Jul 30

Banco Espirito Santo Plunges: Shareholder Meeting Cancelled Due To “Unexpected Facts” (ZeroHedge, July 29, 2014):

With all other operating holdcos having already declared bankruptcy, the anxiety over Banco Espirito Santo is growing (despite DE Shaw and Goldman Sachs recommending investors buy the shares). Despite Bank of Portugal reassurance last night that “BES is able to raise capital), the stock is plunging on news of “unexpected facts” this morning…

  • *BANCO ESPIRITO SANTO SAYS SHAREHOLDER MEETING WAS CANCELLED DUE TO “UNEXPECTED FACTS”
  • *BANCO ESPIRITO SANTO FALLS MORE THAN 13% IN LISBON TRADING

Remember, this is systemic (as the Portugues President has warned), and the contagion is potentially global… not “contained.” Continue reading »

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Jul 28

Full article here:

- Forget What They Say And Watch What They Do (Mark St.Cyr, July 27, 2014):

You pay attention to when implementations seem to be appearing on a near regular basis that can separate you from your money with, or by the force, of law. e.g., The “Gates” Are Closing: SEC Votes Through Money Market Reform


You don’t sit down and draft this stuff up when everything is just ducky. You do it when you know or believe: If this shite hits the fan – its gonna get a whole lot worse even faster. Continue reading »

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Jul 27

“London Fix” Gold Rigging By Bullion Bank Exposed In Class Action Lawsuit: The Complete Charts (ZeroHedge, July 27, 2014):

While the allegations in the lawsuit are well-known to frequent (and all other) readers of Zero Hedge, we recommend reading the full filing as it explains in clear English just what the fixing process worked. Perhaps what is more interesting are the abnormalities in the price of gold as highlighted by Derksen, which clearly show the critical role the daily fix has in the manipulation of the price of gold, both in a downward and upward (mostly downward) direction: whichever suits the London Fix member banks.

 

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Jul 23

Flashback:

- This Is The Government: Your Legal Right To Redeem Your Money Market Account Has Been Denied – THE SEQUEL


- Frontrunning: July 23 (ZeroHedge, July 23, 2014):

  • Here come the gates which we predicted in 2010: SEC Is Set to Approve Money-Fund Rules (WSJ)
  • Dick’s cuts 400 jobs as golf now less popular (MW)
  • Kerry arrives in Israel, pushes for peace (Reuters) (Sure!)
  • Pay Penalty Haunts Recession Grads as U.S. Economy Mends (BBG)
  • Appeals Courts Issue Conflicting Rulings on Health-Law Subsidies (WSJ)
  • Rebel Stronghold Donetsk Holds Breath as Shellfire Mounts (BBG)
  • Business executive wins Georgia Republican runoff in U.S. Senate race (Reuters)
  • Five held in China food scandal probe, including head of Shanghai Husi Food (Reuters)
  • Jobs Hold Sway Over Yellen-Carney as Central Banks Splinter (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* Two U.S. appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on subsidies for health coverage purchased on federal insurance exchanges, clouding a major part of Obama’s health law. (http://on.wsj.com/1pb81yo)

* The Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that Deutsche Bank AG’s U.S. operations suffer from a litany of serious financial reporting problems that the lender has known about for years but not fixed. (http://on.wsj.com/1jUoOXe) Continue reading »

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Jul 23

From the article:

“As for Deutsche Bank’s response perhaps the simplest and most effective one would be for the Frankfurt megabank to tell the NY Fed that perhaps its own 150x leverage is just a little more worthy of attention.”

Related info:

- The Size Of The Derivatives Bubble Hanging Over The Global Economy Hits A Record High

- The Elephant In The Room: Deutsche Bank’s $75 TRILLION In Derivatives Is 20 Times Greater Than German GDP


NY Fed Slams Deutsche Bank (And Its €55 Trillion In Derivatives): Accuses It Of “Significant Operational Risk” (ZeroHedge, July 22, 2014):

First it was French BNP that was punished with a $9 billion legal fee after France refused to cancel the Mistral warship shipment to Russia (which promptly led to French National Bank head Christian Noyer to warn that the days of the USD as a reserve currency are numbered), and now moments ago, none other than the 150x-levered NY Fed tapped Angela Merkel on the shoulder with a polite reminder to vote “Yes” on the next, “Level-3″ round of Russia sanctions when it revealed, via the WSJ, that “Deutsche Bank’s giant U.S. operations suffer from a litany of serious problems, including shoddy financial reporting, inadequate auditing and oversight and weak technology systems.”

What could possibly go wrong? Well… this. Recall that as we have shown for two years in a row, Deutsche has a total derivative exposure that amounts to €55 trillion or just about $75 trillion. That’s a trillion with a T, and is about 100 times greater than the €522 billion in deposits the bank has. It is also 5x greater than the GDP of Europe and more or less the same as the GDP of… the world.

DB Derivs in context_0

More from WSJ:

In a letter to Deutsche Bank executives last December, a senior official with the New York Fed wrote that financial reports produced by some of the bank’s U.S. arms “are of low quality, inaccurate and unreliable. The size and breadth of errors strongly suggest that the firm’s entire U.S. regulatory reporting structure requires wide-ranging remedial action.”

The criticism from the New York Fed represents a sharp rebuke to one of the world’s biggest banks, and it comes at a time when federal regulators say they are increasingly focused on the health of overseas lenders with substantial U.S. operations.

The Dec. 11 letter, excerpts of which were reviewed by the Journal, said Deutsche Bank had made “no progress” at fixing previously identified problems. It said examiners found “material errors and poor data integrity” in its U.S. entities’ public filings, which are used by regulators, economists and investors to evaluate its operations.

The shortcomings amount to a “systemic breakdown” and “expose the firm to significant operational risk and misstated regulatory reports,” said the letter from Daniel Muccia, a New York Fed senior vice president responsible for supervising Deutsche Bank.

Deutsche Bank’s external auditor, KPMG LLP, also identified “deficiencies” in the way the bank’s U.S. entities were reporting financial data in 2013, according to a Deutsche Bank email reviewed by the Journal.

Oh wait, so those €55 trillion in derivatives are actually completely fabricated? Well if that doesn’t send the S&P 500 limit up nothing will.

DB’s response is the generic one already attempted by that other permacriminal bank, Barclays, which hired a few hundred compliance people after it was revealed that the British firm was manipulating and rigging pretty much every product and market it was involved in.

“We have been working diligently to further strengthen our systems and controls and are committed to being best in class,” a Deutsche Bank spokesman said Tuesday. As part of this, he said, the bank is spending €1 billion globally and appointing 1,300 people, including about 500 compliance, risk and technology employees in the U.S. Mr. Muccia declined to comment.

Sadly for now what this latest Pandora’s box means is that confidence in Europe’s insolvent banks just crashed with a bang once again, not that it would be reflected in the stock’s rigged price of course: rigged most likely by Deutsche Bank among other of course.

The New York Fed’s concerns also pose a challenge for Deutsche Bank’s longtime finance chief, Stefan Krause, who is ultimately responsible for the company’s financial figures and has been spearheading efforts to improve the quality of the bank’s reporting.

The concerns from regulators strike at the heart of an issue plaguing many of the world’s big banks: Some investors lack confidence in the integrity of their numbers. Such fears have been especially prevalent in Europe.

Then again, none of DB’s numbers actually matter: if the banks needs a bailout the Fed will promptly step in, and today’s advisory has one simple end point, which happens to be the same as the recent BNP $9 billion fine – don’t even dare to side with Putin over the US. Because you sure have big bank over there Germany… It would be a pity if the NY Fed i) revealed just how insolvent it truly was and ii) decided not to bail it out subsequently.

* * *

As for Deutsche Bank’s response perhaps the simplest and most effective one would be for the Frankfurt megabank to tell the NY Fed that perhaps its own 150x leverage is just a little more worthy of attention.

 

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Jul 23

- Portugal President Admits Espirito Santo Failure Could Be Systemic As Another HoldCo Goes Bankrup (ZeroHedge, July 22, 2014):

As RioForte joins its parent ESI in bankruptcy, in a strangely honest turn of events from a European leader, Portugal’s President Anibal Cavaco Silva warned on Monday that fallout from the financial troubles of the founding family of Banco Espirito Santo (BES) could affect the wider economy. With Portugal’s hope-strewn GDP growth expectations at only 0.9% for 2014, they do not have much room for disappointment before the nation (whose yields remain near record lows) double- or triple-dips back into recession. Silva concluded, “We cannot ignore that there will be some impact on the real economy,” which is odd given every talking-head has explained it is “contained” and “priced-in.”

Rioforte joins ESI in bankjruptcy…

  • *RIOFORTE SAYS IT SEEKS PROTECTION FROM CREDITORS
  • *RIOFORTE SAYS FILING IS LINKED TO DIFFICULTIES AT ESI

Just another default in the chain Continue reading »

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Jul 21

- Goldman Managing Director Found Dead In Apparent Kite Surfing Accident (ZeroHedge, July 21, 2014):

Police are still investigating the tragic death of 39-year-old Goldman Sachs Managing Director Nicholas Valtz this weekend. As Bloomberg reports, Valtz, a “novice kiteboarder,” was found dead yesterday by family members who went searching for him after he didn’t return from a kiteboarding outing. While there is no accusation of suicide in this case, it sadly brings the number of young financial services executives deaths to 16 this year.

20140721_valtz

As Bloomberg reports,

Nicholas Valtz, a managing director in cross-asset sales at Goldman Sachs in New York, was found in Napeague Harbor off the coast of Long Island, according to the East Hampton police. Valtz, 39, was a “novice kiteboarder” and was found floating in the water secured to his kite, police said in a statement released yesterday. Other kite gear was found in a grassy area of the harbor, police said. Continue reading »

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Jul 19

Holding Company Of Portugal’s 2nd Largest Bank Just Filed For Bankruptcy Protection (ZeroHedge, July 18, 2014):

Following this morning’s farce of huge investor demand and then Bank of Portugal’s Costa ‘hoping’ for demand from investors willing to pile more money on losing money into Espirito Santo, it appears things have escalated rapidly…

*ESPIRITO SANTO INTERNATIONAL SAYS IT CAN’T MEET OBLIGATIONS
*ES INTERNATIONAL APPLIES FOR `CONTROLLED MANAGEMENT’ REGIME UNDER LUXEMBOURG LAW

The “controlled management” application is the equivalent of declaring a breakup or controlled bankruptcy process (as we explained here). ESI is the ultimate HoldCo in the Banco Espirito Santo family.

 

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Jul 17

Cyprus - Despite 16 months of capital controls, banks still pitifully capitalized

- Cyprus: Despite 16 months of capital controls, banks still pitifully capitalized (Sovereign Man, July 15, 2014):

It’s been over a year since the banking system in Cyprus officially went bust.

On Friday, March 15, 2013, practically everyone in the country went to bed thinking that everything was just fine.

Many had probably gone to the bank that very day to do business, or logged on to an Internet banking platform.

Yet the very next morning, they woke to a completely new reality: the nation’s banks were broke, and the government was in no position to rescue them.

Continue reading »

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Jul 15

Prepare for collapse.


bis-bank-for-international-settlements-basel-switzerland

- The Head Of ‘The Central Bank Of The World’ Warns That Another Great Financial Crisis May Be Coming (Economic Collapse, July 13, 2014):

Most people have never heard of Jaime Caruana even though he is the head of an immensely powerful organization.  He has been serving as the General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements since 2009, and he will continue in that role until 2017.  The Bank for International Settlements is a rather boring name, and very few people realize that it is at the very core of our centrally-planned global financial system.  So when Jaime Caruana speaks, people should listen.  And the fact that he recently warned that the global financial system is currently “more fragile” in many ways than it was just prior to the collapse of Lehman Brothers should set off all sorts of alarm bells.  Speaking of the financial markets, Caruana ominously declared that “it is hard to avoid the sense of a puzzling disconnect between the markets’ buoyancy and underlying economic developments globally” and he noted that “markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent”.  In other words, he is saying what I have been saying for so long.  The behavior of the financial markets has become completely divorced from economic reality, and at some point there is going to be a massive correction.

So why would the head of ‘the central bank of the world’ choose this moment to issue such a chilling warning? Continue reading »

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Jul 13

muppets-kermit-dead

Summary:

Recall that it was Goldman’s David Kostin who in January admitted that “The S&P500 Is Now Overvalued By Almost Any Measure.” It was then when the Goldman chief strategist admitted there was only 3% upside to the bank’s year end target of 1900.  Well, that hasn’t changed. In his latest note Kostin says that “S&P 500 now trades at 16.1x forward 12-month consensus EPS and 16.5x our top-down forecast… the only time S&P 500 traded at a higher multiple than today was during the 1997-2000 Tech bubble when margins were 25% (250 bp) lower than today. S&P 500 also trades at high EV/sales and EV/EBITDA multiples relative to history. The cyclically-adjusted P/E ratio suggests S&P 500 is now 30%-45% overvalued compared with the average since 1928.” And this is where Goldman just goes apeshit full retard: “we lift our year-end 2014 S&P 500 price target to 2050 (from 1900) and 12-month target to 2075, reflecting prospective returns of 4% and 6%, respectively.

Wait, what???

- Goldman Admits Market 40% Overvalued, Economy Slowing, So… Time To Boost The S&P Target To 2050 From 1900 (Zerohedge, July 12, 2014):

One has to give it to Goldman Sachs: the bank which until a few years ago just couldn’t lose a penny, is about to report earnings which will, even if they beat Wall Street’s estimate, be an embarrassment to the bank that openly used to run the world until very recently. The reason, aside from the moribund economy, is that trading volumes have plummeted at an unprecedented pace as i) nobody trusts the centrally-planned capital markets any more and ii) valuations are, despite what permbulls can say on TV stations with record low viewership, so ridiculous few if any would actually go long here. Continue reading »

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Jul 12

Wile_E_Coyote-Dont_Look_Down

CEO Of Europe’s Largest Insurer Pops The Utopia Bubble: “Nothing Is Solved And Everybody Knows It” (ZeroHedge, July 11, 2014):

It’s one thing for a tinfoil fringe blog to repeat, month after month, that nothing in Europe has been fixed, that Draghi’s disastrous policies are merely concentraing and stockpiling even more unresolved problems – for now ignored courtesy of the gentle sprinkle of ZIRP, or rather NIRP “fairy dust” – and that just like Portugal showed panic can grip the entire continent literally overnight because everyone knows this. It is something entirely different for the CEO of Europe’s largest insurer to make the same statement.

From Bloomberg:

When asking Allianz SE’s chief investment officer about the euro area’s sovereign debt woes, be prepared for an emphatic response.

The fundamental problems are not solved and everybody knows it,” Maximilian Zimmerer said at Bloomberg LP’s London office. The “euro crisis is not over,” he said.

While extraordinary stimulus from the European Central Bank has encouraged investors to pile into the region’s government bonds this year, that’s not a sufficient remedy for Zimmerer, who oversees 556 billion euros ($757 billion) at Europe’s largest insurer. Countries are still building up their debt piles, and that’s storing up trouble for the future, he said.

Continue reading »

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Jul 11

Banker Suicides Return: JPMorgan Executive “Blasts Wife, Kills Self” With Shotgun (Zerohedge, July 10, 2014):

With Russia and China having briefly taken over the hub of global executive suicides, the sad trend has returned back to America. In what appears to the 15th financial services executive suicide this year, yet another JPMorgan Director took his own life. As IBTimes reports, Jefferson Township (New Jersey) police report that the Global Network Operations Center Executive Director, “Julian Knott, age 45, shot his wife Alita Knott, age 47, multiple times and then took his own life with the same weapon.” They are survived by 3 teenage children… 

As IB Times reports,

JP Morgan executive director Julian Knott blasted his wife Alita to death with a shotgun before turning the gun on himself.

Continue reading »

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Jul 11

china butterfly

A money-laundering butterfly flaps its wings in China… and the US housing market crashes?

- Did China Just Crush The US Housing Market? (Zerohedge, July 10, 2014)

 

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Jul 10

- Futures Tumble, Bunds Soar To Record, Gold Surges As Europe Is Broken Again; Espirito Santo Halted (ZeroHedge, July 10, 2014):

But… but… the VIX said everything is ok, and European rates were the lowest they have been in centuries… How can something possibly go wrong?

It just did.

20140710_banco1

The scandal which we first reported yesterday, after observing the record collapse in the bonds of troubled Portuguese lender Espirito Santo International following the failure to make a bond payment, has quickly escalated and overnight went nuclear. Continue reading »

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Jul 10

Always wanted to know the feeling of being in the eye of a monster hurricane?

Well, we all are in the eye of the biggest financial monster hurricane ever created, right now.

It’s already bad, but this is really nothing compared to what is coming.


- Frontrunning: July 10 (ZeroHedge, July 10, 2014):

  • Espirito Santo Financial Suspends Shares, Bonds on ESI Exposure (BBG)
  • Europe Stocks Drop for Fifth Day as Espirito Santo Sinks (BBG)
  • Espirito Santo Creditors Doubt Containment on Missed Payment (BBG)
  • French Stocks Seen Extending Losses on Economy Concern (BBG)
  • Stocks Slide With Portugal Bonds as Yen Gains; Oil Drops (BBG)
  • U.S. Probes Hacking of Government Computers at Personnel Agency (WSJ)… finds terabytes of porn
  • It’s Congress’ fault: Obama rejects criticism over border crisis (Reuters)
  • Israel Mobilizes 20,000 Troops for Possible Gaza Invasion (BBG)
  • Chinese hackers pursue key data on U.S. workers (NYT)
  • Donetsk Primed for Siege as Ukraine Army Hems In Rebels (BBG)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ Continue reading »

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Jul 10

Germany Blesses “Bail-In” Deposit Confiscation Plan For Failing EU Banks (ZeroHedge, July 9, 2014):

One year earlier than required, the German government approved plans to force creditors into propping up struggling banks across Europe. As WSJ reports, Germany “leads the way” in Europe by implementing European rules quickly and “creates instruments that allow the winding-down of big systemically relevant institutions without putting the financial stability at risk.” What this means is that taxpayers (theoretically) will not be on the hook (though in reality we are sure the mutually assured destruction defense will be played – especially if Deutsche runs into problems) but as German authorities explain, “This ensures that in times of crisis mainly owners and creditors will contribute to solving the crisis, and not taxpayers.” As a gentle reminder – creditors includes depositors… remember Cyprus?

As WSJ reports,

Germany’s cabinet Wednesday approved plans to force creditors into propping up struggling banks beginning in 2015, one year earlier than required under European-wide plans that set rules for failing financial institutions. Continue reading »

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Jul 10

Portugal’s Largest Bank Misses Bond Payment; Bonds Collapse (ZeroHedge, July 9, 2014):

Brussels, we have a problem. As we warned 6 weeks ago, Espirito Santo International SA – is in a “serious financial condition” according to a central bank driven external audit by KPMG identified “irregularities in its accounts.” Sure enough, the ‘ponzi-like’ maneuvers have left the bank unable to pay its bonds as Bloomberg reports bonds plunged to record lows after a parent company delayed payments on short-term notes. More importantly, given the divisively dependent nature of the domestic sovereign bond market (and hence the health of the EU) and its banking system, it is noteworthy that Portuguese bond risk has surged to 4 month highs with the biggest 2-day spike in a year. As one analyst noted, “The bigger question is whether the government will have to get involved,” leaving the EU taxpayer on the hook once again (for fear of M.A.D. threats) as most critically, it “will have to step in to prevent systemic repercussions?

20140709_ESP

As Bloomberg reports,

Banco Espirito Santo has been “adequately isolated” by the Bank of Portugal from the financial problems, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Luis Marques Guedes said on July 3. The bank was the only one of the three biggest publicly traded Portuguese lenders that didn’t request state aid after the country received a European Union-led bailout in May 2011. Continue reading »

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Jul 10

Wall Street vs Main Street

- Wall Street Teams Up with U.S. Intelligence Cronies in Bid to Form Fascist “Cyber War Council” (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 8, 2014):

Want to hear the worst idea in the history of horrible ideas? How about we take the industry responsible for destroying the U.S. economy and wrecking the lives of tens of millions of people, and then allow it to create a “government-industry cyber war council.”

It appears that trillions in taxpayer bailouts simply wasn’t enough for Wall Street. Noting that it can seemingly get whatever it wants whenever it wants, the industry is now positioning itself to overtly control U.S. “cyber” policy. What could go wrong?

The man behind the push appears to be ex-NSA chief Keith Alexander, who as I reported on last month, is now: Pimping Advice to Wall Street Banks for $1 Million a Month. As I mentioned in that post, one of Mr. Alexander’s most high profile clients is Wall Street’s largest lobbying group the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). Unsurprisingly, SIFMA is behind the latest push to formally merge Wall Street with the government intelligence apparatus. Mr. Alexander isn’t wasting any time.

Bloomberg reports that: Continue reading »

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Jul 09

Keith Alexander Custom Keyboard

- Wall Street gets former NSA chief to help banks create ‘cyber war council’ (RT, July 8, 2014):

The top trade group on Wall Street wants the White House to assemble a “cyber war council,” according to a new report, as America’s banks continue to brace for hackers to hit their computer systems with an unprecedented attack.

Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday this week that its journalists have viewed an internal document from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, or Simfa, calling for the United States government to create such a council “to stave off terrorist attacks that could trigger financial panic by temporarily wiping out account balances” by way of a cyberattack previously unseen on US servers.

According to Bloomberg journalist Carter Dougherty, the unpublished Simfa draft proposes that executives and deputy-level representatives from no fewer than eight US agencies join forces to ensure that the banking industry can withstand a severe cyberattack. Continue reading »

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Jul 08

And I can only repeat myself …

BTFATH!

child-stacking-blocks

… because what could possibly go wrong?

From the article:

“Welcome to the new normal capital structure, where everything is upside down and nothing makes sense.

Oh, and to all those pointing to the weekly increase in the H.8 statement and screaming “look at the recovery”, our apologies: you are, as usual, wrong.”

I hope you are prepared for what is coming.


Stock Buyback Shocker: Companies Using Secured Bank Loans To Repurchase Stock (ZeroHedge, July 8, 2014):

It took the mainstream media a few months to catch up to the theme first revealed here that in addition to the fading QE (even if supplanted by NIRP in Europe and Turbo QE in Japan), one of the primary driving forces of the market’s outperformance in 2014 was a relentless buyback bid as corporations, lacking better uses for their cash, bought a record amount of their own shares in Q1 (and as will soon be proven) in Q2 attempting to increase the EPS by lowering the S.

It was only logical that it would take the MSM a while to follow up with the logical next connection: one which is so simple we described it back in 2012 when we showed “Where The Levered Corporate “Cash On The Sidelines” Is Truly Going” – namely, an unprecedented scramble to lever up and use the proceeds to buy back stocks, a decision which is great for existing shareholders and horrible for the economy (as it means much less spending on capital investment) for employees (as it means less cash available for wages and thus, for the all important wage inflation) and for the long-term viability of the buying back company (as it levers up the corporate balance sheet without a matching increase in revenues or cash flows, in fact, the opposite).

Which brings us to today, and specifically, an FT article titled “Bankers warn over rising US business lending” in which we read that “US lending to businesses is reaching record levels but banks are privately warning that the activity should not be seen as evidence of an economic recovery.”

And the stunner: Much of the corporate lending is going to fund payouts to shareholders, finance acquisitions and fuel the domestic energy boom, bankers say, rather than to support companies’ organic growth.

Continue reading »

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Jul 08

Twintowers_of_Deutsche_Bank_Headquarter_in_Frankfurt_a.M.

- US Set To Alienate Angry Germany Next, As Crackdown Shifts From BNP To Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank (ZeroHedge, July 8, 2014):

As we reported over the weekend in “By “Punishing” France, The US Just Accelerated The Demise Of The Dollar“, following the record $9 billion fine against French BNP, the outcry has been fast and furious, with virtually everyone in the local chain of command, from the CEO of Total to the head of the Bank of France (and ECB member) Christian Noyer, all saying that the US is now clearly abusing the reserve power of the dollar and it is time to move away from a dollar-based reserve currency (how that jives with concurrent French demands for a lower EUR is a different, incomprehensible matter entirely).

It appears that having pushed France forcefully into the Russia-China Eurasian, and anti-US camp, the US will now do the same with Germany. Because after infuriating the German population by first refusing to return their gold contained (the legend goes) at the New York Fed, and then with scandal after spying scandal, most recently involving the CIA directly soliciting a German double agent, now the time has come to “punish” Germany’s largest banks for the same kind of money laundering that BNP was engaged in. As the NYT and Reuters report, the time has come to shift away from the BNP scandal and focus on what will soon be the Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank fallout.

According to the NYT, the money laundering crackdown is “bound for another European financial center: Germany. State and federal authorities have begun settlement talks with Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest lender, over the bank’s dealings with Iran and other countries blacklisted by the United States, according to people briefed on the matter. The bank, which is suspected of transferring money through its American operations on behalf of companies in Iran and Sudan, could strike a settlement deal with the state and federal authorities as soon as this summer, said the people briefed on the matter, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

The contours of a settlement, which the authorities have only begun to sketch out, are expected to include at least $500 million in penalties for Commerzbank, the people added. Although prosecutors were still weighing punishments, the people briefed on the matter said that the bank would most likely face a so-called deferred prosecution agreement, which would suspend criminal charges in exchange for the financial penalty and other concessions.

It’s not just Commerzbank – a settlement with the smaller bank will merely pave the way for the punishment of the biggest bank of all (in terms of groiss derivative notional held): Deutsche Bank.

A potential deal with Commerzbank — which is expected to pave the way for a separate settlement with Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank — would pale in comparison to the case announced last week against France’s biggest bank, BNP Paribas. The French bank agreed to pay a record $8.9 billion penalty and plead guilty to criminal charges for processing transactions on behalf of Sudan and other countries that America has hit with sanctions, a rare criminal action against a financial giant.

As NYT adds, correctly, “The Commerzbank investigation features an added twist: The bank is 17 percent owned by the German government. It is unclear whether — as in the BNP case, which led French authorities to intervene on the bank’s behalf — the settlement talks could inflame diplomatic tensions between Washington and Berlin.

Of course, since this is the ridiculous “scorched earth” diplomatic policy, if one may call it that, of the Obama administration, nobody is surprised any more that the US president is alienating one former ally after another.

As we first observed a few weeks ago when we revealed JPM’s involvement in all of this money laundering, “some critics have questioned why American authorities have set their eye on European banks. The answer, authorities say, is that American banks by and large avoided processing transactions for Iran and Sudan. But American banks are not immune from touching dirty money. Citigroup’s Banamex unit is under investigation for processing money linked to a drug cartel. And in January, JPMorgan Chase reached a roughly $2 billion deal with the authorities over ignoring signs of the Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Bernard L. Madoff, who held accounts at the bank for over two decades.”

Not only that but as we wrote over the weekend, the bank that was instrumental in facilitating BNP’s money laundering for nearly a decade was none other than JPM. One wonders if JPM also “unwittingly” was the bank that made German money laundering around the globe possible. Did we mention unwittingly?

BNP-Goldman

Still, while one can debate the idiocy of US foreign policy, eager to push European allies into the willing hands of Russia and China at the worst possible moment, when regional and civil wars and conflicts are suddenly breaking out across all key geopolitical hotspots, one wonders: in the case of BNP, the “fine” was as a result of French unwillingness to halt the Russian amphibious warship deal despite US demands. So it would be curious just what the US blackmail against German banks is for: one really does wonder just what punishment Angela Merkel deserves behind the scenes in the eyes of John Kerry et clueless al, to punish her and Germany so blatantly for the entire world to see.

One thing is clear: if the US thinks that Germany will continue to consider America its BFF and make zero contingency plans for when the alliance with the US finally crashes and burns, it will be truly surprised when the Eurasian alliance of Russia and China finally announces its final, all-important, missing link member: the manufacturing and export powerhouse that is Germany itself.

 

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Jul 07

Crony Capitalism Comes To China – Ex Central Bank Chief’s Son-In-Law In Insider-Trading Scandal (ZeroHedge, July 7, 2014): 

As China’s anti-corruption crackdown continues, the crony-capitalists are slowly exposed. As EJ Insight reports, the son-in-law of former PBOC governor and former Tianjin mayor Dai Xianglong bought millions of dollars of shares (via offshore entities) ahead of Beijing’s decision to allow mainland residents buy Hong Kong stocks directly. It appears the Chinese have learned a lot from the West.

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Jul 07

The Stunner From Today’s Round Table Debate To “Fix” The London Gold Fix (ZeroHedge, July 7, 2014):

In other words, the man who assisted and “consulted” Gordon Brown (a man so clueless about finance he didn’t and still doesn’t have any idea what a carry trade is, let alone one in gold) the man who was Chief Manager of the Bank of England’s reserves (all reserves) when Britain commenced its gold dumping campaign intended to, as usual, bail the big banks whose gold shorting trades had gone horribly wrong, the man – John Nugee – is the same man tasked with making the London gold fix fair, efficient, transparent and unrigged.

One can’t make this up.

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Jul 04

- By “Punishing” France, The US Just Accelerated The Demise Of The Dollar (ZeroHedge, July 4, 2014):

Not even we anticipated this particular “unintended consequence” as a result of the US multi-billion dollar fine on BNP (which France took very much to heart). Moments ago, in a lengthy interview given to French magazine Investir, none other than the governor of the French National Bank Christian Noyer and member of the ECB’s governing board, said this stunner at the very end, via Bloomberg:

  • NOYER: BNP CASE WILL ENCOURAGE ‘DIVERSIFICATION’ FROM DOLLAR

Here is the full google translated segment:

Q. Doesn’t the role of the dollar as an international currency create systemic risk?

Noyer: Beyond [the BNP] case, increased legal risks from the application of U.S. rules to all dollar transactions around the world will encourage a diversification from the dollar. BNP Paribas was the occasion for many observers to remember that there has been a number of sanctions and that there would certainly be others in the future. A movement to diversify the currencies used in international trade is inevitable. Trade between Europe and China does not need to use the dollar and may be read and fully paid in euros or renminbi. Walking towards a multipolar world is the natural monetary policy, since there are several major economic and monetary powerful ensembles. China has decided to develop the renminbi as a settlement currency. The Bank of France was behind the popular ECB-PBOC swap and we have just concluded a memorandum on the creation of a system of offshore renminbi clearing in Paris. We have very strong cooperation with the PBOC in this field. But these changes take time. We must not forget that it took decades after the United States became the world’s largest economy for the dollar to replace the British pound as the first international currency. But the phenomenon of U.S. rules expanding to all USD-denominated transactions around the world can have an accelerating effect.

In other words, the head of the French central bank, and ECB member, Christian Noyer, just issued a direct threat to the world’s reserve currency (for now), the US Dollar. Continue reading »

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Jul 04

Largest Austrian Bank Crashes After “Revealing” 40% Surge In Bad Debt Provisions, Record Loss (ZeroHedge, July 4, 2014):

Update: just as expected, the confidence-preservation brigade is quick on the scene:

  • HUNGARY LOAN-REFUND LAW VIOLATES RULE OF LAW: BANK ASSOCIATION 
  • HUNGARY LOAN-REFUND LAW DAMAGES INVESTOR CONFIDENCE, BANKS SAY

Because clearly marking loans to fair value would crush investor confidence. And clearly investors are dumb enough not to realize that it is precisely by hiding what is beneath the surface, that they have zero confidence in the system.

* * *

Ever since 2012, when we first revealed that the biggest problem plaguing Europe’s financial sector is the $2 trillion+ in bad debt on the books of European banks (not our numbers, the IMF’s), it became clear that the only way Europe can avoid a complete financial meltdown coupled with currency disintegration, is if it can constantly keep rolling over said bad debt (obviously the only way to do that would be to create an epic debt bubble leading managers of other people’s money to do idiotic things like buy Spanish debt at 2.75%). This is why not only the BOJ launched its mega QE in 2013, but why Draghi also kicked in with NIRP a month ago: the logic – do anything and everything to reflate the biggest credit bubble possible as otherwise European banks will have no choice but to face up to their trillions in bad loans. Continue reading »

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Jul 03

bitcoin1234

- Russia may legalize bitcoin – Bank of Russia deputy chairman (RT, July 3, 2014):

The Bank of Russia has signaled it is ready to legalize the world’s first mainstream cryptocurrency, despite the big risks and setbacks the digital money has experienced. The Bank’s recognition means it can better regulate it, and even collect tax.

“We advocate a careful approach to bitcoin and are monitoring the situation along with the Bank for International Settlements,” Gazeta.ru quotes Georgy Luntovsky, the Bank of Russia’s Deputy Chairman speaking on Wednesday at the annual International Banking Congress in St. Petersburg. Continue reading »

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Jul 02

Throat Cancer … caused by too many ‘toxic assets’ maybe?

Thinking about Jamie Dimon, I am sure that he would be on the list of people that I would refuse to help, …

… unless he would confess and unload all of his dark deeds as CEO of JPMorgan.

Related info:

- US Scientists Find That Chemotherapy Boosts Cancer Growth

- Study: Chemotherapy Actually Increases Cancer Growth, Cancer Cells Becoming Resistant To Treatment

- Chemotherapy Backfires Causes Healthy Cells To Feed Growth Of Cancer Tumors

- Chemotherapy And Radiotherapy Make Cancer More Malignant (Video)

- Study: Chemotherapy Can Backfire And Boost Cancer Growth (AFP)

- Steve Jobs Dead At 56, His Life Ended Prematurely By Chemotherapy And Radiotherapy For Cancer

- New Documentary ‘Cut Poison Burn’ Exposes Cancer Industry’s Death Agenda (Official Trailer)

- Former Model Battles Breast Cancer With Diet Changes; Refuses Chemo And Surgery; Tumor Is Breaking Down

- Surgery, Chemotherapy, Radiation … Brain Tumors Reappear … 8-Year Old Girl Given Weeks To Live, Shrinks Cancer Tumors By 75 % With Diet (Video)


Jamie Dimon cufflinks - The seal reads Seal of the President of the United States and includes the arrow-carrying eagle

Jamie Dimon Diagnosed With Throat Cancer, To Start Radiation And Chemotherapy (ZeroHedge, July 2, 2014):

He may be “richer than you“, but when it comes to cancer everyone is equal. Moments ago, Dow Jones and Bloomberg broke news that JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has been diagnosed with throat cancer.

  •  J.P. Morgan JPM Chairman, CEO Jamie Dimon Tells Employees, Shareholders He Has Been Diagnosed With Throat Cancer, Condition Curable
  • Dimon Says Prognosis “Excellent,” Cancer “Caught Quickly”
  • Dimon Says Cancer Confined, No Evidence Elsewhere
  • Dimon to start Radiation and Chemotherapy Treatment at Sloan Kettering, treatment to last 8 weeks
  • Dimon advised able to continue to be actively involved in the business

And now the best healthcare that money can buy will be promptly put to use. We wish him a speedy recovery as it would be far more equitable for the JPM CEO to answer for his actions in full health before a jury of his peers, where guilt can not be “admitted or denied” away.

Full Dimon email

Message from Jamie Dimon to all colleagues and shareholders

Subject line: Sharing some personal news

Dear Colleagues and Shareholders – Continue reading »

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Jul 01

- Putin to West: Stop turning world into ‘global barracks,’ dictating rules to others (RT, July 1, 2014):

Russia’s president has blamed the turmoil in Ukraine on the country’s newly-elected leader Petro Poroshenko. Vladimir Putin also criticized the West for its intention to turn the planet into a “global barracks.”

Russia’s president has laid the blame for the ongoing turmoil between Kiev and south-eastern regions squarely at the feet of Petro Poroshenko, after the Ukrainian leader terminated the ceasefire.

He has stressed that Russia and European partners could not convince Poroshenko to not take the path of violence, which can’t lead to peace.

“Unfortunately, President Poroshenko has made the decision to resume military actions, and we – meaning myself and my colleagues in Europe – could not convince him that the way to reliable, firm and long-term peace can’t lie through war,” Putin said. “So far, Petro Poroshenko had no direct relation to orders to take military action. Now he has taken on this responsibility in full. Not only military, but also political, more importantly.”

On Monday, the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine held a phone call in which Putin stressed the need to prolong the ceasefire and the creation of “a reliable mechanism for monitoring compliance with it and the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] should play an active role.” Continue reading »

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Jun 28

- Martin Armstrong Warns Civil Unrest Is Rising Everywhere: “This Won’t End Pretty” (ZeroHedge, June 28, 2014):

Submitted by Martin Armstrong of Armstrong Economics,

Russell Brand

The greatest problem we have is misinformation. People simply do not comprehend why and how the economic policies of the post-war era are imploding. This whole agenda of socialism has sold a Utopian idea that the State is there for the people yet it is run by lawyers following their own self-interest. The pensions created for those in government drive the cost of government up exponentially with time. The political forces blame the rich and this merely creates a class warfare with no resolution for the future. Even confiscating all the wealth of the so-called rich will not sustain the system. Consequently, we just have to crash and burn and start all over again.

The Guardian reported that some 50,000 people marched in London to protest against austerity. They cried: “Who is really responsible for the mess this country is in? Is it the Polish fruit pickers or the Nigerian nurses? Or is it the bankers who plunged it into economic disaster – or the tax avoiders? It is selective anger.”

Continue reading »

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