Posts Tagged ‘Volcker’

JPMorgan vs. Goldman Sachs: Why the Market Was Down 7 Days in a Row

JPMorgan vs. Goldman Sachs: Why the Market Was Down 7 Days in a Row

Courtesy of Ellen Brown at Web of Debt

Murray RothbardWe are witnessing an epic battle between two banking giants, JPMorgan Chase (Paul Volcker) and Goldman Sachs (Rubin/Geithner). The bodies left strewn on the battleground could include your pension fund and 401K.

The late Libertarian economist Murray Rothbard wrote that U.S. politics since 1900, when William Jennings Bryan narrowly lost the presidency, has been a struggle between two competing banking giants, the Morgans and the Rockefellers. The parties would sometimes change hands, but the puppeteers pulling the strings were always one of these two big-money players. No popular third party candidate had a real chance at winning, because the bankers had the exclusive power to create the national money supply and therefore held the winning cards.

In 2000, the Rockefellers and the Morgans joined forces, when JPMorgan and Chase Manhattan merged to become JPMorgan Chase Co. Today the battling banking titans are JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, an investment bank that gained notoriety for its speculative practices in the 1920s. In 1928, it launched the Goldman Sachs Trading Corp., a closed-end fund similar to a Ponzi scheme. The fund failed in the stock market crash of 1929, marring the firm’s reputation for years afterwards. Former Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and Robert Rubin came from Goldman, and current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner rose through the ranks of government as a Rubin protégé. One commentator called the U.S. Treasury “Goldman Sachs South.”

Goldman’s superpower status comes from something more than just access to the money spigots of the banking system. It actually has the ability to manipulate markets. Formerly just an investment bank, in 2008 Goldman magically transformed into a bank holding company. That gave it access to the Federal Reserve’s lending window; but at the same time it remained an investment bank, aggressively speculating in the markets. The upshot was that it can now borrow massive amounts of money at virtually 0% interest, and it can use this money not only to speculate for its own account but to bend markets to its will.

But Goldman Sachs has been caught in this blatant market manipulation so often that the JPMorgan faction of the banking


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Restoring Glass-Steagall

Restoring Glass-Steagall

Courtesy of Jesse’s Café Américain 

"Successful crime is dignified with the name of virtue; the good become the slaves of the wicked; might makes right; fear silences the power of the law." Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Restoring Glass-Steagall is such an obvious move that one has to wonder why it is not being more seriously considered.

Granted, it took a multi-year lobbying effort and the expenditure of many millions of dollar to subvert a national regulatory and political process to overturn it, largely led by Sandy Weill of Citigroup. Frontline: The Long Demise of Glass-Steagall.

And with the return of the Clinton crowd as Obama’s key financial advisers, led by Larry Summers and young Tim, supplemented by more mercenaries from the-investment-bank-that-must-not-be-named, perhaps it is unreasonable to expect the Reformer to enact such a simple, time-tested reform.

Perhaps Barney Frank and Chris Dodd can bring the Princes of Wall Street down to Washington again, profusely thank them for taking time from their busy day to speak to the people’s representatives, privately thank them for their generous campaign contributions, and simply ask them what they will accept as regulation again.

It is important to bear this in mind, because it tends to knock down the assertion that the current financial crisis is somehow an act of God, something that just happened. There was an intent to subvert the regulatory process, to increase leverage beyond what has long been known to be prudent, and to engage in systemic fraud with a group of enables and agencies, such as the ratings firms, in order to reap fabulous personal profits for a small group at the expense of the many. There was planning, premeditation, malice aforethought. They may not have intended to harm; they just did not care. They really truly did not care, if they got theirs.

Until the banks are restrained, and the financial system reform, and balance restored to the economy, there will be no sustained recovery.

And there can be no better start than to stop the gambling with the public money that is the core of the existing US banking system. The parallels with organized crime and the subversion of the public interest through graft and corruption are compelling. And one thing we must accept is that the financiers will never be able to reform themselves, to regulate themselves, to


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Volcker: Don’t Use Taxpayer Money to Prop Up Anything But Traditional Depository Banking Functions

Volcker: Don’t Use Taxpayer Money to Prop Up Anything But Traditional Depository Banking Functions

Paul Volcker Courtesy of Washington’s Blog

While many people have called for the giant, insolvent banks to be broken up, Paul Volcker argues for a different approach: making sure that the taxpayers aren’t paying for their speculative activities which lie outside of traditional depository banking functions.

As Bloomberg writes:

“I do not think it reasonable that public money --taxpayer money — be indirectly available to support risk-prone capital market activities simply because they are housed within a commercial banking organization,” Volcker said.

Since January, Volcker has advocated that regulators should prohibit financial companies whose collapse would pose a risk to the economy — those considered “too big to fail” — from engaging in certain types of trading and investing activities. The administration wants stricter oversight for such companies and tighter capital and liquidity requirements.

“Extensive participation in the impersonal, transaction- oriented capital market does not seem to me an intrinsic part of commercial banking,” Volcker said. “Substantial involvement in heavily leveraged finance and heavy proprietary trading almost inevitably entails risks.”

“I want to question any presumption that the federal safety net, and financial support, will be extended beyond the traditional commercial banking community,”

As the Wall Street Journal notes:

Mr. Volcker said banks should be banned from "sponsoring and capitalizing" hedge funds and private-equity firms, which are largely unregulated. He also said "particularly strict supervision, with strong capital and collateral requirements, should be directed toward limiting proprietary securities and derivatives trading."

He also said collateral and leverage restrictions against the largest nonbank financial institutions "may be needed."

The comments reflect Mr. Volcker’s long-held view that banks should act more in line with their traditional role and not take extremely risky gambles, which could threaten the viability of commercial banks and expose the Federal Reserve and taxpayers to large risks…

gamblingOf course, the people with real power in the Obama administration – Summers, Geithner and Bernanke – don’t want to break up or regulate the too-big-to-fails.

As Yves Smith has repeatedly pointed out, Volcker has been sidelined from the first days of Obama’s cabinet nominations . .. even before Obama was sworn in as President.

 


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The lie of the investment land, according to Hugh Hendry

The lie of the investment land, according to Hugh Hendry

Courtesy of Prieur du Plessis at Investment Postcards from Cape Town

Hugh Hendry, founder of Eclectica Asset Management, shares his views on the investment scene in his latest “Fund Manager Commentary” that has just been published. He is not only outspoken, but also a top-notch investment manager – just the right ingredients for compelling reading material.

The paragraphs below are the introduction to Hendry’s report.

“Good people are becoming desperate. I know a man who is planning to capitulate and buy stocks. He cannot comprehend what is happening today. He is, to employ Churchill, a fanatic; he won’t change his mind and he can’t change the subject. But, fearing the loss of his franchise, he will change his portfolio. He laments that it is as though last year’s events never happened. Rhetorically, he asks whether we have all been sent through time to invest in equities at the end of the 1970s when stocks were cheap and society had thoroughly deleveraged (the opposite of today). ‘Why do other investors not contemplate the prospect of further household deleveraging when building their profit forecasts?’ he fumes. ‘Can they not see that the private sector’s deleveraging is more than offsetting the public sector’s expansion?’ Despite such ranting my Minskian friend remains a most entertaining and charming individual.

“Now I know I have not covered myself in glory these last few months. Stock markets have gained 50% from their lows and the Fund has little to show for it except a modest reversal and no wild swings in our monthly NAV. Nevertheless, I would contend that this game of playing ‘chicken’ with the market is not for us. Our ambition has been modest. To survive the onslaught of a positive change in social mood without being forced to capitulate in the face of a frenzy of optimism; so far so good, I think?

“In this regard we have been helped immensely by a quote from Robert Prechter in early April. Having correctly called for a counter-trend rally in stock prices in late February, he then described the most likely nature of the advance, ‘… regardless of its extent, it should generate substantial feelings of optimism. At its peak, the President’s popularity will be higher, the government will be taking credit for successfully bailing out the economy, the Fed…
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Obama To Reappoint Bernanke

Obama To Reappoint Bernanke

Courtesy of Tom Lindmark at But Then What

Ben Bernanke

For all of the pixels that have been spilled over it, the announcement that Obama will reappoint Bernanke to another term as Chairman of the Fed seems sort of anticlimactic.

According to the WSJ, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel announced that the President will make it official on Tuesday. Now, the ball will be in Congress’s court.

I didn’t write much at all on this topic as I considered it a done deal from the beginning. There was little for Obama to gain by going with someone untested and equally little to lose with staying the course. If he had gone with new blood and the economy blew up, he would be second guessed forever about the move. Going with Bernanke, even if things go badly off course, he can always contend that he has the most experienced man at the helm and, of course, point out that Bernanke has been in control throughout, therefore, any major problems belong to him.

Hey, as Bush memories fade it pays to have a new fall guy waiting in the wings.

The Congressional hearings will be interesting but that’s about all. The chances of Congress disapproving the appointment are nil. Lots of hearings, press releases and pomposity but in the end it won’t amount to a hill of beans.

The real drama starts the first time that Bernanke has to take the inevitable actions that run counter to the administration’s plans. Will we find we have a Greenspan, a Volcker or something in between?

 


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Zero Hedge

Haftar Blocks All Libyan Oil Exports Day Before Berlin Peace Conference

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Given Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar has over the past two years captured the majority of the oil and gas rich country's energy producing regions, he's now playing his biggest card yet to leverage international peace talks in his favor amid a final push for his Libyan National Army (LNA) forces to take Tripoli. 

Bloomberg reports Saturday that the Benghazi-based 'rebel' general has now "blocked oil exports at ports under his contr...



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Phil's Favorites

Oil Glut Overshadows Geopolitical Risk In 2020

Courtesy of Nick Cunningham via OilPrice.com

The risk of oil supply disruptions from around the world has diminished, and rising non-OPEC production provides a “solid base from which to react to any escalation in geopolitical tension.”

In its January Oil Market Report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that there is plenty of oil sloshing around, despite the U.S. and Iran nearly going to war.

“We cannot know how the geopolitical situation will play out over time, but for now the risk of a major threat to oil supplies appears to have receded,” t...



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The Technical Traders

Energy Continues Basing Setup - Breakout Expected Near January 24th

Courtesy of Technical Traders

After watching Crude Oil fall from the $65
ppb level to the $58 ppb level (-10.7%) over the past few weeks, we still
believe the energy sector is setting up for another great trade for skilled
investors/traders.

We are all keenly aware that Winter is still
here and that heating oil demands may continue to push certain energy prices
higher.  Yet Winter is also a time when
people don’t travel as much and, overall, energy prices tend to weaken
throughout Winter.

Over the past 37 years, the historical monthly breakdown for Crude Oil is as follows:

December: Generally l...



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Insider Scoop

10 Biggest Price Target Changes For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Citigroup lifted Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) price target from $145 to $170. Caterpillar closed at $147.87 on Thursday.
  • UBS cut Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) price target from $37 to $35. Twitter shares closed at $34.19 on Thursday.
  • Morgan Stanley boosted the price target for Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) from $113 to $118. Yum! Brands closed at $102.16 on Thursday.
  • Jefferies lifted the price target on Ventas, Inc. (NYSE: ...


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Tesla About To Run Out Of Energy Here? Short-Term Peak Possible?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Tesla (TSLA) has been screaming higher of late, as very impressive gains have taken place.

Is Tesla about to run out of energy/take a break/experience some selling pressure? A unique price setup is in play, that bulls might want want to be aware of.

This chart applies Fibonacci to the 2016 lows and 2017 highs at each (1). The impressive rally of late has it testing its 161% extension level, based upon those price points.

At the same time, it is hitting its 161% extension level, it finds itself at the top of a 7-year rising channel, with momentum hitting the highest ...



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Chart School

Gold Gann Angle Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

The new year of 2020 has gold is poised to break out higher. Why is gold going higher? Maybe the FED's economists can explain .... or not.

Maybe these could be on the list:

- FED repo hundreds of billions a day.
- ECB made up tools to keep the European banks solvent.
- A sugar high stock market with Apple Inc and Microsoft looking like Bitcoin 2017.
- The US bond market is NOT confirming a strong stock market.
- Corporate profits have flat lined for 3 years while stocks soared each year.
- Knowing an US election year needs stimulus, and a lower US dollar is a first choice.
- China deal, will have a currency element to make it easier to do business. Lower US dollar.



Gold Gann Angle ...

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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Have Surged Since Soleimani Death, Bitcoin Tops $8,000

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Bitcoin is up over 15% since the assassination of Iran General Soleimani...

Source: Bloomberg

...topping $8,000 for the first time since before Thanksgiving...

Source: Bloomberg

Testing its key 100-day moving-average for the first time since October...

...



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Members' Corner

Tobin Smith: Foxocracy, the 2020 Election, and the Stock Market

 

Fox News has been spreading false information and hooking its audience into an angry, xenophobic and paranoid worldview for decades. It's no mystery that Fox was instrumental in the 2016 election -- but how did it do it? Tobin Smith, CEO of Transformity Research, Inc. and former Fox News contributor and talk show host, explores this phenomenon and discusses Fox News’ emotionally predatory and partisan propaganda media strategies and tactics in his new book, Foxocracy: Inside the Network&...



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Biotech

Why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice

A vial of insulin. Prices for the drug, crucial for those with diabetes, have soared in recent years. Oleksandr Nagaiets/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Jeffrey Bennett, Vanderbilt University

About 7.4 million people ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

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Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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