Dark Pools Traded 791% More Boeing Stock During Week of 737 Max Crash

Dark Pools

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 18, 2019 ~ Lily Tomlin once famously said “No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.” When it comes to Wall Street, that particularly rings true. Just take the case of what happened to the trading of Boeing’s stock by Dark Pools the week after the second crash of its new 737 Max 8 jet in a nose-down dive on March 10. The biggest Wall Street banks are (insanely) allowed by Federal regulators to own and operate unregulated quasi stock exchanges called Dark Pools where they trade New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq listed stocks between themselves, in the dark. The only speck of sunshine comes three weeks after the trading when the banks’ self-regulator, FINRA, posts totals for the week for each Dark Pool. There is no information on who’s on the buy and sell side or what … Continue reading

After a $354 Billion U.S. Bailout, Germany’s Deutsche Bank Still Has $49 Trillion in Derivatives

Deutsche Bank Headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 17, 2019 ~ On July 21, 2011, when the GAO released its audit of the Federal Reserve’s secret $16.1 trillion in bank loans during the financial crisis, a foreign bank ranked number 9 on the list of the largest borrowers. The loans went not just to the largest banks on Wall Street but to foreign derivative counterparties to the Wall Street banks. The foreign bank that ranked 9 on the list of the largest borrowers was Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank, which took $354 billion in revolving loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve. According to an article in the Financial Times last week “Germany’s federal and state governments have spent €70bn on bailing out banks since the financial crisis, according to an estimate by Gerhard Schick, head of lobby group Finance Watch.” The figure of  €70bn is about 79 billion U.S. dollars. Why … Continue reading

Deutsche Bank: Here’s What Maxine Waters Should Be Subpoenaing

Systemic Risk Among Deutsche Bank and Global Systemically Important Banks (Source: IMF --  "The blue, purple and green nodes denote European, US and Asian banks, respectively. The thickness of the arrows capture total linkages (both inward and outward), and the arrow captures the direction of net spillover. The size of the nodes reflects asset size.")

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 16, 2019 ~ According to today’s New York Times, Democrats now in charge of the House Intelligence and Financial Services Committees, have issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank,  JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup, related to the President’s finances and/or Russian money laundering. We’d like to suggest that while that may well be a fruitful avenue of inquiry (see Russian Bank Chairman Met with Kushner, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase), it does not rise to the level of national security risk posed by the derivative interconnectedness of those same banks. The President’s approximate $300 million in loans from Deutsche Bank and its ties to Russian money laundering, pales in comparison to trillions of dollars in interconnected derivative exposure of these same banks. Americans saw what can happen when Congress ignores repeated red flags about derivatives. From 2008 through 2010 when derivatives and subprime debt … Continue reading

This Goldman Sachs Chart Explains the 2008 Financial Collapse and Why Wall Street Is Still a Dangerous Casino

Goldman Sachs' Top Derivative Counterparties Exposure, June 2008-iii (1)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 15, 2019 ~ If you want to very quickly understand why banks stopped lending to one another in 2008, credit markets froze, bank stock prices collapsed, and the Federal Reserve secretly pumped $16 trillion into banks, just take a few moments to study this chart from the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission of the derivatives casino that Goldman Sachs and the major banks on Wall Street had become in June of 2008. Wall Street banks knew they had created a collapsing house of cards but they didn’t know just how much exposure each bank had or which bank would fail first, so they simply stopped lending to each other, causing a run on the banks. Now, take a deep breath, because we have to tell you that if there was a derivatives graph of every other major Wall Street bank in June of 2008, … Continue reading

Research Study on Ongoing Crime Spree by Wall Street Mega Banks Gets News Blackout: Here’s Why

Better Markets

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 12, 2019 ~ One day before Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee held an historic grilling of the CEOs of the mega banks on Wall Street, the nonprofit watchdog, Better Markets, released an in-depth research report on “Wall Street’s Six Biggest Bailed-Out Banks: Their RAP Sheets & Their Ongoing Crime Spree.” The report detailed facts, figures and this inescapable conclusion: “[Six Wall Street mega banks] have engaged in—and continue to engage in—a crime spree that spans the violation of almost every law and rule imaginable. Taking the breadth and depth of their illegal conduct as a whole, the six biggest banks in the country look like criminal enterprises with RAP sheets that would make most career criminals green with envy. That was the case not just before the 2008 crash, but also during and after the crash and their lifesaving bailouts…In fact, … Continue reading

Tough Questioning Turns Jamie Dimon into a Piñata at House Hearing

Katie Porter-iii

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 11, 2019 ~ What a difference a day makes. On April 9, the day before JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was to testify at a House Financial Services Committee hearing along with six of his fellow mega bank CEOs, his legions of publicists and handlers still thought there might be a presidential run in his future. Today, not so much. You know just how torturous the day was for Dimon when the worst part wasn’t his being forced to admit that his bank previously accepted African-American slaves as collateral for loans. That line of questioning came from Congressman Al Green of Texas. Green said that his ancestors were slaves and asked Dimon if it was true that JPMorgan Chase had released information in 2005 “indicating that it directly benefited from slavery” and had made loans using slaves as collateral. Dimon said he believed … Continue reading

Here’s Why Wall Street Bank CEOs Started to Sweat Yesterday about Today’s House Hearing

Wall Street Bank CEOs Are Grilled at House Hearing, February 11, 2009

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 10, 2019 ~ At 8:00 a.m. yesterday, Politico’s Ben White and Aubree Eliza Weaver dropped the news nugget that the nonprofit watchdog, Better Markets, would be releasing one day ahead of today’s House hearing with the CEOs of the largest banks on Wall Street a report titled: “The RAP Sheet for Wall Street’s Biggest Banks’ Crime Spree,” which promised to detail, for the first time, “that of the more than $29 trillion in total bailouts, the six biggest banks in the country (Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo) received more than $8.2 trillion, or nearly one-third of the total bailouts provided to the entire financial system.” Wall Street On Parade has been reporting since 2012 that of the secret $16 trillion bailout loans made at almost zero interest rates by the Federal Reserve during the financial … Continue reading

Wall Street Bank CEOs Head for Grilling Tomorrow on Capitol Hill

Maxine Waters, Chair of House Financial Services Committee, Giving Opening Remarks at Wells Fargo Hearing on March 12, 2019 (Source: Screenshot from Live Feed.)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 9, 2019 ~  The Democrats are now in charge at the U.S. House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee and they’re proving that they’re not afraid to take on the legions of Wall Street lobbyists and lawyers in order to do their job for the American people. Tomorrow, Democrats on the Committee will be grilling the CEOs of seven of the largest Wall Street banks. The Republican Committee members, if history is any guide, will be lauding the bankers based on talking points delivered by the banks’ public relations and lobbying firms. Democrats took over the House in January and Congresswoman Maxine Waters became the Chair of the House Financial Services Committee at that time. Waters has served on this Committee for the past 28 years – a period in which she has observed unending frauds against the investing public by the mega banks … Continue reading

Steve Eisman and FrontPoint Were Shorting Wall Street Banks While the Dumb Fed Was Giving FrontPoint Emergency Loans – and that’s not the Worst Part of this Story

wall street sign, thumbnail

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 8, 2019 ~ Steve Eisman is one of the central characters in the Michael Lewis bestselling book, The Big Short. In the movie of the same name, Steve Carell portrays Eisman’s role under the name Mark Baum. During the financial crisis of 2008, Eisman was working for FrontPoint Partners LLC, a hedge fund unit of Morgan Stanley which has been widely acknowledged to have made a boatload of money shorting subprime collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) filled with subprime residential mortgages. In other words, Eisman and FrontPoint were hoping to profit on American homeowners being unable to pay their tricked-up mortgages and being thrown out on the street. But according to Lewis, Eisman was not just shorting subprime drek – he was also shorting the teetering Wall Street banks, which were, by the way, holding trillions of dollars in Federally insured deposits of Moms … Continue reading

Herman Cain, the Kochs and that Creepy Smoking Ad

Mark Block, Chief of Staff to Herman Cain During His Presidential Bid, Smokes a Cigarette in Advertisement for Cain's Campaign

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 5, 2019 ~ President Donald Trump announced yesterday from the Oval Office that he is recommending Herman Cain for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, calling him “a terrific person” and saying “I’ve told my folks that’s the man.” Cain was a presidential contender in the Republican Party in 2011 until sexual harassment charges derailed his bid. Trump’s announcement came just weeks after Trump proposed Stephen Moore for an additional open seat on the Fed. Both Cain and Moore have had close ties to Americans for Prosperity, a corporate front group tied to the Tea Party movement and created with money from the billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David. The Koch brothers are majority owners of the fossil fuels conglomerate, Koch Industries. Scott Keyes, writing for Think Progress in 2011, reported that “Cain held an official position in the Koch-funded … Continue reading

An Open Letter to Australians: Only Glass-Steagall Can Save You from the Banks

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Signing the Glass-Steagall Act on June 16, 1933

By Pam Martens: April 4, 2019 ~ Dear Engaged Citizens in Australia: As both the interim and final report from your Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has confirmed, the good, decent, hardworking people of Australia are under attack from their own banking system in a manner reminiscent of an attack from a foreign invader that wants to destroy the will and financial resources of the citizens in order to gain absolute control of the country. Americans, more than any other people in the world, can understand and relate to the precarious predicament in which you now find yourselves. The devious vices and devices of your banksters to transfer the meager savings of the common man and woman to their own greedy pockets have been laid bare by your Royal Commission. But just as happened here in the United States following the report of … Continue reading

Bloomberg News Bashes Wells Fargo While Canonizing JPMorgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon, Despite 3 Felony Counts at His Bank

Jamie Dimon Cover Story at Bloomberg Markets, March 2016

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 3, 2019 ~ Since March 9 of last year, Bloomberg News has published over 80 negative articles on the mega bank Wells Fargo. Some of the more recent headlines are: Wells Fargo CEO Abruptly Steps Down, Succumbing to Scandals; Wells Fargo’s CEO Disputes Claim His Bank Is Too Big to Manage; Elizabeth Warren on Wells Fargo CEO’s Departure: ‘About Damn Time’. Judging by the reporting, one would think that Wells Fargo is either the most dangerous U.S. mega bank or the most criminal. But according to Federal regulators, that distinction goes to JPMorgan Chase. But oddly enough, Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, has been canonized by Bloomberg News for years, effectively endorsing him as the all-wise and customer-focused oracle of Wall Street. Wells Fargo has not been charged with a criminal felony count. Jamie Dimon, on the other hand, has … Continue reading

Mega Banks Tell SEC: Derivatives Could Blow Up Wall Street Again

bank logos 150 pix

By Pam Martens: April 1, 2019 ~  The most recent 10Ks (annual reports) filed by the largest Wall Street banks covering their financial condition as of December 31, 2018, provide the strongest argument thus far for Congress to enact legislation to separate the Federally insured, deposit-taking commercial banks from the trading casinos on Wall Street. In other words, Congress needs to restore the Glass-Steagall Act, which kept the U.S. financial system safe for 66 years until its repeal in 1999. If the average American knew that the very same banks that blew up the U.S. economy, devastated the housing market, crashed the stock market, threw millions of Americans out of work just a decade ago were warning in their own 10K legal filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the same thing could happen again at any moment, there would be mobs with pitchforks in the street. But because corporate … Continue reading

Is Wall Street Putting Lipstick on IPO Pigs (or Unicorns)?

Piggy Bank Thumbnail

By Pam Martens: March 29, 2019 ~ According to Bloomberg LLP data crunched by the Financial Times, there are more than 300 companies preparing to launch their first ever publicly traded shares known as an Initial Public Offering or IPO in the U.S. Many of these companies have never seen a dime of profits – a harbinger of bad things to come for investors if history is any guide. The IPO stampede seems more motivated by venture capitalists wanting to lock in profits before another stock market meltdown like that which occurred in December than a sincere effort on the part of Wall Street investment banks to bring companies with solid prospects for survival to help boost American jobs and the U.S. economy. A unicorn is a private company valued at more than $1 billion and there will be a number of unicorns IPOing this year if their backers have … Continue reading

Koch-Funded Group Scrubs Stephen Moore’s History Now That Trump Wants Him on the Fed

Stephen Moore Speaking at an Americans for Prosperity Dinner in Tulsa, Oklahoma April 14, 2016

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 28, 2019 ~ The Koch brothers funded front group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), has decided to scrub Stephen Moore’s history from its web site now that Donald Trump has proposed Moore to sit on the powerful central bank of the United States, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Google caches of Moore’s extensive history with the organization now lead to error messages. But we know that Moore has been a featured speaker at Americans for Prosperity events around the country since at least 2009 because attendees have posted photos of him speaking at the events and there are also YouTube videos of his speeches. In one YouTube video where Moore spoke at an Americans for Prosperity event in Tulsa, Oklahoma on April 14, 2016, he called AFP “a great, great organization” and said “I’ve been doing a lot of events around the country … Continue reading

Maxine Waters to Put Wall Street Banks Under Microscope at April 10 Hearing

Wall Street Bank CEOs Are Grilled at House Hearing, February 11, 2009

By Pam Martens: March 26, 2019 ~ The House Financial Services Committee, chaired by Democrat Maxine Waters,  has announced a hearing scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 10, titled Holding Megabanks Accountable: A Review of Global Systemically Important Banks 10 Years after the Financial Crisis. The title of the hearing is certain to bring sweat to the brows of the CEOs of the five largest Wall Street banks that still hold monster amounts of derivatives: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. Have the CEOs of the mega banks agreed to testify or have they offered up a subordinate to launch a charm offensive at the hearing? Or will it simply be progressive academics opining on how dangerous the banks remain or Koch-funded think tanks arguing for more deregulation of the bloated behemoths? Details on who will testify have not yet been provided. There’s no … Continue reading

Jamie Dimon Laments the Plight of the Poor While His Bank Pays 0.02% on CDs

Jamie Dimon

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 25, 2019 ~ JPMorgan Chase’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, gave a CNN interview last week in which he said that the U.S. economy is “fundamentally anti-poor.” Two weeks before that, Dimon boasted in an OpEd for CNN that was co-authored by his fellow Board Member, Mellody Hobson, that the bank was doing all kinds of wonderful things to address the wealth gap among African Americans in the U.S. Under Dimon’s tenure as top dog of JPMorgan Chase over the past 13 years, the bank has excelled at settling its crimes on the cheap, launching a big public relations offensive, then being charged with more crimes, settling on the cheap, and spending more on its public relations offensive to massage both the bank’s and Dimon’s reputation. Many of the charges against JPMorgan Chase relate directly to ripping off Americans who can least afford it. In … Continue reading

Federal Regulator: Wall Street Stock Trading Plunged 88.6 Percent in Q4

New York Stock Exchange Trading Floor

By Pam Martens: March 24, 2019 ~ The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal regulator of national banks, which includes the largest banks on Wall Street, quietly issued its quarterly report on trading in cash instruments and derivatives on Friday. The report contained a shocker: stock (equity) trading had plunged 88.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 versus the fourth quarter of 2017 on a consolidated basis at the bank holding companies, which includes the results of their commercial and investment banks. Equally stunning, stock trading was down an even more staggering 91.7 percent from the third quarter of 2018. (See chart above from the report.) This bombshell statistic is something that we have not heard a peep about from either the Wall Street banks on their earnings calls or the business media. In fact, Wall Street banks have been telling business media that their … Continue reading

Fed’s Powell Wasn’t Expecting this Kind of Drama at his Press Conference

Jerome (Jay) Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Speaks at a Press Conference Following FOMC Announcement on March 20, 2019

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 21, 2019 ~ The real drama in the market yesterday was not the 2:00 p.m. release of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement to hold rates steady but what happened about twenty minutes into the press conference that began at 2:30 p.m. when Fed Chairman Jerome (Jay) Powell began to answer questions from an intrepid group of reporters. The youthful, fresh-scrubbed faces from well-known media outlets presented a paradoxical contrast to the gritty questions they lobbed at the man who clearly understood that losing his cool could tank the stock market. But despite Powell’s calm exterior, the stock market didn’t like the questions or the responses from Powell. Opacity is treasured by the masters of today’s stock market. Too much transparency or honesty sends hedge funds and dark pools running for the safety of Treasury notes. Not only did the Dow Jones … Continue reading

Goldman Sachs’ Trading Bloodbath Looks to be Coming from JPMorgan and Citi

wall street sign, thumbnail

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 20, 2019 ~ Last Thursday, Kevin Dugan at the New York Post reported that Goldman Sachs was laying off employees, “focusing on traders and salespeople in the equities and credit divisions, according to two people familiar with the layoffs.” Buried deep in the bowels of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the federal regulator of national banks, is a report that helps to explain the trading pain being felt at Goldman Sachs. (See Editor’s Update below.) According to the OCC report for the third quarter of 2018, JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. reported $2.7 billion in trading revenues from cash instruments and derivatives; Citibank N.A. reported $2 billion; Bank of America N.A reported $957 million while Goldman Sachs Bank USA reported a minuscule $266 million. Equally noteworthy, Goldman Sachs Bank USA was the only one of the four banks to report … Continue reading

JPMorgan Managing Director Dies Suddenly; Has Links to Other JPM Deaths

Douglas Arthur Carucci

By Pam Martens: March 18, 2019 ~ When you are the largest bank in the United States and you’ve been compared to the Gambino crime family in a book by two trial lawyers; when you’ve pleaded guilty to three criminal felony counts brought by the United States Justice Department in the past five years; when you’ve paid over $30 billion in fines over charges of crimes against the public and investors since 2008; and when you’ve had an unprecedented string of employees leaping to their death from buildings, dropping dead at home or on the street, and two alleged murder-suicides by employees — all in just the past five years – one might think that law enforcement might show some interest – especially since this employer – JPMorgan Chase – holds tens of billions of dollars of Bank-Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) on its workers. (This death benefit, by the way, … Continue reading

How Is JPMorgan Chase Expanding While It’s Still on Probation for a Felony?

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Testifying Before Congress

By Pam Martens: March 18, 2019 ~ On April 19, 2018, JPMorgan Chase announced it would be opening “up to 70 new branches and hiring up to 700 new employees” in northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.” In the same announcement, the bank said it currently had “5,130 branches in 23 U.S. states and plans to open up to 400 new branches…” At the time of that announcement, the bank was under a deferred criminal prosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department and on probation – a probation which continues to this day. Being prosecuted multiple times for felonies by the Justice Department does not appear to have clipped the wings of JPMorgan’s expansion plans under the Trump administration. According to current data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, JPMorgan Chase’s domestic bank branches have already grown by 8 branches to a total of 5,138 since the end of 2017. … Continue reading

Will the FAA Do to Boeing What the SEC and NY Fed Did to Wall Street

Trump Announces at 2:30 P.M. on March 13, 2019 that the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 Are Being Grounded in U.S.  (45 Other Countries Had Already Grounded the Plane.)

By Pam Martens: March 14, 2019 ~ A crony Federal regulator, or one perceived to be captured by the industry it polices, will eventually doom consumer confidence in the products and services of the industry to which it provides oversight. President Obama appointed Mary Jo White to serve as his Securities and Exchange Commission Chair for the final term of his presidency. White and her husband both worked for large law firms that together had represented every major Wall Street bank – the same ones that had created the largest financial collapse since the Great Depression in 2008. White’s supervision of Wall Street was so derelict that Senator Elizabeth Warren sent her a scathing 13-page critique of her performance. Warren called out the SEC’s practice of settling the vast majority of cases without requiring meaningful admissions of guilt and White’s repeated recusals from investigations because of her prior employment (and her husband’s … Continue reading

The Fed’s Fancy Footwork on Stress Tests Was About Silencing Bank Examiners

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Outside the New York Fed, September 17, 2012

By Pam Martens: March 12, 2019 ~ Last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors rushed through a rule change to its stress test for the too-big-to-fail banks on Wall Street, putting it into immediate effect without the customary 30-day delay. It is further noteworthy that the Board did not get the customary unanimous vote to move forward with the rule change: Fed Board Governor Lael Brainard, arguably the smartest member of the Board, voted against the rule change while the four other Governors, including Chairman Jerome Powell, voted in favor. There is a strong case that can be made that the rushed rule change was to protect the biggest banks on Wall Street – the ones serially charged with crimes around the globe – while putting the public at risk of another epic financial collapse. What the rule change effectively did was to tell the recidivist banks that their … Continue reading

A Book on Wall Street’s Dark Underbelly Could Alter Election Outcome in 2020

Noncompliant 150pix

By Pam Martens: March 11, 2019 ~ The underlying theme that Wall Street’s Federal regulators have become whores for the industry permeates most of the well-researched books that have been written about Wall Street over the past decade. But no book has connected the dots to the nuances and subtleties of how this whoring works as effectively as Noncompliant: A Lone Whistleblower Exposes the Giants of Wall Street. Written by Carmen Segarra, the petite lawyer turned bank examiner turned whistleblower turned one-woman swat team, the 340-page tome takes the reader along on her gut-wrenching workdays for an entire seven months inside one of the most powerful and corrupted watchdogs of the powerful and corrupted players on Wall Street – the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. (The days were literally gut-wrenching. Segarra reports that after months of being alternately gas-lighted and bullied at the New York Fed to whip her … Continue reading