The SEC announced on Thursday that Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit admitted wrongdoing and has agreed to pay $415 million to settle charges that it “misused customer cash to generate profits for the firm.”
According to the statement, Merrill violated the SEC’s Consumer Protection Rule by misusing customer cash that rightfully should have been deposited in a reserve account, freeing up billions to finance its own trading activities as a result. Continue reading »
Bank of America has announced that it will fire as many as 8,000 employees within its consumer division the FT reports.The core reason given for the headcount reduction in this instance is that digital banking is picking up the pace, and has reduced the need for “back office staff” and bank tellers.
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Did you know that there are 5 “too big to fail” banks in the United States that each have exposure to derivatives contracts that is in excess of 30 trillion dollars? Overall, the biggest U.S. banks collectively have more than 247 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives contracts. That is an amount of money that is more than 13 times the size of the U.S. national debt, and it is a ticking time bomb that could set off financial Armageddon at any moment. Globally, the notional value of all outstanding derivatives contracts is a staggering 552.9 trillion dollars according to the Bank for International Settlements. The bankers assure us that these financial instruments are far less risky than they sound, and that they have spread the risk around enough so that there is no way they could bring the entire system down. But that is the thing about risk – you can try to spread it around as many ways as you can, but you can never eliminate it. And when this derivatives bubble finally implodes, there won’t be enough money on the entire planet to fix it. Continue reading »
For now, negative rates as a policy tool remain a “work in progress”, judging by the current inflation levels across Europe. But the rise in household savings rates amid so much central bank support is paradoxical to us, and mimics what we highlighted in the credit market earlier this year. Companies in Europe are deleveraging, not releveraging, and are buying back bonds not stock. Continue reading »
– Let The Kool Aid Flow: Bank Of America “Predicts” No Recession In The Next Decade (ZeroHedge, Aug 6, 2015):
One year ago, as part of its always entertaining long-run forecasting exercise, Bank of America predicted that GDP growth in 2015 and 2016 would be 3.3% and 3.4% respectively. Fast forward one year, when in its updated “long-run” forecast, Bank of America’s crack economist Ethan Harris admits he was off by “only” 30% in his prediction of next year’s GDP, and instead of 3.3%, he now “forecasts” 2015 GDP to be… 2.3%. But the punchline is this: “if history is our guide, at some point in the next decade the US will experience a recession, but predicting a recession far in advance is almost impossible. We plan to update this table on a regular basis.”
– Bank Of America Begins 66-Day Countdown Until The “Ghost Of 1937” Returns (ZeroHedge, June 16, 2015):
The last time the Fed tried to exit a period of massive balance sheet expansion coupled with ZIRP – back in 1937 – its strategy completely failed. The Fed tightening in H1’37 was followed in H2’37 by a severe recession and a 49% collapse in the Dow Jones. This is the ghost of 1937 and it is about to make a repeat appearance.
– Consumer Spending Tumbles: BofA Blames Snow, Oil; Claims Its Models Are Right, Reality Is Wrong (ZeroHedge, March 10, 2015):
Stick a fork in the now proven wrong theory that plunging gas prices would boost consumer spending. Why? Because 4 months after the full impact of tumbling gas price was said to become apparent, consumer spending is not only not picking up, it is in fact slowing down more, especially in those places where there was snow in the winter, and gasp, where oil price actually fell the most!
Ridiculous? No. This is what the latest Bank of America card data survey reveals. To wit: Continue reading »
– Western Banks Cut Off Liquidity To Russian Entities (ZeroHedge, Dec 16, 2014):
As Zero Hedge first reported today, shortly before noon one (and subsequently more) FX brokers advised clients that any existing Ruble positions would be forcibly closed out because “western banks have stopped pricing USDRUB“, over concerns of Russian capital controls. Ironically, it was this forced liquidation of mostly short RUB positions that pushed the RUB higher, which in turn had a briefly favorably impact on energy commodities and risk assets, as the market had by then perceived the Ruble selloff as excessive. Of course, since nothing had actually changed aside from a temporary market technical, the selloff promptly resumed into the close of trading once the market finally understood what we had explained hours previously.
And unfortunately for the bulls, various falling knife-catchers, and those who hope the Russian situation will stabilize imminently with or without capital controls, it appears things in Russia are about to get a whole lot worse because as the WSJ reports, the next driver of the Russian crisis is likely to come from within the banking system itself because “global banks are curtailing the flow of cash to Russian entities, a response to the ruble’s sharpest selloff since the 1998 financial crisis.”
Presenting Russia’s banks: now cut off from the outside world as the second cold war goes nuclear, at least when it comes to the financial system:
Continue reading »
Take a ‘wild guess’ what his next incarnation will be! 🙂
– “What’s Up, You F—ing N—-r?” – What a Debt Collector Hired by Bank of America Said to a Customer (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Dec 13, 2014):
I can’t believe I missed this one. Although the following happened back in 2010, given how captured our entire society remains by the “too big to fail and jail” banks, it’s worth putting this in front of readers. Here’s the disturbing encounter. From ABC News:
Back in 2010, an ABC News investigation found that a Texas-based company Bank of America had contracted to make debt collection calls were using racist and obscene language to try to coax debts from customers.
“What’s up, you f—ing n—-r?” said one of the collection agents in a message to 32-year-old Allen Jones of Dallas, who at the time owed $81 on his Bank of America credit card.
“This is your f—ing wake up call, man,” the debt collector said in a message left at Jones’ home at 6:30 a.m. Then another call: “You little, lazy ass bitch, get your mother f—ing ass up and go pick some mother f—ing cotton fields, bitch.” Continue reading »
– For Bank Of America, Crime Is Now An Ordinary Course Of Business (ZeroHedge, Oct 16, 2014):
Between Q4 2011 and Q3 2014 Bank of America produced “Net Income” of $15.9 billion. However, the amount of added back “one-time, non-recurring” legal expenses is a stunning $28.9 billion: two of every three dollars, non-GAAP as they may be, comes from Bank of America engaging in criminal activity… and getting caught for it! So perhaps an even more relevant question than how long will the EPS “addback” bullshit continue, is how long will the regulators and enforcers allow Bank of America to exist as an organization for which two-thirds of its “ordinary course business” is, for lack of a better word, crime?
– Bank Of America Has A Message For Its European Depositors: “We May Charge You” (ZeroHedge, Sep 15, 2014):
Because Mario Draghi wasn’t joking about that whole NIRP thing. And yes, negative deposit rates mean just that.
As the letter says, don’t worry: Bank of America has an extensive team of “liquidity and investment management solutions” experts who will gladly advise you to rotate your money out of deposits and into financial stocks, preferably that of BAC itself.
– Bank of America agrees to $17bn fine over mortgage fraud – report (RT, Aug 20, 2014):
America’s second largest lender has reached a $17 billion settlement with US federal authorities over selling bad mortgages, according to sources close to the negotiations.
The bank will pay out $10 billion in cash and $7 billion for consumer relief – such as modified home loans and refinanced mortgages, AP reports, citing officials close to the negotiations. The final verdict is due on Thursday.
The fine will be the largest single compensation settlement, beating out JPMorgan Chase & Co’s $13 billion penalty paid in November 2013. Citigroup, another major US bank, had to pay $7 billion in July. Continue reading »
– The Price To Keep Bankers Out Of Jail: $110 Billion And Rising (ZeroHedge, Aug 14, 2014):
Six years after the greatest financial crisis in modern history, not a single prominent – and bailed out – banker (or frankly any for that matter) has gone to prison. Still, in the great squid pro non-jail quo, regulators and the DOJ have had to be appeased somehow. That “somehow”, as has been revealed over the past several years, is with quarter after quarter of massive legal charges, settlements, penalties and so on. Of course, since the banks wouldn’t exist in the first place if it wasn’t for a multi-trillion taxpayer bailout, they don’t mind because the math is quite simple: being converted into a government utility is better than being bankrupt anyday. Also, it is shareholder money, not an actual clawback (oh, the horror). Continue reading »
Added: Mar 30, 2014
http://usawatchdog.com/zero-prosecuti… Fraud expert and former regulator Professor William Black says, “Even today, we are well into 2014, and the Department of Justice record is intact. There have been zero prosecutions of the elite officers who led the epic epidemic of fraud. It was the most destructive in world history, zero of them even unsuccessfully prosecuted, much less prosecuted.”
What is the result of massive rampant unprosecuted fraud? Professor Black says, “If you don’t have any accountability, you not only make certain that there is going to be a next blow-up, but it will be worse. . . . We have effectively removed the criminal laws for a particular elite class of frauds.”
Join Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com as he goes One-on-One with Professor William Black of UMKC.
– The Size Of The Derivatives Bubble Hanging Over The Global Economy Hits A Record High (Economic Collapse, May 26, 2014):
The global derivatives bubble is now 20 percent bigger than it was just before the last great financial crisis struck in 2008. It is a financial bubble far larger than anything the world has ever seen, and when it finally bursts it is going to be a complete and utter nightmare for the financial system of the planet. According to the Bank for International Settlements, the total notional value of derivatives contracts around the world has ballooned to an astounding 710 trillion dollars ($710,000,000,000,000). Other estimates put the grand total well over a quadrillion dollars. If that sounds like a lot of money, that is because it is. For example, U.S. GDP is projected to be in the neighborhood of around 17 trillion dollars for 2014. So 710 trillion dollars is an amount of money that is almost incomprehensible. Instead of actually doing something about the insanely reckless behavior of the big banks, our leaders have allowed the derivatives bubble and these banks to get larger than ever. In fact, as I have written about previously, the big Wall Street banks are collectively 37 percent larger than they were just prior to the last recession. “Too big to fail” is a far more massive problem than it was the last time around, and at some point this derivatives bubble is going to burst and start taking those banks down. When that day arrives, we are going to be facing a crisis that is going to make 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.
If you do not know what a derivative is, Mayra Rodríguez Valladares, a managing principal at MRV Associates, provided a pretty good definition in her recent article for the New York Times: Continue reading »
– George Soros sells all shares of Citigroup, Bank of America and JP Morgan (Intellihub, May 20, 2014):
Is this a sign of trouble ahead for the banking industry?
WASHINGTON — Just over 2 decades ago banker George Soros made his most famous investment by shorting the British pound and pocketing a billion dollars in the process. Since then he has become famous for betting on stock market crashes and in some cases even rigging markets to fail for his own gain.
Just months ago, Soros made headlines by making a billion dollar stock bet against the S&P 500. At the time this was said to be a sign of trouble ahead for the US economy, as Soros has seemed to have had advance knowledge of market crashes in the past. As a result of this reputation, investors have begun to keep a close eye on his holdings. Continue reading »
– Major banks under investigation for ties to Mexican drug cartels (RT, May 23, 2014):
Federal regulators in the United States are reportedly investigation no fewer than two major American banks with regards to their relationships with clients believed to be tied to Mexican drug cartels.
Reuters reported exclusively on Wednesday this week that the US Securities and Exchange Commission is probing both Charles Schwab Corp. and Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch brokerage firm because clients of those entities were linked to Mexican drug cartels. Continue reading »
– All The Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power (ZeroHedge, April 5, 2014):
The following is an excerpt from ALL THE PRESIDENTS’ BANKERS: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power by Nomi Prins (on sale April 8, 2014). Reprinted with permission from Nation Books. Nomi Prins is a former managing director at Goldman Sachs.
NIXON’S BANKERS: When What Was Good for Wall Street Was Good for the President
Wall Street’s War
While the protests against the Vietnam War intensified in the first years of the Nixon administration, the financial elite was fighting its own war—over the future of banking and against Glass-Steagall regulations. National City Bank chairman Walter Wriston was a steadfast warrior in related battles, as he fought with Chase chairman David Rockefeller for supremacy over the US banker community and for dominance over global finance.
Rockefeller’s sights were set on a grander prize, one with worldwide implications: ending the financial cold war. He made his mark in that regard by opening the first US bank in Moscow since the 1920s, and the first in Beijing since the 1949 revolution.
Your money in the bank isn’t really your money.
You have given the bank your money as credit and ‘believe’ that the bank will be able to pay it back to you in the future.
Good luck when the entire financial system finally collapses.
– Why This Harvard Economist Is Pulling All His Money From Bank Of America (ZeroHedge, Jan 31, 2014):
A classicial economist… and Harvard professor… preaching to the world that one’s money is not safe in the US banking system due to Ben Bernanke’s actions? And putting his withdrawal slip where his mouth is and pulling $1 million out of Bank America? Say it isn’t so…
From Terry Burnham, former Harvard economics professor, author of “Mean Genes” and “Mean Markets and Lizard Brains,” provocative poster on this page and long-time critic of the Federal Reserve, argues that the Fed’s efforts to strengthen America’s banks have perversely weakened them. First posted in PBS.
Is your money safe at the bank? An economist says ‘no’ and withdraws his
Last week I had over $1,000,000 in a checking account at Bank of America. Next week, I will have $10,000.
– Bank Of America Caught Frontrunning Clients (ZeroHedge, Jan 25, 2014):
Every time a TBTF bank releases its 10-Q, we head straight for the section, usually well over 100 pages in, that discloses the bank’s total profitable trading days.
This is what the most recent Bank of America 10-Q said on this topic:
The histogram below is a graphic depiction of trading volatility and illustrates the daily level of trading-related revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the three months ended June 30, 2013 and March 31, 2013. During the three months ended September 30, 2013, positive trading-related revenue was recorded for 97 percent, or 62 trading days, of which 69 percent (44 days) were daily trading gains of over $25 million and the largest loss was $21 million. These results can be compared to the three months ended June 30, 2013, where positive trading-related revenue was recorded for 89 percent, or 57 trading days, of which 67 percent (43 days) were daily trading gains of over $25 million and the largest loss was $54 million. During the three months ended March 31, 2013, positive trading-related revenue was recorded for 100 percent, or 60 trading days, of which 97 percent (58 days) were daily trading gains over $25 million. Continue reading »
– On The 100th Anniversary Of The Federal Reserve Here Are 100 Reasons To Shut It Down Forever (Economic Collapse, Dec 22, 2013):
December 23rd, 1913 is a date which will live in infamy. That was the day when the Federal Reserve Act was pushed through Congress. Many members of Congress were absent that day, and the general public was distracted with holiday preparations. Now we have reached the 100th anniversary of the Federal Reserve, and most Americans still don’t know what it actually is or how it functions. But understanding the Federal Reserve is absolutely critical, because the Fed is at the very heart of our economic problems.
Since the Federal Reserve was created, there have been 18 recessions or depressions, the value of the U.S. dollar has declined by 98 percent, and the U.S. national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger. This insidious debt-based financial system has literally made debt slaves out of all of us, and it is systematically destroying the bright future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have.
If nothing is done, we are inevitably heading for a massive amount of economic pain as a nation. So please share this article with as many people as you can.
The following are 100 reasons why the Federal Reserve should be shut down forever: Continue reading »
Tags: Alan Greenspan, Bank of America, Bank of England, Banking, Barack Obama, Ben Bernanke, Bonds, Citigroup, Collapse, Debt, Dollar, Economy, Fed, Federal Reserve, Global News, Goldman Sachs, Government, JPMorgan, Mexico, Morgan Stanley, Obama administration, Politics, Quantitative Easing, U.S., Unemployment
– Buffett’s Bailout Bonanza (ZeroHedge, Oct 7, 2013):
In the past we have tried to show the growing divide between the haves and the have-nots in the US. Whether through this morning’s “aggregate” Main Street vs Wall Street chart or various anecdotal indicators of diverging confidence. However, no one signifies the beneficiaries of the status-quo-sustaining government bailouts and stimulus better than Warren Buffett (who now, like Obama, sees stocks are full valued). The following chart shows just how well one can do with a few billion in your pocket and an ear for what the Government will do.
Karen Hudes: We’re Running Out of Time! We’re Dealing with Whether We Can Continue as Humanity
– World Bank Whistleblower Karen Hudes Reveals How The Global Elite Rule The World (Economic Collapse, Sep 30, 2013):
Karen Hudes is a graduate of Yale Law School and she worked in the legal department of the World Bank for more than 20 years. In fact, when she was fired for blowing the whistle on corruption inside the World Bank, she held the position of Senior Counsel. She was in a unique position to see exactly how the global elite rule the world, and the information that she is now revealing to the public is absolutely stunning. According to Hudes, the elite use a very tight core of financial institutions and mega-corporations to dominate the planet. The goal is control. They want all of us enslaved to debt, they want all of our governments enslaved to debt, and they want all of our politicians addicted to the huge financial contributions that they funnel into their campaigns. Since the elite also own all of the big media companies, the mainstream media never lets us in on the secret that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way that our system works.Remember, this is not some “conspiracy theorist” that is saying these things. This is a Yale-educated attorney that worked inside the World Bank for more than two decades. The following summary of her credentials comes directly from her website: Continue reading »
Tags: Bank of America, Banking, Barack Obama, Barclays, Ben Bernanke, BIS, CIA, Collapse, Dollar, Economy, Fed, Federal Reserve, Global News, Gold, Goldman Sachs, Government, Jesuits, JPMorgan, Karen Hudes, Middle East, Obama administration, Politics, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Silver, Syria, U.S., Vatican, Whistleblowers, World Bank
– Too Big To Fail Is Now Bigger Than Ever Before (Economic Collapse, Sep 20, 2013):
The too big to fail banks are now much, much larger than they were the last time they caused so much trouble. The six largest banks in the United States have gotten 37 percent larger over the past five years. Meanwhile, 1,400 smaller banks have disappeared from the banking industry during that time. What this means is that the health of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley is more critical to the U.S. economy than ever before. If they were “too big to fail” back in 2008, then now they must be “too colossal to collapse”. Without these banks, we do not have an economy. The six largest banks control 67 percent of all U.S. banking assets, and Bank of America accounted for about a third of all business loans by itself last year. Our entire economy is based on credit, and these giant banks are at the very core of our system of credit. If these banks were to collapse, a brutal economic depression would be guaranteed. Unfortunately, as you will see later in this article, these banks did not learn anything from 2008 and are being exceedingly reckless. They are counting on the rest of us bailing them out if something goes wrong, but that might not happen next time around.
– It Is Happening Again: 18 Similarities Between The Last Financial Crisis And Today (Economic Collapse, July 25, 2013):
If our leaders could have recognized the signs ahead of time, do you think that they could have prevented the financial crisis of 2008? That is a very timely question, because so many of the warning signs that we saw just before and during the last financial crisis are popping up again. Many of the things that are happening right now in the stock market, the bond market, the real estate market and in the overall economic data are eerily similar to what we witnessed back in 2008 and 2009. It is almost as if we are being forced to watch some kind of a perverse replay of previous events, only this time our economy and our financial system are much weaker than they were the last time around. So will we be able to handle a financial crash as bad as we experienced back in 2008? What if it is even worse this time? Considering the fact that we have been through this kind of thing before, you would think that our leaders would be feverishly trying to keep it from happening again and the American people would be rapidly preparing to weather the coming storm. Sadly, none of that is happening. It is almost as if they cannot even see the disaster that is staring them right in the face. But without a doubt, disaster is coming.
The following are 18 similarities between the last financial crisis and today…
– A Nightmare Scenario (Economic Collapse, July 17, 2013):
Most people have no idea that the U.S. financial system is on the brink of utter disaster. If interest rates continue to rise rapidly, the U.S. economy is going to be facing an economic crisis far greater than the one that erupted back in 2008. At this point, the economic paradigm that the Federal Reserve has constructed only works if interest rates remain super low. If they rise, everything falls apart. Much higher interest rates would mean crippling interest payments on the national debt, much higher borrowing costs for state and local governments, trillions of dollars of losses for bond investors, another devastating real estate crash and the possibility of a multi-trillion dollar derivatives meltdown. Everything depends on interest rates staying low. Unfortunately for the Fed, it only has a certain amount of control over long-term interest rates, and that control appears to be slipping. The yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries has soared in recent weeks. So have mortgage rates. Fortunately, rates have leveled off for the moment, but if they resume their upward march we could be dealing with a nightmare scenario very, very quickly.
Tags: Bank of America, Barack Obama, Ben Bernanke, Bond Bubble, Bonds, Bubble, Collapse, Debt, Derivatives, Derivatives market, Economy, Fed, Federal Reserve, Global News, Goldman Sachs, Government, Great Depression, Greatest Depression, JPMorgan, Politics, Quantitative Easing, U.S.
– Wall Street Banks Extract Enormous Fees From The Paychecks Of Millions Of American Workers (Economic Collapse, July 2, 2013):
Would you be angry if you had to pay a big Wall Street bank a fee before you could get the money that you worked so hard to earn? Unfortunately, that is exactly the situation that millions of American workers find themselves in today. An increasing number of U.S. companies are paying their workers using payroll cards that are issued by large financial institutions. Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Walgreens and Taco Bell are just some of the well known employers that are doing this. Today, there are 4.6 million active payroll cards in the United States, and some of the largest banks in the country are issuing them. The list includes JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup. The big problem with these cards is that there is often a fee for just about everything that you do with them. Do you want to use an ATM machine? You must pay a fee. Do you want to check your balance? You must pay a fee. Do you want a paper statement? You must pay a fee. Did you lose your card? You must pay a big fee. Has your card been inactive for a while? You must pay a huge fee. The big Wall Street banks are systematically extracting enormous fees from the working poor, and someone needs to do something to stop this.
– California Man, Faces 13 Years In Jail For Writing Anti-Big Bank Messages In Water-Soluble Chalk (Huffington Post, June 25, 2013)
– Good News! Jeff Olson Found Not Guilty for Using Chalk on Sidewalk (Liberty Blitzkrieg, June 1, 2013):
In a bit of good news, San Diego man Jeff Olson has been acquitted by a jury of his peers for the heinous transgression of using water soluble chalk to write anti-bank messages on a public sidewalk in a case I highlighted last week. While this is a favorable outcome, the simple fact that Bank of America forced the city to go after this guy for 13 years in jail is a despicable travesty of the legal system.
From ABC News 10 in San Diego:
Jeffrey Olson not guilty of all 13 charges
SAN DIEGO – A 40-year-old man was acquitted Monday of 13 misdemeanor vandalism charges that stemmed from protest messages written in chalk in front of three Bank of America branches in San Diego.
Olson could have faced up to 13 years behind bars if convicted of all counts. Jurors began deliberating Friday.