination by the Firm’s Lawyers: How Is This Legal?

Frightened Wall Street Trader

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 24, 2022 ~ Last Wednesday Bloomberg News reported, without citing a source, that the Securities and Exchange Commission was “forcing Wall Street banks to embark on a systematic search through more than 100 personal mobile phones carried by top traders and dealmakers….” But according to Bloomberg’s report, SEC lawyers were not actually examining the phones themselves for evidence of insider trading or rigging markets. Instead, Bloomberg reports that “banks are arranging for outside attorneys to help conduct the reviews, acting as intermediaries and preserving some semblance of privacy.” (If an outside lawyer being paid by one’s employer is reading sexting messages between a trader and his girlfriend on his personal phone, there is zero “semblance of privacy” and that trader has every right to feel his privacy has been violated.) If the SEC is actually allowing serially-charged Wall Street banks to pay big bucks … Continue reading

How Crypto Is Using the Behavioral Dynamics of Bernie Madoff’s Fraud

Bernie Madoff

By Pam Martens: May 23, 2022 ~ On June 18, 1991 I was having lunch with two of my new investment clients on the outdoor patio of their private country club on Long Island. As their friends stopped by the table, the married couple introduced me as their investment advisor and recommended me to their friends. One friend said to my astonishment: “Can you guarantee me the same 13 percent annual return as Bernie Madoff?” If one is a reputable, licensed broker, guaranteeing a 13 percent return – or any guaranteed return on a stock portfolio – is a flagrant violation of the rules of the investment industry. It can also strip you of your license, your career, and get you perp walked. Stock investing is a volatile endeavor. Stocks can go into a bear market and deliver a negative return for years. That is why it is illegal to guarantee … Continue reading

Senator Elizabeth Warren Lauds the New York Stock Exchange for Investor Protections. It’s Currently Trading Multiple Alleged Frauds.

Senator Elizabeth Warren Grilling Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at September 28, 2021 Senate Banking Hearing

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 20, 2022 ~ Yesterday the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing to consider President Biden’s nominations for two Commissioners at the Securities and Exchange Commission (Jaime E. Lizárraga and Mark Toshiro Uyeda) as well as Michael Barr to be Vice Chairman for Supervision at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. (For the skinny on Barr’s fitness to supervise megabanks on Wall Street, see our hold-your-nose report here and David Dayen’s eyepopping report here.) During the hearing, Senator Elizabeth Warren noted the vast amounts of money that investors have lost in crypto coins and cryptocurrency and then moved on to compare the lack of protections that investors have in crypto versus the protections afforded in the stock market. Warren asked Barr the following: Warren: “If I bought a company’s stock, even the most hyped-up, junkiest one listed on the New York Stock Exchange, could I … Continue reading

Fed Chair Powell Says “Markets Are Orderly” and “Functioning.” They’re Not.

Federal Reserve Building, Washington, D.C.

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 19, 2022 ~ This past Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell sat for an interview with Wall Street Journal reporter Nick Timiraos as part of the newspaper’s “Future of Everything Festival.” During that interview, Powell told Timiraos that U.S. markets “are orderly, they’re functioning.” The precise exchange went as follows: (Watch it at 24:38 on YouTube video here.) Timiraos: “A Number of people have suggested to me the one thing that might slow you down or at least make this much more difficult would be some kind of market cataclysm. I wonder, in part, if that is why you are trying to be more transparent, not erratic, making sudden moves on your policy moves. My question there is, where’s your level of concern that financial stability and controlling inflation by raising interest rates, maybe a lot, might be fundamentally incompatible in that raising rates … Continue reading