* * *
Morgan Stanley’s settlement for $3.2 billion pales in comparison to what they borrowed.
While some may claim that the settlements made with big banks in recent years are better than nothing or are significant amounts, no matter how much that bank borrowed in 2008-2009, to say that these settlements are minuscule at best is an understatement. Last month, Morgan Stanley, one of the largest investment banks in the world and biggest borrowers in the 2008 financial crisis, agreed to pay $3.2 billion in a settlement with federal authorities.
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.
While it will hardly come as a surprise to its employees (who were warned a week ago that 25% of all fixed income workers would lose their jobs in the immediate future) most had hoped that the bailed out bank would at least have the ethics to wait with the layoffs until after the new year, now just three weeks away.
It did not.
In other news:
Stiffer capital rules, a slump in client transactions and a shift toward electronic trading have crimped margins in key fixed-income markets, pushing banks to pull back and eliminate staff… and amid a 42% collapse in fixed-income revenue in Q3, Morgan Stanley is taking action:
- *MORGAN STANLEY SAID TO PLAN FIXED-INCOME JOB CUTS OF UP TO 25%
The cuts are said to be worldwide and will happen with two weeks (just in time to watch the carnage unleashed by The Fed).
Having watched the credit markets grow more and more weary of the major US financials, it should not be total surprise that ratings agency S&P just put all the majors on watch for a rating downgrade:
*JPMORGAN, CITIGROUP, GOLDMAN SACHS, STATE STREET CORP, MORGAN STANLEY MAY BE CUT BY S&P
Despite all the talking heads proclamations on higher rates and net interest margins and ‘strongest balance sheets’ ever, S&P obviously sees something more worrisome looming. This comes just hours after Moody’s put Bank of Nova Scotia on review also (blaming the move on concerns over increased risk appetite).
– Murray Abbott, Missing Morgan Stanley Trader, Dies at 36 (Bloomberg, May 12, 2015):
Murray Abbott, an institutional sales trader at Morgan Stanley in Toronto who had been missing since April 25, was found Monday by the shore of Lake Ontario near the city’s Beaches neighborhood where he lived. He was 36.His death wasn’t suspicious, Mark Pugash, a Toronto Police Service spokesman, said Tuesday in a telephone interview. “It was obviously a very tragic missing person’s case.”
Abbott was a vice president and one of 16 people on the institutional equities desk at Morgan Stanley’s Canadian wealth-management division. He joined the New York-based bank in 2010, following jobs at Toronto-based brokerage Blackmont Capital Inc. and Research Capital Corp.
“He was larger than life, a very gregarious guy, very well liked by clients,” Laura Adams, head of Morgan Stanley’s Canadian equity-distribution business, said Tuesday in a telephone interview. “He was just a super guy.”
H/t reader M.G.:
“Looking at the destruction Morgan Stanley wrought on the mortgage market, and the crooked judges are looking for a “settlement” early next year. No word about the millions who suffered as a result of their policies, not just those who bought the homes, but all of us who suffered from radical drop in property values as a result of mass foreclosures around us.”
– Court Filing Illuminates Morgan Stanley Role in Lending (CNBC/New York Times, Dec 30, 2014):
Since the financial crisis, Wall Street firms have argued that they were victims, just like everybody else, of the bad mortgages that were churned out by subprime lenders like Countrywide and New Century.
Now, though, a trove of emails and confidential documents, filed in court, reveal the extent to which one of Wall Street’s leading banks, Morgan Stanley, actively influenced New Century’s push into riskier and more onerous mortgages, and brushed aside questions about the ability of homeowners to make the payments.
– The Vampire Squid Strikes Again: The Mega Banks’ Most Devious Scam Yet (Rolling Stone, Feb 12, 2014):
Banks are no longer just financing heavy industry. They are actually buying it up and inventing bigger, bolder and scarier scams than ever
all it the loophole that destroyed the world. It’s 1999, the tail end of the Clinton years. While the rest of America obsesses over Monica Lewinsky, Columbine and Mark McGwire’s biceps, Congress is feverishly crafting what could yet prove to be one of the most transformative laws in the history of our economy – a law that would make possible a broader concentration of financial and industrial power than we’ve seen in more than a century.
But the crazy thing is, nobody at the time quite knew it. Most observers on the Hill thought the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 – also known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – was just the latest and boldest in a long line of deregulatory handouts to Wall Street that had begun in the Reagan years.
– 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:
– 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.
– Revolving Door Goes Both Ways: Morgan Stanley Hires Former Treasury Staffer To Head Corporate Affairs (ZeroHedge, April 29, 2013)
– Who Runs The World? Solid Proof That A Core Group Of Wealthy Elitists Is Pulling The Strings (Economic Collapse, Jan 29, 2013):
Does a shadowy group of obscenely wealthy elitists control the world? Do men and women with enormous amounts of money really run the world from behind the scenes? The answer might surprise you. Most of us tend to think of money as a convenient way to conduct transactions, but the truth is that it also represents power and control. And today we live in a neo-fuedalist system in which the super rich pull all the strings. When I am talking about the ultra-wealthy, I am not just talking about people that have a few million dollars. As you will see later in this article, the ultra-wealthy have enough money sitting in offshore banks to buy all of the goods and services produced in the United States during the course of an entire year and still be able to pay off the entire U.S. national debt. That is an amount of money so large that it is almost incomprehensible. Under this ne0-feudalist system, all the rest of us are debt slaves, including our own governments. Just look around – everyone is drowning in debt, and all of that debt is making the ultra-wealthy even wealthier. But the ultra-wealthy don’t just sit on all of that wealth. They use some of it to dominate the affairs of the nations. The ultra-wealthy own virtually every major bank and every major corporation on the planet. They use a vast network of secret societies, think tanks and charitable organizations to advance their agendas and to keep their members in line. They control how we view the world through their ownership of the media and their dominance over our education system. They fund the campaigns of most of our politicians and they exert a tremendous amount of influence over international organizations such as the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO. When you step back and take a look at the big picture, there is little doubt about who runs the world. It is just that most people don’t want to admit the truth.The ultra-wealthy don’t run down and put their money in the local bank like you and I do. Instead, they tend to stash their assets in places where they won’t be taxed such as the Cayman Islands. According to a report that was released last summer, the global elite have up to 32 TRILLION dollars stashed in offshore banks around the globe.
U.S. GDP for 2011 was about 15 trillion dollars, and the U.S. national debt is sitting at about 16 trillion dollars, so you could add them both together and you still wouldn’t hit 32 trillion dollars.
– The Federal Reserve Cartel: Part IV: A Financial Parasite (Veterans Today, Dec 14, 2012):
(Excerpted from Chapter 19: Big Oil & Their Bankers…Part four of a five-part series)
United World Federalists founder James Warburg’s father was Paul Warburg, who financed Hitler with help from Brown Brothers Harriman partner Prescott Bush. 
Colonel Ely Garrison was a close friend of both President Teddy Roosevelt and President Woodrow Wilson. Garrison wrote in Roosevelt, Wilson and the Federal Reserve, “Paul Warburg was the man who got the Federal Reserve Act together after the Aldrich Plan aroused such nationwide resentment and opposition. The mastermind of both plans was Baron Alfred Rothschild of London.”
– On Gold; Morgan Stanley Is Buying What Goldman Is Selling (ZeroHedge, Dec 6, 2012):
Just yesterday, Goldman Sachs suggested its clients should sell their gold (to them?) as the precious metal cycle had turned. It seems Morgan Stanley disagrees; the firm’s preferred fundamental metal exposure for 20913 is Gold. Expecting Silver to outperform also (given its ‘cheaper’ store of value), MS believes nothing has changed on the fundamental thesis for owning gold as the adoption of QE 3 (and 4…) and the ECB’s commitments (and BoJ) remain the most important factors for a continuation of weakness in the TWI trend for the US Dollar. They also add that low nominal and negative real interest rates, ongoing geopolitical risk in the Middle East and continued mine supply issues are also supportive. From India and ETF demand to central bank buying and USD weakness – MS seems to be buying what GS is selling(or is less about muppet-mauling).
Via Morgan Stanley:
– Banker Bonuses: Spot The Odd One Out (ZeroHedge, Nov 29, 2012):
Bankers in London, Europe’s trading hub, are bracing themselves for significantly lower bonuses (and salary cuts) especially so relative to their New York counterparts. As Bloomberg Businessweek notes in the brief clip below, investment bankers and traders should expect a 15% pay cut compared to unchanged in the US and while hope is that these are temporary, many believe this shift is structural and reflects “US regulators [not having] the same obsession with pay structures that European regulators have.” As is evident from the chart below, there are winners and losers (and we bet you can guess who the winner is).Looks like Goldman wins, UBS loses, and even with a huge drop in revenues Morgan Stanley is being generous…
Preparing you for the ‘Greatest Depression’.
– Morgan Stanley’s Doom Scenario: Major Recession in 2013 (CNBC, Nov 20, 2012):
The bank’s economics team forecasts a full-blown recession next year, under a pessimistic scenario, with global gross domestic product (GDP) likely to plunge 2 percent.“More than ever, the economic outlook hinges upon the actions taken or not taken by governments and central banks,” Morgan Stanley said in a report.
Under the bank’s more gloomy scenario, the U.S. would go over the “fiscal cliff” leading to a contraction in U.S. GDP for the first three quarters of 2013. In Europe, the bank’s pessimistic scenario assumes a failure of the European Central Bank (ECB) in cutting rates and a delay of its bond-buying program.
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:
– Muppets Get MASHED Once Again – Groupon Half Off Share Price Coupons Selling for 20 Cents On The Dollar!!! (ZeroHedge, Aug 14, 2012)