Feb 22

- Why Should Taxpayers Give Big Banks $83 Billion a Year? (Bloomberg, Feb 20, 2013):

On television, in interviews and in meetings with investors, executives of the biggest U.S. banks — notably JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon — make the case that size is a competitive advantage. It helps them lower costs and vie for customers on an international scale. Limiting it, they warn, would impair profitability and weaken the country’s position in global finance.

So what if we told you that, by our calculations, the largest U.S. banks aren’t really profitable at all? What if the billions of dollars they allegedly earn for their shareholders were almost entirely a gift from U.S. taxpayers?

Continue reading »

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Jan 10

- Secrets and Lies of the Bailout (Rolling Stone, Jan 4, 2013):

It has been four long winters since the federal government, in the hulking, shaven-skulled, Alien Nation-esque form of then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, committed $700 billion in taxpayer money to rescue Wall Street from its own chicanery and greed. To listen to the bankers and their allies in Washington tell it, you’d think the bailout was the best thing to hit the American economy since the invention of the assembly line. Not only did it prevent another Great Depression, we’ve been told, but the money has all been paid back, and the government even made a profit. No harm, no foul – right?

Wrong.

It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: committing American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyperconcentrated new financial system that exacerbates the greed and inequality that caused the crash, and forces Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to increase risk rather than reduce it. The result is one of those deals where one wrong decision early on blossoms into a lush nightmare of unintended consequences. We thought we were just letting a friend crash at the house for a few days; we ended up with a family of hillbillies who moved in forever, sleeping nine to a bed and building a meth lab on the front lawn.

Continue reading »

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Dec 18

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

paul-craig-roberts
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

- The Fiscal Cliff Is A Diversion: The Derivatives Tsunami and the Dollar Bubble (Paul Craig Roberts, Dec 17, 2012):

The “fiscal cliff” is another hoax designed to shift the attention of policymakers, the media, and the attentive public, if any, from huge problems to small ones.

The fiscal cliff is automatic spending cuts and tax increases in order to reduce the deficit by an insignificant amount over ten years if Congress takes no action itself to cut spending and to raise taxes. In other words, the “fiscal cliff” is going to happen either way.

The problem from the standpoint of conventional economics with the fiscal cliff is that it amounts to a double-barrel dose of austerity delivered to a faltering and recessionary economy. Ever since John Maynard Keynes, most economists have understood that austerity is not the answer to recession or depression.

Regardless, the fiscal cliff is about small numbers compared to the Derivatives Tsunami or to bond market and dollar market bubbles.

Continue reading »

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Dec 05

- The Coming Derivatives Panic That Will Destroy Global Financial Markets (Economic Collapse, Dec 4, 2012):

When financial markets in the United States crash, so does the U.S. economy.  Just remember what happened back in 2008.  The financial markets crashed, the credit markets froze up, and suddenly the economy went into cardiac arrest.  Well, there are very few things that could cause the financial markets to crash harder or farther than a derivatives panic.  Sadly, most Americans don’t even understand what derivatives are.  Unlike stocks and bonds, a derivative is not an investment in anything real.  Rather, a derivative is a legal bet on the future value or performance of something else.  Just like you can go to Las Vegas and bet on who will win the football games this weekend, bankers on Wall Street make trillions of dollars of bets about how interest rates will perform in the future and about what credit instruments are likely to default.  Wall Street has been transformed into a gigantic casino where people are betting on just about anything that you can imagine.  This works fine as long as there are not any wild swings in the economy and risk is managed with strict discipline, but as we have seen, there have been times when derivatives have caused massive problems in recent years.  For example, do you know why the largest insurance company in the world, AIG, crashed back in 2008 and required a government bailout?  It was because of derivatives.  Bad derivatives trades also caused the failure of MF Global, and the 6 billion dollar loss that JPMorgan Chase recently suffered because of derivatives made headlines all over the globe.  But all of those incidents were just warm up acts for the coming derivatives panic that will destroy global financial markets.  The largest casino in the history of the world is going to go “bust” and the economic fallout from the financial crash that will happen as a result will be absolutely horrific.

There is a reason why Warren Buffett once referred to derivatives as “financial weapons of mass destruction”.  Nobody really knows the total value of all the derivatives that are floating around out there, but estimates place the notional value of the global derivatives market anywhere from 600 trillion dollars all the way up to 1.5 quadrillion dollars.

Keep in mind that global GDP is somewhere around 70 trillion dollars for an entire year.  So we are talking about an amount of money that is absolutely mind blowing.

So who is buying and selling all of these derivatives? Continue reading »

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Dec 05

- Citigroup slashes 11000 jobs (USA Today, Dec 5, 2012):

Citigroup, the third-biggest U.S. bank, said Wednesday it plans to cut more than 11,000 jobs in an effort to reduce costs.In a statement, New York-based Citi says it will take a pretax charge of about $1.1 billion this quarter and expects savings in 2013 to be $900 million as part of a plan to eliminate more than 11,000 jobs.

- Citi Firing 11,000 (ZeroHedge, Dec 5, 2012):

Big news ahead of this Friday’s NFP report:

  • CITI TO CUT OVER 11,000 JOBS, TAKE PRETAX CHARGE $1B IN 4Q

“Sandy’s fault?” or better yet, “Vikram’s fault.” Or maybe the economy is collapsing despite all the propaganda one is spoonfed. Considering the recent termination of over 50,000 by UBS we think we know the answer. And while C stock may jump on the news, the end result is that New York and the US have both just lost 11,000 less key taxpayers most of whom are almost certainly in the $250,000+ bucket. That said we can’t wait for the BLS to take this data as somehow beneficial for the unemployment rate.

Full release:

Citigroup today announced a series of repositioning actions that will further reduce expenses and improve efficiency across the company while maintaining Citi’s unique capabilities to serve clients, especially in the emerging markets. These actions will result in increased business efficiency, streamlined operations and an optimized consumer footprint across geographies.

Continue reading »

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Oct 27

- Major Banks, Governmental Officials and Their Comrade Capitalists Targets of Spire Law Group, LLP’s Racketeering and Money Laundering Lawsuit Seeking Return of $43 Trillion to the United States Treasury (PR Newswire, Oct 25, 2012):

NEW YORK, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Spire Law Group, LLP’s national home owners’ lawsuit, pending in the venue where the “Banksters” control their $43 trillion racketeering scheme (New York) – known as the largest money laundering and racketeering lawsuit in United States History and identifying $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000,000.00) of laundered money by the “Banksters” and their U.S. racketeering partners and joint venturers – now pinpoints the identities of the key racketeering partners of the “Banksters” located in the highest offices of government and acting for their own self-interests.

In connection with the federal lawsuit now impending in the United States District Court in Brooklyn, New York (Case No. 12-cv-04269-JBW-RML) – involving, among other things, a request that the District Court enjoin all mortgage foreclosures by the Banksters nationwide, unless and until the entire $43 trillion is repaid to a court-appointed receiver – Plaintiffs  now establish the location of the $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000,000.00) of laundered money in a racketeering enterprise participated in by the following individuals (without limitation):  Attorney General Holder acting in his individual capacity, Assistant Attorney General Tony West, the brother in law of Defendant California Attorney General Kamala Harris (both acting in their individual capacities), Jon Corzine (former New Jersey Governor), Robert Rubin (former Treasury Secretary and Bankster), Timothy Geitner, Treasury Secretary (acting in his individual capacity), Vikram Pandit (recently resigned and disgraced Chairman of the Board of Citigroup), Valerie Jarrett (a Senior White House Advisor), Anita Dunn (a former “communications director” for the Obama Administration), Robert Bauer (husband of Anita Dunn and Chief Legal Counsel for the Obama Re-election Campaign), as well as the “Banksters” themselves, and their affiliates and conduits.  The lawsuit alleges serial violations of the United States Patriot Act, the Policy of Embargo Against Iran and Countries Hostile to the Foreign Policy of the United States, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (commonly known as the RICO statute) and other State and Federal laws. Continue reading »

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Sep 02

From the article:

Comment: It’s not “socialism for the rich”; that’s an oxymoron.

It’s corporatism, i.e. fascism, as defined by Benito Mussolini.


- Audit of the Federal Reserve Reveals $16 Trillion in Secret Bailouts (Sott.net, Sep 1, 2012):

The first ever GAO (Government Accountability Office) audit of the Federal Reserve was carried out in the past few months due to the Ron Paul, Alan Grayson Amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill, which passed last year. Jim DeMint, a Republican Senator, and Bernie Sanders, an independent Senator, led the charge for a Federal Reserve audit in the Senate, but watered down the original language of the house bill(HR1207), so that a complete audit would not be carried out.

Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, and various other bankers vehemently opposed the audit and lied to Congress about the effects an audit would have on markets. Nevertheless, the results of the first audit in the Federal Reserve’s nearly 100 year history were posted on Senator Sander’s webpage earlier this morning.

What was revealed in the audit was startling:
Continue reading »

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Aug 23

- Citi Sees Greek Exit As Soon As September (ZeroHedge, Aug 22, 2012)

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Jul 26

- Former Citi Boss: Reduce Leverage to 15 Times Assets, Put EVERYTHING Back on the Books, and Mark All Assets to Market EVERY DAY (ZeroHedge, July 26, 2012):

It is – justifiably – big news that former Citi CEO Sandy Weill said that we should break up the big banks, and separate traditional depository banking from speculative investing. Indeed, even congress members are confronting top government officials on why they haven’t done this.

But Weill said 3 other equally important things today.

First, Weill told CNBC that the financial crisis was largely caused by too much leverage, and that we should reduce leverage to between 12-15 times. (Background.)

Secondly, Weill said that we have to restore transparency, so that nothing is hidden off balance sheet. (Leading economist Anna Schwartz told the Wall Street journal in 2008: “The Fed … has gone about as if the problem is a shortage of liquidity. That is not the basic problem. The basic problem for the markets is that [uncertainty] that the balance sheets of financial firms are credible.”)

Third, Weill said that assets must be marked to market every day. (Background here and here.)

Mr. Weill’s suggestions would go a long way toward fixing our broken financial system and giving us a shot at prospering once again.

Note:
We are obviously not defending Weill’s horrific past actions, and he
failed to mention prosecuting fraud, which is perhaps the most important action we can take to help the economy recover. And we believe that bonuses and ill-gotten gains should be clawed back from every Wall Streeter who committed fraud.

However, we take our allies where we find them. And
on the points he raised today, Mr. Weill’ is on the same side of the
fence as all of the top independent economists and financial experts.

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Jul 07

- Libor rate-fixing scandal spotlight now on Citi, JPMorgan (Raw Story/AFP, July 7, 2012):

NEW YORK — The harsh light of the Libor rate-fixing scandal has crossed the Atlantic, with both Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase saying regulators and investigators have requested information from them in a so-far preliminary probe of the case.

Share prices for both — as well as Bank of America, which has not said if it was asked for information — have fallen sharply this week amid worries they could be in line for the type of heavy fines laid on Britain’s Barclays Bank, at the center of the scandal.

Continue reading »

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Jun 22

- Here We Go: Moody’s Downgrade Is Out – Morgan Stanley Cut Only 2 Notches, To Face $6.8 Billion In Collateral Calls (ZeroHedge, June 21, 2012):

Here it comes:

  • MOODY’S CUTS 4 FIRMS BY 1 NOTCH
  • MOODY’S CUTS 10 FIRMS’ RATINGS BY 2 NOTCHES
  • MOODY’S CUTS 1 FIRM BY 3 NOTCHES
  • MORGAN STANLEY L-T SR DEBT CUT TO Baa1 FROM A2 BY MOODY’S
  • MOODY’S CUTS MORGAN STANLEY 2 LEVELS, HAD SEEN UP TO 3
  • MORGAN STANLEY OUTLOOK NEGATIVE BY MOODY’S
  • MORGAN STANLEY S-T RATING CUT TO P-2 FROM P-1 BY MOODY’S

But the kicker:

ONLY MORGAN STANLEY, HSBC CUT LESS THAN MOODY’S ORGINAL MAXIMUM.

And there you have it – the reason for the delay were last minute negotiations, most certainly involving extensive monetary explanations, by Morgan Stanley’s Gorman (potentially with Moody’s investor Warren Buffett on the call) to get only a two notch downgrade. And Wall Street wins again.

Recall, from MS’ 10-Q:

“In connection with certain OTC trading agreements and certain other agreements associated with the Institutional Securities business segment, the Company may be required to provide additional collateral or immediately settle any outstanding liability balances with certain counterparties in the event of a credit rating downgrade. At March 31, 2012, the following are the amounts of additional collateral, termination payments or other contractual amounts (whether in a net asset or liability position) that could be called by counterparties under the terms of such agreements in the event of a downgrade of the Company’s long-term credit rating under various scenarios: $868 million (A3 Moody’s/A- S&P); $5,177 million (Baa1 Moody’s/ BBB+ S&P); and $7,206 million (Baa2 Moody’s/BBB S&P). Also, the Company is required to pledge additional collateral to certain exchanges and clearing organizations in the event of a credit rating downgrade. At March 31, 2012, the increased collateral requirement at certain exchanges and clearing organizations under various scenarios was $160 million (A3 Moody’s/A- S&P); $1,600 million (Baa1 Moody’s/ BBB+ S&P); and $2,400 million (Baa2 Moody’s/BBB S&P).”

So instead of $9.6 billion, MS will face only $6.8 billion in collateral calls.


YouTube

Still the firm is not out of the woods: Continue reading »

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Jun 21

- Big Bank Downgrade By Moody’s Imminent (ZeroHedge, June 21, 2012):

Even as Moody is now about a week late on its Spanish bank downgrade where the banks are rated higher than the sovereign (which obviously is kept in check to prevent yields on bonds from soaring even more), here comes the next wholesale bank downgrade:

  • Moody’s expected to announce ratings downgrade for UK banks this evening – Sky Sources
  • Exclusive: Big news – I’m told Moody’s will announce downgrades of some of world’s biggest banks, incl in UK, after US mkts close tonight. – Sky’s Mark Kleinman

Looks like that fabricated 2 notch Margin Stanley downgrade (because 3 notches just won’t do – those 4 months of Gorman-led “negotiations” made that painfully clear) is about to strike. The real question is: What Would Egan Who Do?

From Sky:

Some of Britain’s biggest banks are poised to have their credit ratings downgraded by Moody’s as soon as tonight as part of a wider reassessment of the health of the global banking industry, I can reveal.

Moody’s is expected to outline its verdicts about the creditworthiness of banks including Barclays, HSBC, JP Morgan and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Continue reading »

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May 12

- Mike Krieger: “Six Months Left… Can They Do It?” (ZeroHedge, May 11, 2012):

The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled. With something so important, a deeper mystery seems only decent.

– John Kenneth Galbraith

Today what we are doing is modernizing the financial services industry, tearing down those antiquated laws and granting banks significant new authority.

-Bill Clinton at the signing of Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999 (which ended Glass-Steagall and gave banks full control of the United States of America)

Obama delivered heated rhetoric, but his actions signaled different priorities. Had Obama wanted to strike real fear in the hearts of bankers, he might have appointed former special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald or some other fire-breather as his attorney general. Instead, he chose Eric Holder, a former Clinton Justice official who, after a career in government, joined the Washington office of Covington & Burling, a top-tier law firm with an elite white-collar defense unit. The move to Covington, and back to Justice, is an example of Washington’s revolving-door ritual, which, for Holder, has been lucrative–he pulled in $2.1 million as a Covington partner in 2008, and $2.5 million (including deferred compensation) when he left the firm in 2009.

Putting a Covington partner–he spent nearly a decade at the firm–in charge of Justice may have sent a signal to the financial community, whose marquee names are Covington clients. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Deutsche Bank are among the institutions that pay for Covington’s legal advice, some of it relating to matters before the Department of Justice. But Holder’s was not the only face at Justice familiar to Covington clients. Lanny Breuer, who had co-chaired the white-collar defense unit at Covington with Holder, was chosen to head the criminal division at Obama’s Justice. Two other Covington lawyers followed Holder into top positions, and Holder’s principal deputy, James Cole, was recruited from Bryan Cave LLP, another white-shoe firm with A-list finance clients.

– Peter J. Boyer in his excellent recent article “Why Can’t Obama Bring Wall Street to Justice?”

Six Months Left…Can They Do It?

I have to hand it to the Central Planners.  They are good.  Really, really good.  Of course, they are battling a crippled opponent considering so much of America consists of lobotomized sheeple, but nevertheless to be able to steal so much from many people with such blatant and simplistic methods and not be widely discovered is an act of devious brilliance.  The reason I say this now is because ever since last fall TPTB have changed tactics and totally taken over the markets and with it shoved many people into what is best described as a trance.  The people know something is very wrong.  They know they are getting poorer; that life is getting harder, yet the television and the markets have cloaked a blanket of sedation upon their minds.

Continue reading »

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Dec 04

See also:

- Gerald Celente Endorses Ron Paul For President – ‘The Entire Economic System Is Collapsing’ – ‘Fascism Has Come To America In Every Form’ (Video – Nov. 29, 2011)


- Have You Heard About The 16 Trillion Dollar Bailout The Federal Reserve Handed To The Too Big To Fail Banks? (The Econonomic collapse, Dec. 2, 2011):

What you are about to read should absolutely astound you.  During the last financial crisis, the Federal Reserve secretly conducted the biggest bailout in the history of the world, and the Fed fought in court for several years to keep it a secret.  Do you remember the TARP bailout?  The American people were absolutely outraged that the federal government spent 700 billion dollars bailing out the “too big to fail” banks.  Well, that bailout was pocket change compared to what the Federal Reserve did.  As you will see documented below, the Federal Reserve actually handed more than 16 trillion dollars in nearly interest-free money to the “too big to fail” banks between 2007 and 2010.  So have you heard about this on the nightly news?  Probably not.  Lately Bloomberg has been reporting on some of this, but even they are not giving people the whole picture.  The American people need to be told about this 16 trillion dollar bailout, because it is a perfect example of why the Federal Reserve needs to be shut down.  The Federal Reserve has been actively picking “winners” and “losers” in the financial system, and it turns out that the “friends” of the Fed always get bailed out and always end up among the “winners”.  This is not how a free market system is supposed to work.

According to the limited GAO audit of the Federal Reserve that was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the grand total of all the secret bailouts conducted by the Federal Reserve during the last financial crisis comes to a whopping $16.1 trillion.

Continue reading »

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Oct 25

Flashback:

- JPMorgan Employee Who Invented Credit Default Swaps is One of the Key Architects of Carbon Derivatives, Which Would Be at the Very CENTER of Cap and Trade


- The Coming Derivatives Crisis That Could Destroy The Entire Global Financial System (The Economic Collapse, Oct. 19th, 2011):

Most people have no idea that Wall Street has become a gigantic financial casino.  The big Wall Street banks are making tens of billions of dollars a year in the derivatives market, and nobody in the financial community wants the party to end.  The word “derivatives” sounds complicated and technical, but understanding them is really not that hard.  A derivative is essentially a fancy way of saying that a bet has been made.  Originally, these bets were designed to hedge risk, but today the derivatives market has mushroomed into a mountain of speculation unlike anything the world has ever seen before.  Estimates of the notional value of the worldwide derivatives market go from $600 trillion all the way up to $1.5 quadrillion. Keep in mind that the GDP of the entire world is only somewhere in the neighborhood of $65 trillion.  The danger to the global financial system posed by derivatives is so great that Warren Buffet once called them “financial weapons of mass destruction”.  For now, the financial powers that be are trying to keep the casino rolling, but it is inevitable that at some point this entire mess is going to come crashing down.  When it does, we are going to be facing a derivatives crisis that really could destroy the entire global financial system.

Most people don’t talk much about derivatives because they simply do not understand them.

Perhaps a couple of definitions would be helpful.

Continue reading »

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Oct 18

- The Megabanks are trying to prevent bank runs in the United States (Video) (Activist Post, October 15, 2011):

Megabanks around the world are reeling from their customers removing their capital and closing their accounts. People are standing up worldwide in a non-participational form of civil disobedience in order to do anything possible to bring down these corrupt megabanks.

There was an Italian bank run scare in at the beginning of August that really started the gears in motion for the possibilities of future bank runs.

Financial blogs predicted a run on the French banks during the economic turmoil in the EU and Eurozone countries.] Many corporations in France have moved their money out of French banks and into safer short term holdings for the time being.

Similar bank runs in August occurred in the United States, and the megabank Bank Of America had to employ the assistance of the St. Louis SWAT Team to prevent customers from closing their accounts and moving their money to smaller banks.


YouTube Added: 14.08.2011

The bank run issue even hit mainstream media in the United States, covered here by NPR.

Since the Occupy protests have started, big banks have been the prime target of disgruntled humans for their corrupt practices of taking peoples homes, robbing the elderly, and funding many illicit activities that normal Americans would face prison time over.

On September 30th, families and individual customers of Bank of America had a sit in protest to show civil disobedience against the megabank. 20+ of the protesters were arrested.

This was also covered on the local mainstream media news in Boston.

It would seem as if America is done with the megabanks, and for good reason. I came across this blog recently and information that there is a bank run being planned in the United States on December 7th.

Operation Bank Run 7th Of December:


YouTube Added: 09.10.2011

Many have already closed their accounts with the megabanks. I closed mine years ago, after the financial disaster in 2008 and the bank bailouts. Many are closing their accounts today.

In horrendous fashion, Citibank held more than twenty of their customers hostage and imprisoned them until police could come to arrest them all.


YouTube Added: 15.10.2011

The video above shows a well-dressed customer of Citibank outside talking with another customer about having been inside and having tried to close her account. A plain-clothers officer then starts yelling from behind her and drags her and her friend inside the bank to be arrested with the other Citibank customers. This is simply egregious activity by the officers in New York and the megacorporation Citigroup.

The end of the international banking cartel, their fiat currency that is imploding society by design, and the revival of sound money is at hand. But we must first be sure to force these too big to fail banks into oblivion. Let us keep the pressure up on them, and force their monopolies to come down. If the government and our ‘elected representatives’ won’t stand up for the rule of law, then we must come together to enforce it ourselves through direct democracy and non-participation.

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Oct 16


YouTube

Developing Story: People Arrested for Trying to Close Citibank Accounts (Gather, Oct. 15, 2011):

More ridiculous arrests coming out of New York today, as Citibank proves it’s just as bad, or even worse than Bank of America in how it treats its customers. Earlier today, about two dozen people formed a queue inside the Citibank building in order to close their accounts as a part of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Instead of allowing them to take their money elsewhere, the genius managers and security people in charge locked them inside and had them arrested.

Continue reading »

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Oct 08

- 11 Facts You Need To Know About The Nation’s Biggest Banks (Think Progress, Oct 7, 2011):

The Occupy Wall Street protests that began in New York City more than three weeks ago have now spread across the country. The choice of Wall Street as the focal point for the protests — as even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said — makes sense due to the big bank malfeasance that led to the Great Recession.

While the Dodd-Frank financial reform law did a lot to ensure that a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis won’t occur — through regulation of derivatives, a new consumer protection agency, and new powers for the government to dismantle failing banks — the biggest banks still have a firm grip on the financial system, even more so than before the 2008 financial crisis. Here are eleven facts that you need to know about the nation’s biggest banks:

Bank profits are highest since before the recession…: According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., bank profits in the first quarter of this year were “the best for the industry since the $36.8 billion earned in the second quarter of 2007.” JP Morgan Chase is currently pulling in record profits.

…even as the banks plan thousands of layoffs: Banks, including Bank of America, Barclays, Goldman Sachs, and Credit Suisse, are planning to lay off tens of thousands of workers.

Banks make nearly one-third of total corporate profits: The financial sector accounts for about 30 percent of total corporate profits, which is actually down from before the financial crisis, when they made closer to 40 percent.

Since 2008, the biggest banks have gotten bigger: Due to the failure of small competitors and mergers facilitated during the 2008 crisis, the nation’s biggest banks — including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo — are now bigger than they were pre-recession. Pre-crisis, the four biggest banks held 32 percent of total deposits; now they hold nearly 40 percent.

The four biggest banks issue 50 percent of mortgages and 66 percent of credit cards: Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup issue one out of every two mortgages and nearly two out of every three credit cards in America.

The 10 biggest banks hold 60 percent of bank assets: In the 1980s, the 10 biggest banks controlled 22 percent of total bank assets. Today, they control 60 percent.

The six biggest banks hold assets equal to 63 percent of the country’s GDP: In 1995, the six biggest banks in the country held assets equal to about 17 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Now their assets equal 63 percent of GDP.

The five biggest banks hold 95 percent of derivatives: Nearly the entire market in derivatives — the credit instruments that helped blow up some of the nation’s biggest banks as well as mega-insurer AIG — is dominated by just five firms: JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citibank, and Wells Fargo.

Banks cost households nearly $20 trillion in wealth: Almost $20 trillion in wealth was destroyed by the Great Recession, and total family wealth is still down “$12.8 trillion (in 2011 dollars) from June 2007 — its last peak.” Continue reading »

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Sep 24

- Five Banks Account For 96% Of The $250 Trillion In Outstanding US Derivative Exposure; Is Morgan Stanley Sitting On An FX Derivative Time Bomb? (ZeroHedge, Sep. 24, 2011):

The latest quarterly report from the Office Of the Currency Comptroller is out and as usual it presents in a crisp, clear and very much glaring format the fact that the top 4 banks in the US now account for a massively disproportionate amount of the derivative risk in the financial system. Specifically, of the $250 trillion in gross notional amount of derivative contracts outstanding (consisting of Interest Rate, FX, Equity Contracts, Commodity and CDS) among the Top 25 commercial banks (a number that swells to $333 trillion when looking at the Top 25 Bank Holding Companies), a mere 5 banks (and really 4) account for 95.9% of all derivative exposure (HSBC replaced Wells as the Top 5th bank, which at $3.9 trillion in derivative exposure is a distant place from #4 Goldman with $47.7 trillion). The top 4 banks: JPM with $78.1 trillion in exposure, Citi with $56 trillion, Bank of America with $53 trillion and Goldman with $48 trillion, account for 94.4% of total exposure. As historically has been the case, the bulk of consolidated exposure is in Interest Rate swaps ($204.6 trillion), followed by FX ($26.5TR), CDS ($15.2 trillion), and Equity and Commodity with $1.6 and $1.4 trillion, respectively. And that’s your definition of Too Big To Fail right there: the biggest banks are not only getting bigger, but their risk exposure is now at a new all time high and up $5.3 trillion from Q1 as they have to risk ever more in the derivatives market to generate that incremental penny of return.

Continue reading »

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Aug 23


YouTube Added: 22.08.2011

- Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion in Fed’s Secret Loans (Bloomberg, Aug 22, 2011):

Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) were the reigning champions of finance in 2006 as home prices peaked, leading the 10 biggest U.S. banks and brokerage firms to their best year ever with $104 billion of profits.

By 2008, the housing market’s collapse forced those companies to take more than six times as much, $669 billion, in emergency loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The loans dwarfed the $160 billion in public bailouts the top 10 got from the U.S. Treasury, yet until now the full amounts have remained secret.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s unprecedented effort to keep the economy from plunging into depression included lending banks and other companies as much as $1.2 trillion of public money, about the same amount U.S. homeowners currently owe on 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages. The largest borrower, Morgan Stanley (MS), got as much as $107.3 billion, while Citigroup took $99.5 billion and Bank of America $91.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg News compilation of data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress.

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