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Fed Has 10-Year Plan to Save Banks, But No Plan to Save Americans Devastated By Fallout, Admits Powell

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Is the Fed’s latest money funnel to unnamed trading houses on Wall Street part of the plan?

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens of Wall Street on Parade.

During his testimony to the Senate Banking Committee yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell let it slip out, for the first time, that the Federal Reserve has had a 10-year game plan to deal with the financial crisis. In response to a question on cyber threats from Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Powell stated the following:

“They kind of pay us to be awake at night worrying about things. I would say that if you look at what happened in the financial crisis, we had a game plan there. We implemented it over the course of 10 years. I won’t say that it’s perfect or anything like that, but we have a plan that is meant to address those kinds of things.”

“Those kinds of things?” The financial crisis, fueled by corruption and lax regulation of Wall Street banks, destroyed the housing market in the U.S. and left the U.S. economy in tatters. Millions of Americans lost their jobs and their homes to foreclosure. The New York Fed was the supervisor of key Wall Street banks that caused this problem – shouldn’t it have had a 10-year game plan to prevent “Those kinds of things” instead of creating the game plan after the damage had been done?

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Congress Just Passed Nightmare Legislation that Strips Trillions in Wealth from the Middle Class

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: December 30, 2019 ~

Broken Piggy BankFive days before Christmas, while the impeachment debate distracted voters, the President signed into law the so-called Secure Act – which was a sickening bi-partisan attack on the wealth-building capability of the middle class.

Making the dirty deed even more Grinch-worthy, the attack on the assets of the middle class comes after the Trump tax overhaul in 2017 gave a windfall to the super wealthy by doubling their estate tax exclusion from $11 million per couple to $22 million. Now someone has to pay for that and both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have stealthily decided it’s going to be Millennials – who are already buried under student loan debt with a meager average net worth of $8,000.

The only people that will gain security from the Secure Act are the Wall Street wealth advisors who are already looting two-thirds of the average 401(K) over a worker’s career through fees; the insurance industry that browbeat members of Congress into signing the legislation into law and got an insurance annuity payout option included; and the lawyers who will rack up millions of new billable hours from rewriting trusts that no longer make any sense as a result of this wholesale sell-out of the middle class in America.

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Fed’s Latest Plan for Bailing Out Wall Street Banks: Let Them Overdraft their Accounts at the Fed

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 31, 2019 ~

Victoria Guida, Reporter for Politico, Was First Reporter to Question Fed Chair Powell on Repo and Liquidity Problems on Wall Street During Fed’s October 30, 2019 Press Conference

Yesterday, following the announcement of another 1/4 point interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell held a press conference at 2:30 p.m. It proved to be an embarrassing and shameful example of New York City-centric business journalism.

Seven business journalists from leading business news outlets that cover Wall Street asked questions in the first 23 minutes of the press conference. Not one of these reporters asked about the liquidity crisis on Wall Street that has resulted in the Fed offering $690 billion a week to 23 Wall Street securities firms and one foreign bank as well as a newly launched “don’t call it QE4” operation by the Fed to buy up $60 billion a month in Treasury bills from Wall Street dealers.

The Fed began its repo loan interventions on September 17 of this year for the first time since the financial crisis. That crisis grew into the worst economic collapse in the U.S. since the Great Depression. What the Fed is now doing has all the same earmarks as the actions it took in the early days of the last crisis. (See our ongoing series of articles on the Fed’s actions and the liquidity stresses on Wall Street.) And yet, despite these frightening similarities, not one of the following reporters (in this order of asking questions within the first 23 minutes of the press conference) could summon the nerve to broach the subject: Michael McKee, Bloomberg TV; Heather Long, Washington Post; Jeanna Smialek, New York Times; Steve Liesman, CNBC; Nick Timiraos, Wall Street Journal; Edward Lawrence, Fox Business; and Brendan Greeley, Financial Times.

It was not until the eighth reporter was handed the microphone that we heard a question on the most critical financial topic of the day. More

The Fed Fears an Explosion on Wall Street: Here’s How JPMorgan Lit the Fuse

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens of Wall Street on Parade

JPMorgan Chase is the largest bank in the United States with $1.6 trillion in deposits from more than 5,000 retail bank branches spread across the country. When it withdraws liquidity from the U.S. financial system, that has a reverberating impact. 

According to the filings that JPMorgan Chase makes annually with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), since 2013 JPMorgan Chase has spent $77 billion buying back its own stock. That includes the whopping $17.01 billion it has spent in just the first nine months of this year buying back its stock.

But here’s the shocking news. According to its SEC filings, JPMorgan Chase is partly using Federally insured deposits made by moms and pops across the country in its more than 5,000 branches to prop up its share price with buybacks. The wording in the filing is as follows:

“In 2019, cash provided resulted from higher deposits and securities loaned or sold under repurchase agreements, partially offset by net payments on long-term borrowing…cash was used for repurchases of common stock and cash dividends on common and preferred stock.”

Had JPMorgan Chase not spent $77 billion propping up its share price with stock buybacks, it would have $77 billion more in cash to loan to businesses and consumers – the actual job of its commercial bank. Add in the tens of billions of dollars that other mega banks on Wall Street have used to buy back their own stock and it’s clear why there is a liquidity crisis on Wall Street that is forcing the Federal Reserve to hurl hundreds of billions of dollars a week at the problem.

On September 17, the overnight lending rate on repurchase agreements (repos) spiked from the typical 2 percent range to 10 percent, meaning some very big lenders such as JPMorgan Chase were backing away from lending. That forced the Federal Reserve to jump in as lender of last resort, the first time it has done that in any material way since the financial crisis

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Tom Mueller’s New Book Shows How Whistleblowers Are Increasingly Left to Do the Job that Law Enforcement Won’t

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 1, 2019 ~

Tom Mueller, Author of Crisis of Conscience -- Whistleblowing in an Age of Fraud

Tom Mueller, Author of Crisis of Conscience: Whistleblowing in an Age of Fraud

Tom Mueller’s new book, Crisis of Conscience: Whistleblowing in an Age of Fraud is being released today by Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It’s packed with seven years of research and inspiring personal interviews.

Despite its initially intimidating 600-page heft, it’s an enticing read as it connects the dots to how a country like the United States, founded on the premise of “equal justice under law,” as engraved on the front of the U.S. Supreme Court, has become a “banana republic” with only whistleblowers’ pockets stuffed with crinkled documents or secret tape recordings all that stand between resuscitating our democracy or a complete collapse into oligarchy.

Mueller builds an incontrovertible case that the United States has become a dystopian society where almost every government entity that a citizen would typically turn to for redress over a lawless act has been corrupted by greed, pay to play, revolving doors, political bribes, or self-dealing. Adding poignant authenticity to this premise, the book arrives at a time when the highest elected official (President Donald Trump) and the highest law enforcement officer (Attorney General William Barr) are under a serious House of Representatives inquiry based on documents provided by a whistleblower.

Many of the courageous whistleblowers who experienced hardships and made great personal sacrifices to expose insidious corruption within the leadership of Wall Street’s top cop, the Securities and Exchange Commission, make an appearance in Mueller’s book. Those include SEC attorneys Gary Aguirre, Darcy Flynn, and James Kidney. Dick Bowen’s whistleblowing role at Citigroup is also insightfully covered. More

The Fed Is Offering $100 Billion a Day in Emergency Loans to Unnamed Banks and Congress Is Not Curious Enough to Hold a Hearing

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 27, 2019 ~

New York Fed Headquarters Building in Lower Manhattan

New York Fed Headquarters Building in Lower Manhattan

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York first initiated its emergency overnight loans to Wall Street this year on Tuesday, September 17, starting off at the rate of $75 billion daily. It then increased its loans by adding, in addition to the $75 billion daily, 14-day term loans in the amount of $30 billion to be offered three times this past week. But after the demand for the first 14-day loan was more than double the $30 billion offered, the New York Fed boosted the next term loans to $60 billion and increased its overnight loans to $100 billion.

What will next week bring? When Wall Street can get super cheap loans from the Fed in the tens of billions of dollars with no questions asked by Congress, it will continue upping its demands until the Fed is once again secretly shelling out trillions of dollars while Congress willfully remains in the dark – in other words, a replay of the 2007-2010 financial crisis.

The New York Fed is only allowed to engage in these repo transactions with its 24 primary dealers. That list of 24 primary dealers includes the securities units of big U.S. banks like JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, but it also includes the U.S. based securities units of troubled foreign banks like Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, and Societe Generale (SocGen).

Because the New York Fed is not announcing which banks are drawing down the bulk of its loans, neither Congress nor the American people know if the money is flowing to U.S. banks or foreign bank subsidiaries in the U.S. Propping up troubled foreign banks is not what most Americans want their central bank to be doing. More

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