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Wall Street Banks Tank One Day After Fed Chair Says They’re “a Source of Strength”

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Closing Prices of Bank Stocks on June 11, 2020

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Every major Wall Street bank tanked yesterday. Citigroup fared the worst, losing 13.37 percent of its market value versus a broader market decline of 5.89 percent on the S&P 500 Index. Bank of America didn’t look like much of a source of strength either, losing 10.04 percent on the day. The largest bank in the country, JPMorgan Chase, whose CEO, Jamie Dimon, perpetually brags about its “fortress balance sheet,” lost 8.34 percent. For a close look at what’s hiding in the tall weeds behind that fortress, see here.

Just the afternoon before this bank carnage, this is what the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, had to say in his press conference about the U.S. banking system (which, of course, the Fed has been in charge of supervising in order to prevent another catastrophic blowup as occurred in 2008):

“You have a banking system that is so much better capitalized, so much stronger, better aware of its risks, better at managing its risks, more highly liquid. You have all of those things and they’ve been lending, they’ve been taking in deposits, they’ve been a source of strength in this situation.”

If these mega banks on Wall Street are in such good shape, why did the Fed have to jump in on September 17, 2019 – months before the first COVID-19 case appeared anywhere in the world – and start pumping hundreds of billions of dollars a week in loans to the trading units owned by these banks?

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