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28 марта, 12:05

CEOs take front-seat role driving policy

Transportation, energy and finance executives are among the first tapped by the Trump team for guidance.

21 марта, 12:20

Carter-era ethics rulings loom over Trump kids

According to the Justice Department, it's up to the president to make sure anyone acting like an appointee actually takes an oath of office.

18 марта, 18:05

It's Time To Get Painfully Honest: Banks Are Evil

Authored by Adam Taggart via PeakProsperity.com, I don't talk to my classmates from business school anymore, many of whom went to work in the financial industry. Why? Because, through the lens we use here at PeakProsperity.com to look at the world, I've increasingly come to see the financial industry -- with the big banks at its core -- as the root cause of injustice in today's society. I can no longer separate any personal affections I might have for my fellow alumni from the evil that their companies perpetrate. And I'm choosing that word deliberately: Evil. In my opinion, it's long past time we be brutally honest about the banks. Their influence and reach has metastasized to the point where we now live under a captive system. From our retirement accounts, to our homes, to the laws we live under -- the banks control it all. And they run the system for their benefit, not ours. While the banks spent much of the past century consolidating their power, the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 emboldened them to accelerate their efforts. Since then, the key trends in the financial industry have been to dismantle regulation and defang those responsible for enforcing it, to manipulate market prices (an ambition tremendously helped by the rise of high-frequency trading algorithms), and to push downside risk onto "muppets" and taxpayers. Oh, and of course, this hasn't hurt either: having the ability to print up trillions in thin-air money and then get first-at-the-trough access to it. Don't forget, the Federal Reserve is made up of and run by -- drum roll, please -- the banks. How much 'thin air' money are we talking about? The Fed and the rest of the world's central banking cartel has printed over $12 Trillion since the Great Recession. Between the ECB and the DOJ, nearly $200 Billion of additional liquidity has been -- and continues to be -- injected into world markets each month(!) since the beginning of 2016: With their first-in-line access to this money tsunami, as well as their stranglehold on the financial system that it all runs through, the banks are like a parasite feasting from a gusher on the mother-lode artery. It should come as little surprise that, with all this advantage they've amassed, the banks have enriched themselves and their cronies spectacularly. They have made themselves too big to fail, and too big to jail. Remember that their reckless greed caused the 2008 financial crisis, and yet, in 2009, not only did bankers avoid criminal prosecutions, not only did the banks receive hundreds of billions in government bailouts, but they paid themselves record bonuses? And the bonanza continues unabated today. By being able to borrow capital for essentially free today from the Fed, the banks simply lever that money up and buy Treasurys. Voila! Risk-free profits. That giveaway has been going on for years. Couple that with the banks' ability to push market prices around using their wide arsenal of unfair tactics -- frontrunning, HFT spoofing and quote stuffing, stop-running, insider knowledge, collusion, etc -- the list is long. James Howard Kunstler is dead on: we don't have a free market anymore. Instead, we have rackets, run by racketeers. The rest of us are simply suckers to be fleeced. Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton recently agreed: Income inequality is not killing capitalism in the United States, but rent-seekers like the banking and the health-care sectors just might, said Nobel-winning economist Angus Deaton on Monday.   If an entrepreneur invents something on the order of another Facebook, Deaton said he has no problem with that person becoming wealthy.   “What is not OK is for rent-seekers to get rich,” Deaton said in a luncheon speech to the National Association for Business Economics.   Rent seekers lobby and persuade governments to give them special favors.   Bankers during the financial crisis, and much of the health-care system, are two prime examples, Deaton said.   Rent-seeking not only does not generate new product, it actually slows down economic growth, Deaton said.   “All that talent is devoted to stealing things, instead of making things,” he said. (Source) As further proof, let's look at this data recently obtained by Zero Hedge. In the past 4 years, JP Morgan's in-house trading group has had exactly 2 days of losses: That's not trading. Trading involves uncertainty and risk. This situation has none. It's an extraction process -- siphoning value from the market day after day with ironclad dependability. And it's not just a few dollars here and there. In 2016, JP Morgan's daily average trading revenues were $80 million. Per day! That's nearly $20 billion for the year. So if not "trading", what should we call it when a bank can extract tens of billions of dollars a year from the markets, with no downside risk? "Sanctioned theft" sounds about right. Because for every trade there is a buyer and a seller. If JP Morgan is the winner every day, who is losing? Turns out, it's the big pools of "dumb money" that don't have the cheat codes for the system the way the banks do. These are the pension funds, the index funds, the retirement accounts -- the aggregated money of all the 'little people' out there. Little people who don't have visibility into how they're being constantly fleeced; nor do they have agency to do anything about it even if they did. So yeah, "theft" feels like a pretty accurate term. And it's reached the point where the banks don't even care about hiding it anymore. If you had a nice inside racket going on, wouldn't you at least pretend to hide your advantage, to avoid drawing attention? Not the banks. They're either too proud or too obtuse to conceal it. Look at our string of perfect trading days! Look at our record bonuses! These boasts fall on the ears of everyday American's as the modern version of Let them eat cake! And just like the out-of-touch French monarchs, the banks have positioned themselves as the enemy of the public. For as I claimed at the beginning of this article, a tremendous amount of the injustice in this country can be laid at the feet of the banks directly, or indirectly via the Federal Reserve. Are you a senior who can't afford to retire because you can't live off your fixed-income savings? Thank the Fed's 0% interest rates for that. Are you a millennial who can't afford to buy a home? Again, thank the Fed's policy of suppressing interest rates and thereby blowing another housing bubble. Are you struggling to get out of poverty? Are you finding it hard to remain in the middle class? Whatever your income, are you having to work harder and harder to just stay in the same place? See here how the Fed's money printing, and the banks' first-position access to it, has created the most concentrated imbalance of wealth in our country's history: Are you frustrated with how our lawmakers seem to serve corporations instead of the people? Listen to this mind-blowing podcast of how gobs of lobbyist money, much of it provided by Wall Street, dictates how our politicians legislate:  (Click here to launch podcast) Whether it's social equity, the security of your job or retirement, your day-to-day existence, or the fairness of the laws we live under -- our fate is currently in the hands of the banks. And, of course, should their behavior trigger another meltdown of the global economy -- something we warn about often here at PeakProsperity.com -- we'll have them to thank for that, too. Yes, the banks are going to keep writing the rules in their favor; and yes, there's little agency any of us has individually to do much about it. But as a society, we need to start addressing the dire situation we're in honestly and openly. By whatever path, we have granted the banks far too much control over our lives, and they are taking gross advantage of that. Exactly like a parasite, the banking system is siphoning off our wealth and limiting our freedoms and future prospects -- all for the benefit of an elite few.  That's wrong. It's immoral. And it's Evil. It's far beyond time to call a spade and spade. The path to change always begins with an accurate assessment of the problem. We need to start using accurate language  -- like "evil" -- when discussing the harm we're being subjected to. We need to make it clear to our elected officials and to our communities that we understand what the banks are doing and that we find it unacceptable.  We need to make the criticism specific and personal. To JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon. To Fed Chair Janet Yellen. We need to turn up the heat on the perpetrating decision-makers, so that the borg-like structure of the banking system no longer serves as a deflective shield to scrutiny and criticism. These people need to feel the disapproving stares when speaking to the public. They need to hear the disdainful boos, and see their faces on the protest signs and nightly media reports. And if you yourself work in the financial system, I'll be blunt. You're part of the problem. Just like my former classmates, I'm sure you're a very nice person in many ways -- but you're complicit in the banks' rapaciousness. I know it's not pleasant to hear, or admit. I worked for an investment bank for a few years early on my career. I was part of the problem, too. But we have a choice, both as individuals and as a society, to align our actions with our values. It's not always easy. And likely not as profitable if you indeed end up leaving the financial industry (as I can tell you from personal experience). But it's the only way we'll ultimately gain back control of our destiny. Look, the banks' dominion is going to end one day. Either due to collapsing under the weight of the stupendous amount of debt they've helped laden our economy with, or due to an uprising from the bottom 99% once it has become fully destitute. Neither path is appealing. So our best choice here as individuals is to position ourselves where we can be least subjected to the game the banks want to force us to play.  The 3-part series we've just concluded: The Mother Of All Financial Bubbles, The Coming Great Wealth Transfer, and When This All Blows Up offers our best guidance for preserving wealth from the predation of the bankers. If you haven't read them yet, make that your weekend reading assignment. Finally, as a society, we need to wake up and make some hard, courageous choices. Obviously, the banks will not relinquish their control willingly. But if we start speaking truthfully and openly about the evil we're dealing with, we'll start fearing it less. It's time for us all to speak up.

17 марта, 18:15

Alex Green: The American Dream Is Alive, Profit From It

Alex Green has often made his case for the American Dream. Despite constant negativity from the media, he insists it is alive and well... and investors can profit from it.

16 марта, 18:55

Citigroup’s decade of agony is almost over

IF YOU ask financial types in New York for their views on the world’s big banks, they usually come up with similar vignettes for each one. They agree that JPMorgan Chase is an unstoppable force under its boss, Jamie Dimon. Goldman Sachs is on a roll, with its shares up by 36% since the election (even if some worry that its Darwinian culture is going soft given all the regulation it faces). Across the pond Deutsche Bank is struggling to keep its head above water; its leader, John Cryan, embarked on a capital-raising and cost-cutting plan on March 5th. Yet one big bank elicits shrugs of bafflement: Citigroup. Its managers are anonymous and they get paid about a fifth less than their peers at other financial groups. No one is quite sure what Citi is up to or what it exists for. Once too big to fail, it is now too drab to mention. That Citi has become the world’s half-forgotten bank is surprising. It was America’s biggest firm before the financial crisis, measured by size of assets; it is now the fourth-largest. After suffering huge losses on loans and subprime securities, in 2008-09 it received the biggest bail-out of any American bank. Citi can still lay claim to being the...

15 марта, 01:44

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: Why Do Corporate Leaders Became Progressive Activists? Kevin Williamson…

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED: Why Do Corporate Leaders Became Progressive Activists? Kevin Williamson knows why: Far from being agents of reaction, our corporate giants have for decades been giving progressives a great deal to celebrate. Disney, despite its popular reputation for hidebound wholesomeness, has long been a leader on gay rights, much to the dismay […]

14 марта, 21:20

Economic, Business Confidence Starts To Roll Over

One week after Gallup measured US economic confidence at the highest level on record, just days after Trump gave his now long-forgotten "conciliatory" address to Congress, the mood appears to be souring somewhat not only for regular Americans but also small businesses.  In Gallup's latest weekly economic confidence reading, it found that Americans' confidence in the economy returned to its recent levels last week after a record-setting post-recession high the week before. Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index was +9 for the week ending March 12. This is down from +16 the previous week, and in line with weekly scores recorded throughout February. In the latest weekly survey, 48% of Americans say the economy is getting better, and 45% say it is getting worse. That compares with 54% and 39%, respectively, the prior week. As a result, the economic outlook component of Gallup's index fell to +3 from +15. Meanwhile, Americans' assessments of current economic conditions were largely unchanged. For the week ending March 12, 34% of Americans rated the economy as "excellent" or "good," and 20% rated it as "poor," resulting in a +14 current conditions score, roughly where it has been since late January. Still, it is too early to say the disappointment phase has set in: since late November, Americans have expressed higher confidence in the U.S. economy than they have during any period since Gallup began tracking the index in 2008. Or rather, confidence among one supporters of one specific party: while economic confidence among Republicans has remained steadily high for the past three weeks, the fluctuation in the latest national figure resulted from movement among Democrats and independents, whose confidence returned this past week to previous lower levels. In summary: Americans' current level of economic confidence is about where it was before the stock market rally and Trump's address to Congress,  and it is well above the mostly negative scores Gallup recorded from 2008 to late 2016, which is odd considering the polls reported elsewhere which gush in praise of the Obama regime yet find Trump has the lowest early approval rating of any president. Still, consumer confidence may have subsided last week after a slight decline in the Dow Jones industrial average after its massive gains in February, and may see further declines as Trump sees increasingly greater roadblocks in Congress for both the Obamacare repeal process and his tax reform plan. It was not just Gallup: after soaring in January to just shy of all time highs, NFIB small business confidence missed expectations of a further rise, and instead posted a modest decline in February. However one group continues to gush with optimism: CEOs. According to the latest Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook, leaders of the largest U.S. companies are becoming increasingly optimistic about sales growth, hiring and capital investment, causing a measure of chief-executive sentiment to increase by the most in seven years. The headline Index rose 19.1 points in the first quarter from the fourth quarter, to reach 93.3, according to a survey released Tuesday. It was the largest one-quarter gain for the index since the fourth quarter of 2009, when the economy was just emerging from the recession. Readings above 50 indicate economic expansion. “I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to enact a meaningful pro-growth agenda that will benefit all Americans,” said J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, chairman of Business Roundtable. “Business confidence and optimism have increased dramatically.” Then again, those of a cynical bent may ask if this is just another case of CEOs speaking out of a corner of their mouth, while doing something else, because as we reported last week, in January corporate insiders and other executives bought their own stock at the slowest pace in at least 29 years. According to the Washington Service, there were a total of 279 insider buyers in January, the lowest since 1988.  Moreover, the number of executives selling their stock has also grown in recent months, pushing the ratio of buyers to sellers in February to its lowest since 1988 as well. While it is too early to call the end of Trumpforia, should the market finally selloff, as Bank of America warned earlier could happen as soon as tomorrow if the Fed kills the "Buy The Dip trade", then reflexively confidence will follow right behind, resulting in a feedback loop, and chase to the bottom. One thing that is certain however, is that the insider selling will only accelerate.

12 марта, 22:58

Eric Peters: "If China And The World Bank Are Right, We're Headed For A Depression"

From the latest weekend notes from Eric Peters, CIO of One River Asset Management "Some people blindly invested offshore and were in a rush to do so,” explained China’s central bank chief, justifying his recent capital controls. “Some of this outbound investment was not in line with our own policies and had no real gain for China.” No doubt he’s right. The tycoons fleeing Chinese capital markets have done so selfishly. “So to regulate capital flows, I think it is normal,” concluded the central banker. Chinese credit relative to GDP has doubled in the past decade to 300%. Which remains less than the US at 350%, but the rate of Chinese credit growth is as unsustainable as it is difficult to reverse -- without tanking the economy. The tycoons are running from this dynamic. Because such loops almost always end badly. Anyhow, after so many years of secular stagnation fears, global investors have grown conditioned to run. They’ve been running away from fear for so long, they’ve forgotten how to run toward greed. Which has left them blindly holding over $10trln of bonds, which yield negative interest. Now, this might make sense in a deflationary depression. But the global economy has not seen such strong synchronized cyclical growth in years. Inflation is likewise firming everywhere. But China lowered its growth target again. As the World Bank warned that today’s strong global upswing in confidence and financial markets are not enough to pull the world out of a “low-growth trap.” If they’re right, we’re surely headed for depression. Because all this new debt requires robust economic strength to shoulder the weight. But European debt markets are still largely priced for depression. And with JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon announcing the return of animal spirits in America’s economy, it seems more likely that this cycle ends like every other. With a blind run toward greed.

Выбор редакции
10 марта, 22:10

Has Trump unleashed America's animal spirits?

Jamie Dimon says that stocks have rallied because President Trump has awoken the "animal spirits" of investors. What does that mean exactly?

Выбор редакции
10 марта, 22:08

Bulls galore! Has Trump unleashed America's animal spirits?

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon says that stocks have rallied because President Trump has awoken the "animal spirits" of investors.

10 марта, 07:05

What The Hell Is Going On? - Part 3

Via Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform blog, In Part One and Part Two of this article I revealed how the Deep State’s fake data and fake news propaganda machine can be overcome by opening your eyes, observing reality, understanding how Fed created inflation has destroyed our lives, and why the election of Trump was the initial deplorable pushback to Deep State evil. “The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.” – H.L. Mencken “This new regime will enthrone itself for the duration of the Crisis. Regardless of its ideology, that new leadership will assert public authority and demand private sacrifice. Regardless of its ideology, that new leadership will assert public authority and demand private sacrifice. Where leaders had once been inclined to alleviate societal pressures, they will now aggravate them to command the nation’s attention. The regeneracy will be solidly under way.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe We are now seven weeks into the Trump presidency and it seems like seven years with amount of incidents that have occurred before and since his inauguration. When in doubt, Trump’s brain dead, hyperventilating with hate, opponents either blame the Russians or declare him Hitler. The histrionics displayed by the low IQ hypocritical Hollywood elite, corrupt Democratic politicians, fake news liberal media and Soros paid left wing radical terrorists over the last two months has been disgraceful, revolting, childish, and dangerous. A counter-revolution by the gun owning normal people in the 85% red area of the country that voted for Trump would not be a pleasant experience for the paid protesters, vagina hat wearing feminazis, and the safe space anti-free speech lefties on campuses across the land. I must admit I love Trump’s pugnacious style. I love how he treats the despicable corporate media. I love how he responds to baseless accusations by his contemptible opponents on the left and right. The representatives of the Deep State – Schumer, Pelosi, Obama, McCain, Graham, Kristol, CNN, NYT, Washington Post, MSNBC, Soros, and anyone else willing to confront Trump are met with disdain, contempt, and abuse from the president. I love that he continues to go on the road and hold rallies with the people who elected him. I love how he demoralized his opponents by giving one of the best State of the Union speeches in history. I love how he put his opponents back on their heels by accusing Obama of wire-tapping Trump Tower. No punch is taken without two being thrown. He will never conform to the way the liberal corporate media and his opponents want him to behave. Twitter is the dagger he uses to avoid the fake news media filter and plunge into his opponents hearts. The faux journalists despise his use of Twitter. When you see the violence beginning to break out between Trump haters and Trump supporters, and read stories about Obama leading an insurgency to undermine Trump’s presidency, every normal person must be prepared to do whatever necessary to support his radical agenda of draining the swamp. “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” – H.L. Mencken The fake news media scoffed when Trump declared what an awful economic mess Obama had left after eight years of a debt fueled Keynesian failure of epic proportions. These fake journalists are good at looking stylish, speaking in serious tones, and reading false narratives written for them by their corporate bosses, but impartially assessing our economic situation is beyond their pea brain comprehension. The eye opening chart below shows you how far we’ve come since 2000, or how far we’ve fallen, depending on your point of view. It looks to me like Trump has been handed a bucket of shit by his egotistical sociopathic boastful predecessor. Obama can now concentrate on his true passions – his NCAA pool and golf – while Trump is left to try and clean up a $20 trillion mess. The Bush and Obama administrations frittered away any chance for a sustainable long-term economic paradigm by fighting unnecessary wars of choice, expanding unfunded entitlements, and allowing Wall Street and their Federal Reserve puppets to fraudulently pillage the nation’s wealth. Trump has been left with a debt saturated stagnant economy with rising interest rates and declining corporate profits. This is where reality meets slogans like Make America Great Again. This is where understanding what happens during Fourth Turnings keeps you focused on what is likely to happen, not what you wish to happen. Slogans and false hope don’t fly during Fourth Turnings. My natural skepticism kicks in when politicians, including Trump, make promises that are mathematically impossible. I know we are less than two months into his presidency and no legislation has actually been submitted, let alone passed, but impartially assessing his wish list of economic priorities makes me uneasy. I’m not hubristic enough to declare his presidency a failure already, like Karl Denninger, Paul Craig Roberts and some other blowhards. Judging a man before he’s actually done anything tells me more about the judger rather than the man being judged. He has certainly made some questionable cabinet choices and the number of senior advisors with ties to the Vampire Squid on the Face of America (aka Goldman Sachs) is worrisome. But whenever my doubts about Trump’s agenda begin to surface, I immediately picture the crooked globalist Deep State tool Hillary Clinton making the State of the Union speech last week. And all is well with the world again. My mental funk would be a full blown suicide watch level depression if Crooked Hillary was running the show. But that isn’t going to keep me from pointing out the mathematically provable impact of his plans on the budget. We already have a $20 trillion national debt, with 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 years old every day for the next decade. Annual deficits are already on automatic pilot to reach $1 trillion over the next few years. This is reality. Slogans won’t change it. Hope won’t change it. Delusional optimism by consumers won’t change it. With this backdrop, Trump has proposed the following economic initiatives: He’s vowed to not touch entitlements, even though they account for 50% of current spending and will grow to 60% over the next ten years. He’s vowed to rebuild the military, with 50,000 more soldiers and upgrades to fighting hardware, at a cost north of $50 billion. He’s floated the idea of a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. The border wall will cost between $15 and $25 billion. His tax reduction plans will add between $2.6 trillion and $3.9 trillion, after accounting for increased growth, over the next decade. His much discussed tariffs on foreign produced goods may result in jobs staying in America, but will surely result in higher prices for people buying those goods. Whether this will be a net positive or net negative is open to debate. With inflation beginning to accelerate, interest rates will rise. A 1% rise across the yield curve would result in an additional $200 billion per year in interest, a 50% increase from the current level of $400 billion. Discretionary spending only accounts for 15% of the entire budget. There isn’t savings anywhere near the level of spending increases baked into the budget, let alone Trump’s new grand spending plans. If Trump gets everything he has proposed, without touching entitlements, he would depart in eight years with a $30 trillion national debt and an entitlement crisis just over the horizon. Of course, the likelihood of reaching $30 trillion in debt without triggering a global financial catastrophe beforehand is about as likely as Trump making a sobbing apology to Obama for accusing him of wiretapping Trump Tower. As I stated at the beginning of this article, I am less sure about just about everything, as time goes on. Every day I see pronouncements from people I respect like David Stockman, Chris Martenson, Peter Schiff, Jim Rogers, Marc Faber and many others predicting a great crash in the immediate future. They will be right eventually, but they’ve been saying the same thing for the last five years. I agree with their reasoning, but I’ve given up on predicting the timing. They all have one thing in common – their living depends on you buying their newsletters and books. Certainty about looming disaster sells. Since my living doesn’t depend on selling anything, I’m comfortable pondering possibilities and trying to understand how the mood of the country will ultimately propel the unfolding events of this Fourth Turning. Trump has been referencing the 16% rise in the Dow since his election as proof his proposed economic policies will create millions of jobs, 4% GDP growth, and a new economic boom. That seems a little bit disingenuous, as during the debates and on the campaign trail he said the stock market was a giant bubble. He said the Fed had created multiple bubbles in stocks, bonds and real estate with their QE and ZIRP “Make Bankers Rich Again” schemes. Of course, he was right. His honesty was refreshing. When an extremely overvalued market rises another 16% over a four month period, one might ponder whether we’ve got a blow-off top in progress. Certainly the brainless spokesmodels on CNBC or the bevy of Bloomberg stock shills paraded on camera to bloviate about why this seven year Fed induced bull market is just getting started, will not be telling Joe Sucker to sell. Any honest financial analyst, who has taken a Statistics course in college, knows whenever something is 2 standard deviations beyond the mean you have a rarely occurring extreme outcome. In fact, the average stock has only been more overvalued one time in stock market history – 2001. Since that market overvaluation was solely driven by dot.com stocks, median stock valuations today are even higher than 2001. This isn’t opinion or survey data. Doug Short and John Hussman have used impartial valuation metrics which have been accurate for over 100 years. These valuation levels are 160% above historical norms and imply a market crash of 50% to 60%, which would only bring the market back to historical averages. I wonder how many Boomers and GenXers could survive the third stock market bust in the last seventeen years. The cock sure Wall Street analysts are as smug about this market as they were in 2000 and 2007. They scoff at the possibility of a 50% crash even though the market crashed by 45% in 2000/2001 and plummeted by 51% over a sixteen month period in 2008/2009. As usual, there are a myriad of ridiculous rationales for why it’s different this time. There will always be absurd justifications for outlandish valuations made by those whose paychecks depend on the greater fool theory. John Hussman, Doug Short, Robert Schiller, and dozens of other rational thinking, honest, data oriented people are right. But that doesn’t mean the market won’t go up another 20% before the inevitable collapse. I have no idea when it will happen, but it will happen. Considering we are in year nine of a twenty year or so Fourth Turning, with the worst part yet to come, I’d venture a guess we will see the next financial crisis during Trump’s first term. The nattering nabobs of nonsense at the Fed and in the financial mainstream press insist their monetary machinations over the last eight years have not created inflation. They clearly believe in the theory of the bigger the lie, the more likely it is to be believed by a math challenged, technologically distracted, normalcy bias ridden populace. Anyone who thinks the $3.5 trillion of QE money was to help the people on Main Street is either a government bootlicker or an establishment crony paid to spread false propaganda. In addition to the BLS under-reporting inflation by 100%, the Fed’s monetary inflation was pumped straight into the veins of the monetary drug addict Wall Street banks. While Main Street wages declined and senior citizens have gotten minuscule increases in their life sustaining Social Security payments, the Wall Street bankers, who committed the greatest control fraud in world history, have gotten record bonuses and the freedom to fake their profits through legal accounting fraud (mark to fantasy). The purpose of TARP, QE and ZIRP has been to sustain, enrich, and keep in power a ruling class of sociopaths hell bent on pillaging the last vestiges of global wealth from unsuspecting citizens. Jamie Dimon believes everything done by the Fed and Treasury has been wonderful, as he plays tennis in his $5 million opulent NYC penthouse suite. Meanwhile, your granny has to decide between her overpriced heart medication or groceries driven higher by the Fed generated inflation. I don’t know when the center will give way. I don’t know when the stock market will crash. I don’t know when the Federal’s Reserve and other central banks’ shamefully reckless and illegal monetary machinations will blow up the world. I don’t know whether Trump will succeed or fail in his quest to drain the swamp. I don’t know whether the Deep State forces will take him out. I don’t know whether a civil war is on the horizon. I don’t know whether a global military conflict is in the offing. I don’t know when this greater depression will be revealed in all its glory to the millions of people with their heads up their asses in denial about reality. But, I do know whatever happens during the remainder of this Fourth Turning will be driven by debt, global disorder and civic decay, just as it has from the beginning. I don’t know what the hell is going on. And more often than not, I don’t care anymore. I’m tired of howling at the moon, with no result. Life gets put into perspective when a family member is struck with a totally random health issue and you have to see them suffer through treatments that make them sicker than the actual condition. I know times are going to get much tougher. I have no misconceptions Trump can somehow reverse the course of the US Titanic after it has struck the iceberg of debt. I believe what’s wrong with this country is unfixable. I think Trump’s legacy will be the tearing down of the corrupt, decrepit, self-serving, evil status quo. His in your face, no holds barred style so angers the established social order; they come out of the shadows to fight him. The sinister intelligence services and Soros/Obama left wing terrorists are being revealed as the true enemies of the common people. We know our enemy. That’s the first step. I will do my best to get my kids through college debt free as long as they pursue a serious degree. I will continue to pay down my mortgage debt as quickly as possible. I will try to deal with my own health issues and help my wife deal with hers. We will take care of our aging mothers. Family will always come first. We’re only on this earth for a short time and while I get intellectual satisfaction from trying to change hearts and minds through writing, the only thing that truly matters to me is my wife and the futures of my three sons. I’ll prepare to the best of my ability for the worst, while trying to enjoy the present. Over the last nine years we’ve created a dysfunctional family of internet misfits on my website. I feel an obligation to keep that alive, especially for the talented writers who have blossomed with an open platform for their views, even though my own enthusiasm has been waning for a while. I’ve tried my best to seek truth, reveal government deception, and generally be a thorn in the side of the establishment. Based on Mencken’s definition, I’m a dangerous man to the government, who has spread discontent among those capable of thinking things out for themselves. You may not realize it, but the war has already begun. No matter what the hell is going on, I sure hope the good guys win. “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.” – H.L. Mencken

10 марта, 00:00

Trump Gets an Early Victory with Jobs Report

Tony Mecia, The Weekly StandardThe stock market is through the roof. Consumer confidence is at a 15-year high. And this morning, in the first full monthly jobs report from the Labor Department, comes news that the country added 235,000 jobs in February. That pace is about the same as it was the month before and about double the average monthly gain of the Obama years.Is this what animal spirits look like? And how much credit goes to President Trump?Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., told Bloomberg News earlier this week that Trump has apparently woken up the animal spirits. He gave the Trump team credit for what...

09 марта, 22:13

Глава JP Morgan с оптимизмом оценивает экономическую политику Трампа

Экономическая повестка президента США Дональда Трампа подстегнула уверенность бизнеса, сообщил генеральный директор и председатель совета директоров крупнейшего американского банка JPMorgan Chase Джейми Даймон.

Выбор редакции
28 февраля, 16:54

Dow CEOs Make Millions: 2 Financial Blue Chips to Buy

CEOs of Dow companies have made a fortune, especially financial behemoths, banking on Trump's promise to relax financial regulations.

24 февраля, 04:55

The Road To Hell Was Paved With Obama Cronyism

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, President Donald Trump’s naïve (or willfully blind) notion that Wall Street will work better at raising capital if it is unleashed from strident Federal regulation is unhinged from the facts on the ground. Those facts, as illustrated above, are that the Boards of two of the largest banks in the U.S. are utterly spineless when it comes to holding their CEOs and employees accountable in the face of a tsunami of crimes.   – From the Wall Street on Parade article: What JPMorgan and Citigroup Have in Common When It Comes to Crime Opposition to Trump is extremely important, particularly when it comes to someone like me who sees his Wall Street love affair and disregard for civil liberties as serious threats to the nation. That said, it is absolutely imperative to see Trump as a symptom of a sick and broken system as opposed to the root cause of anything. The corporate media and legions of mourning Hillary cultists continue to present the Trump threat in extraordinarily simplistic and unhelpful terms. They act as if he’s the head of some evil snake, and that disposing of him as an individual will get America back on track. This couldn’t be more wrong. I spent most of the Obama years warning about the dangers of his policies. I didn’t do this for kicks, or because I thought he would try to stay in power forever, but because I knew his monumental cronyism would only pave the way for major problems down the road. Well the backlash to Obama came quick, and we the people won’t do the country any good if we focus on Trump the man, as opposed to the entirely corrupt, billionaire/special interest-controlled cesspool of a society we inhabit. We need to focus on Trump’s policies, not Trump the man. We also need to be under no illusions when it comes to the disaster that was the Obama administration, and the key role his failures played in providing the fertile ground for Trump to believe he can do whatever he wants — because Obama largely did. As such, today’s article by Trevor Timm at the Freedom of the Press Foundation is extremely important. It provides new documentation demonstrating how the Obama administration worked tirelessly behind the scenes to prevent Congress from expanding government transparency.  Here are a few excerpts from the article, New Documents Show the Obama Admin Aggressively Lobbied to Kill Transparency Reform in Congress”: New documents obtained through Freedom of the Press Foundation’s lawsuit against the Justice Department reveal that the Obama administration – the self described “most transparent administration ever” – aggressively lobbied behind the scenes in 2014 to kill modest Freedom of Information Act reform that had virtually unanimous support in Congress.   Three months ago, we sued the Justice Department (DOJ) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for communications between the DOJ and Congress, since there were vague reports that the DOJ may have opposed the bill – despite much of it being based word-for-word based on the Justice Department’s own policies.   Today, we are publishing a detailed memo authored by the Justice Department that strongly objected to almost every aspect of FOIA reform put forth by the House of Representatives at the time.   The bill in question – known as the FOIA Act – was unanimously passed by the House in early 2014. The Senate passed a similar bill – known as the FOIA Improvement Act – in December of 2014, but a final vote in the House to merge the two bills was held up at the last minute by then-Speaker of the House John Boehner and the session of Congress ended before it could become law. It was unclear at the time why the bill did not come up for a final vote, but the Washington Post later reported that a few federal agencies—including the Justice Department—had “warned” lawmakers about some provisions in the bill.   But these new documents show it went well beyond that: the Justice Department vehemently objected to both House and Senate members on nearly all aspects of the bill from the very start, and made clear: “The Administration strongly opposes passage of [the FOIA Act].”Notably, the Justice Department indicates that this policy memo (published in full below) is not just the agency’s individual opinion, but that it is speaking for the entire Obama administration.   The Obama administration’s specious objections to FOIA reform were manifold. They were against codifying the Obama administration’s “presumption of openness” policy that Obama declared upon his first month in office, they were against Congress mandating that the federal government create a unified online portal to process FOIA requests, they were against mandating discipline for FOIA redactors who break any of rules or regulations for processing FOIA requests, and they were against providing more reporting and oversight to Congress to make sure FOIA was being complied with.   The administration tried to couch some of its opposition in concern that the bill would “cause delays” in the FOIA process, despite the fact that many of the provisions were written to speed up the process, modernize the system with an online portal, and encourage proactive disclosure by making more information available to the public without even having to file a request. Concerning other provisions, the DOJ claimed the administration is not opposed in principle, but its is against seeing them codified into law — which allows the Executive Branch to delay implementation indefinitely and gives the next administration carte blanche power to rescind any good policies the Obama administration did put in place.   While the Freedom of Information Act remains a valuable tool (this lawsuit can attest to that), any reporter who has filed a FOIA request can corroborate the fact that the law is badly broken. Multiple investigations have shown that the Obama administration has been the most secretive ever when it comes to FOIA. Requests can often take years to be fulfilled if at all, and the only way to get results is to sue, like we were forced to. (We did not receive any documents for over a year from our first requests, and only received these documents after filing a lawsuit).   This summer is the 50th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act, and Congress is yet again debating a FOIA reform bill, this time with even more holes in it than last time. We hope that Congress will amend the proposed reform in the strongest possible way and send it to the president’s desk with the same message they did fifty years ago when the Johnson administration opposed it, yet was forced to sign it anyways: transparency is vital to democracy. If I had to pick the most pernicious aspect of Obama’s entire presidency, it unquestionably would be the Department of Justice. By failing to prosecute a single bank executive, the DOJ made it clear to anyone paying attention that crime pays if you’re wealthy and powerful. With that incentive structure in place, financial crime flourished during the Obama administration, as was perfectly described in today’s article in Wall Street on Parade, What JPMorgan and Citigroup Have in Common When It Comes to Crime. Here’s some of what we learned: Jamie Dimon became the CEO of JPMorgan Chase on January 1, 2006. At that point, the bank was more than a century old and had never been charged with a criminal felony. In 2014, the Justice Department charged JPMorgan Chase with two felony counts in connection with their role in facilitating the Madoff Ponzi scheme. The bank was given a two-year deferred prosecution agreement.   The very next year, in May 2015, JPMorgan Chase was hit with a new felony count for its role in rigging foreign currency markets as part of a banking cartel. That’s three felony counts in two years and yet Jamie Dimon kept his job. Before the felony counts there was a $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department and Federal and State regulators in 2013 for JPMorgan Chase’s role in selling toxic mortgage investments to investors as worthwhile products when the bank had good reason to believe they would blow up.   Senator Carl Levin, Chair of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations at the time, said that the bank “piled on risk, hid losses, disregarded risk limits, manipulated risk models, dodged oversight, and misinformed the public.”  And, unbelievably, Jamie Dimon continued his tenure as Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase.   The crime spree at JPMorgan Chase became so surreal that two trial lawyers, Helen Davis Chaitman and Lance Gotthoffer, published a breathtaking book on the subject, comparing the bank to the Gambino crime family. In addition to the settlements noted above, the authors add more details as to what has occurred on Dimon’s watch, such as:   “In April 2011, JPMC agreed to pay $35 million to settle claims that it overcharged members of the military service on their mortgages in violation of the Service Members Civil Relief Act and the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.   “In March 2012, JPMC paid the government $659 million to settle charges that it charged veterans hidden fees in mortgage refinancing transactions.   “In October 2012, JPMC paid $1.2 billion to settle claims that it, along with other banks, conspired to set the price of credit and debit card interchange fees.   “On January 7, 2013, JPMC announced that it had agreed to a settlement with the Office of the Controller of the Currency (‘OCC’) and the Federal Reserve Bank of charges that it had engaged in improper foreclosure practices.   “In September 2013, JPMC agreed to pay $80 million in fines and $309 million in refunds to customers whom the bank billed for credit monitoring services that the bank never provided.   “On December 13, 2013, JPMC agreed to pay 79.9 million Euros to settle claims of the European Commission relating to illegal rigging of benchmark interest rates.   “In February 2012, JPMC agreed to pay $110 million to settle claims that it overcharged customers for overdraft fees.   “In November 2012, JPMC paid $296,900,000 to the SEC to settle claims that it misstated information about the delinquency status of its mortgage portfolio.   “In July 2013, JPMC paid $410 million to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to settle claims of bidding manipulation of California and Midwest electricity makets.   “In December 2013, JPMC paid $22.1 million to settle claims that the bank imposed expensive and unnecessary flood insurance on homeowners whose mortgages the bank serviced.” Interesting how Jamie Dimon seemed to think being crowned “Obama’s favorite banker” entitled him to a multi-year crime spree. Let’s now turn to Citigroup. Michael Corbat has been CEO of Citigroup since October 2012. Below is just a sampling of the regulatory charges against the bank under Corbat’s reign, including a guilty plea to a felony count in May 2015 which covered conduct that continued after Corbat took the helm.   July 1, 2013: Citigroup agrees to pay Fannie Mae $968 million for selling it toxic mortgage loans.   September 25, 2013: Citigroup agrees to pay Freddie Mac $395 million to settle claims it sold it toxic mortgages.   December 4, 2013: Citigroup admits to participating in the Yen Libor financial derivatives cartel to the European Commission and accepts a fine of $95 million.   July 14, 2014: The U.S. Department of Justice announces a $7 billion settlement with Citigroup for selling toxic mortgages to investors. Attorney General Eric Holder called the bank’s conduct “egregious,” adding, “As a result of their assurances that toxic financial products were sound, Citigroup was able to expand its market share and increase profits.”   November 2014: Citigroup pays more than $1 billion to settle civil allegations with regulators that it manipulated foreign currency markets. Other global banks settled at the same time.   May 20, 2015: Citicorp, a unit of Citigroup becomes an admitted felon by pleading guilty to a felony charge in the matter of rigging foreign currency trading, paying a fine of $925 million to the Justice Department and $342 million to the Federal Reserve for a total of $1.267 billion.   May 25, 2016: Citigroup agrees to pay $425 million to resolve claims brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that it had rigged interest-rate benchmarks, including ISDAfix, from 2007 to 2012.   July 12, 2016: The Securities and Exchange Commission fined Citigroup Global Markets Inc. $7 million for failure to provide accurate trading records over a period of 15 years.   President Donald Trump’s naïve (or willfully blind) notion that Wall Street will work better at raising capital if it is unleashed from strident Federal regulation is unhinged from the facts on the ground. Those facts, as illustrated above, are that the Boards of two of the largest banks in the U.S. are utterly spineless when it comes to holding their CEOs and employees accountable in the face of a tsunami of crimes. While it’s unquestionably true that Donald Trump is a gigantic Wall Street-coddler, so was Obama. When it comes to the real power running this country, no one dares take on the financial criminals. Not even Trump, despite all his big talk.    

23 февраля, 13:45

Here Are All The Favors Donald Trump Has Performed For Wall Street

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Donald Trump built his presidential campaign around two ideas: 1) a corrupt financial establishment had swindled the middle class, and 2) immigrants and foreigners are dangerous. Some combination of these two sentiments has fueled every American populist movement dating back to President Andrew Jackson. Populists can take credit for plenty of economic progress: child labor laws, universal public education, the eight-hour workday, the abandonment of the gold standard and all modern antitrust and bank regulations. The dark side of populism can be blamed for the Trail of Tears, the Chinese Exclusion Act and the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II. After a month in office, it’s pretty clear which strain of populism Trump takes seriously. He’s ordered the construction of a border wall with Mexico and plans to hire 5,000 new border patrol agents and 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. He’s also attempted to ban Syrian refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations from the country. In the meantime, Trump has embraced American financial titans as some of his closest allies. Wall Street is making its peace with people like Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News executive chairman, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who’s been repeatedly accused of racism, as the crackdown on immigrants intensifies. Government Sachs Trump’s affinity for Wall Street is most obvious in his choice of personnel. His top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, his treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, and Bannon are all Goldman Sachs alums. Trump’s nominee to run the Securities and Exchange Commission is Jay Clayton, a Wall Street lawyer who has represented Goldman Sachs as a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, a law firm so close to Goldman it is sometimes jokingly referred to as the legal wing of the bank. Trump’s pick for commerce secretary is private equity billionaire Wilbur Ross, whose wheeling and dealing included stewardship over American Home Mortgage Servicing and Option One, mortgage companies that paid millions to settle charges of relying on forged signatures and fabricated documents to push through foreclosures. Mnuchin’s bank, OneWest ― often referred to as a “foreclosure machine” ― also pursued improper evictions by “robo-signing” key documents, a fact Mnuchin lied about in his confirmation hearing. Reviewing Dodd-Frank Within two weeks of taking office, Trump was already delivering policy favors to Wall Street. He feted banking kingpins like JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon at the White House before signing a flashy executive order calling for a review of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. The signing ceremony was essentially symbolic ― regulatory agencies don’t need an executive order to rewrite the regulations required by the law. In fact, they don’t really need to rewrite the rules ― they can simply refuse to enforce them. Trump Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was a master of this approach when she served as Labor Secretary for President George W. Bush. As The Huffington Post’s Dave Jamieson has reported, a Government Accountability Office investigation found that Chao’s agency simply didn’t investigate serious complaints about labor violations. The GAO determined this by registering several fake and outrageous complaints, and monitoring the department’s response. In the most outlandish case, Chao’s agency didn’t follow up on a report that children were operating meat grinders and circular saws at a meat-packing plant ― during school hours. All Trump’s appointees have to do to gut Dodd-Frank is follow Chao’s example. But the symbolism of the signing ceremony matters. Trump was sending the strongest signal possible to Wall Street that he will not interfere with their quest for profit, however reckless or ill-gotten it may be. Retirement Rip-off The same day Trump attacked Dodd-Frank, he signed another executive order with more immediate consequences. The Obama administration had crafted a “fiduciary duty” rule that required retirement account professionals to manage their funds in their clients’ best interests. Most people think their retirement advisers have to work on their behalf, but many pick and choose investments based on special perks and financial gains that accrue to the adviser or his firm. As far as Wall Street’s bottom line was concerned, the rule was a bigger nuisance than the vast majority of Dodd-Frank. The Obama administration had calculated that Americans lose $17 billion a year to conflicted retirement advice ― and Goldman Sachs projected the rule would cost the investment industry $7 billion a year, plus $13 billion upfront. Trump erased the rule. He invited Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) to the signing ceremony to explain the move. Wagner, who raises about $900,000 every election cycle from the financial sector (more than quadruple her haul from any other industry), declared: “This is about Main Street … this is a big day, a big moment for Americans.” It was true. It was also a big rip-off. The 2-for-1 Deregulation Rule This executive order was not the most harmful of Trump’s early activities, but it may be the dumbest. Any administrative agency that wants to write a new regulation under president Trump will have to identify two existing regulations that it will eliminate. This is, of course, completely arbitrary. It is also short-sighted. Over the course of a presidency, bad things happen. And one way that presidents can make themselves appear attentive to those problems is by having regulatory agencies respond with new rules. Those rules might not be worth much, but Trump’s executive order makes it harder for the administration to even pretend to paper over future problems. Even if deregulation is your lodestar, this executive order doesn’t really help. Killing enforcement is just as effective as deleting a rule. But like the Dodd-Frank review, the deregulation rule carries real symbolic value. Trump was telling members of the corporate establishment to feast on whatever spoils they can secure. The Mortgage Price Hike Shortly after the Senate Banking Committee advance the nomination of former neurosurgeon Ben Carson as the secretary of housing and urban development, the agency raised prices on mortgages for low-income people. It was a windfall for private mortgage insurance companies that compete with the Federal Housing Administration. The SEC Trainwreck The Securities and Exchange Commission appears to have received Trump’s deregulatory message. Former President Barack Obama left the agency understaffed ― only two of the five commissioners appointed by the president were in office when Trump assumed the presidency. The December resignation of SEC Chair Mary Jo White ― perhaps Obama’s most embarrassing regulatory appointment for her deference to CEOs and dark money ― left Republican Commissioner Michael Piwowar in charge of the agency. And Piwowar has unleashed a reign of corporate favoritism that would make even White blush. Piwowar has already directed the agency to scuttle a Dodd-Frank-mandated rule that would require corporations to report the pay discrepancy between their CEOs and a typical worker. He has done the same for another Dodd-Frank regulation requiring companies to audit their supply chains to determine whether they relied on “conflict minerals” ― mining resources that enrich warlords engaged in long, violent campaigns in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The rule would also have required American companies to tell consumers whether their products were “conflict-free.” The conflict minerals rule was partially overturned in a controversial federal court decision, but Piwowar is apparently not one for half-loaves. His first public statement as acting SEC chair effectively called for killing what remained of the rule. You do you, failed state butchers. Piwowar is also moving to revoke the power of the SEC’s enforcement division to issue subpoenas launching investigations. What could go wrong?   Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Carson had been confirmed as HUD Secretary. He has been voted through the Banking Committee, and is yet to receive a confirmation vote on the Senate floor. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

23 февраля, 13:45

Here Are All The Favors Donald Trump Has Performed For Wall Street

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Donald Trump built his presidential campaign around two ideas: 1) a corrupt financial establishment had swindled the middle class, and 2) immigrants and foreigners are dangerous. Some combination of these two sentiments has fueled every American populist movement dating back to President Andrew Jackson. Populists can take credit for plenty of economic progress: child labor laws, universal public education, the eight-hour workday, the abandonment of the gold standard and all modern antitrust and bank regulations. The dark side of populism can be blamed for the Trail of Tears, the Chinese Exclusion Act and the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II. After a month in office, it’s pretty clear which strain of populism Trump takes seriously. He’s ordered the construction of a border wall with Mexico and plans to hire 5,000 new border patrol agents and 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. He’s also attempted to ban Syrian refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations from the country. In the meantime, Trump has embraced American financial titans as some of his closest allies. Wall Street is making its peace with people like Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News executive chairman, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who’s been repeatedly accused of racism, as the crackdown on immigrants intensifies. Government Sachs Trump’s affinity for Wall Street is most obvious in his choice of personnel. His top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, his treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, and Bannon are all Goldman Sachs alums. Trump’s nominee to run the Securities and Exchange Commission is Jay Clayton, a Wall Street lawyer who has represented Goldman Sachs as a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, a law firm so close to Goldman it is sometimes jokingly referred to as the legal wing of the bank. Trump’s pick for commerce secretary is private equity billionaire Wilbur Ross, whose wheeling and dealing included stewardship over American Home Mortgage Servicing and Option One, mortgage companies that paid millions to settle charges of relying on forged signatures and fabricated documents to push through foreclosures. Mnuchin’s bank, OneWest ― often referred to as a “foreclosure machine” ― also pursued improper evictions by “robo-signing” key documents, a fact Mnuchin lied about in his confirmation hearing. Reviewing Dodd-Frank Within two weeks of taking office, Trump was already delivering policy favors to Wall Street. He feted banking kingpins like JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon at the White House before signing a flashy executive order calling for a review of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. The signing ceremony was essentially symbolic ― regulatory agencies don’t need an executive order to rewrite the regulations required by the law. In fact, they don’t really need to rewrite the rules ― they can simply refuse to enforce them. Trump Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was a master of this approach when she served as Labor Secretary for President George W. Bush. As The Huffington Post’s Dave Jamieson has reported, a Government Accountability Office investigation found that Chao’s agency simply didn’t investigate serious complaints about labor violations. The GAO determined this by registering several fake and outrageous complaints, and monitoring the department’s response. In the most outlandish case, Chao’s agency didn’t follow up on a report that children were operating meat grinders and circular saws at a meat-packing plant ― during school hours. All Trump’s appointees have to do to gut Dodd-Frank is follow Chao’s example. But the symbolism of the signing ceremony matters. Trump was sending the strongest signal possible to Wall Street that he will not interfere with their quest for profit, however reckless or ill-gotten it may be. Retirement Rip-off The same day Trump attacked Dodd-Frank, he signed another executive order with more immediate consequences. The Obama administration had crafted a “fiduciary duty” rule that required retirement account professionals to manage their funds in their clients’ best interests. Most people think their retirement advisers have to work on their behalf, but many pick and choose investments based on special perks and financial gains that accrue to the adviser or his firm. As far as Wall Street’s bottom line was concerned, the rule was a bigger nuisance than the vast majority of Dodd-Frank. The Obama administration had calculated that Americans lose $17 billion a year to conflicted retirement advice ― and Goldman Sachs projected the rule would cost the investment industry $7 billion a year, plus $13 billion upfront. Trump erased the rule. He invited Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) to the signing ceremony to explain the move. Wagner, who raises about $900,000 every election cycle from the financial sector (more than quadruple her haul from any other industry), declared: “This is about Main Street … this is a big day, a big moment for Americans.” It was true. It was also a big rip-off. The 2-for-1 Deregulation Rule This executive order was not the most harmful of Trump’s early activities, but it may be the dumbest. Any administrative agency that wants to write a new regulation under president Trump will have to identify two existing regulations that it will eliminate. This is, of course, completely arbitrary. It is also short-sighted. Over the course of a presidency, bad things happen. And one way that presidents can make themselves appear attentive to those problems is by having regulatory agencies respond with new rules. Those rules might not be worth much, but Trump’s executive order makes it harder for the administration to even pretend to paper over future problems. Even if deregulation is your lodestar, this executive order doesn’t really help. Killing enforcement is just as effective as deleting a rule. But like the Dodd-Frank review, the deregulation rule carries real symbolic value. Trump was telling members of the corporate establishment to feast on whatever spoils they can secure. The Mortgage Price Hike Shortly after the Senate Banking Committee advance the nomination of former neurosurgeon Ben Carson as the secretary of housing and urban development, the agency raised prices on mortgages for low-income people. It was a windfall for private mortgage insurance companies that compete with the Federal Housing Administration. The SEC Trainwreck The Securities and Exchange Commission appears to have received Trump’s deregulatory message. Former President Barack Obama left the agency understaffed ― only two of the five commissioners appointed by the president were in office when Trump assumed the presidency. The December resignation of SEC Chair Mary Jo White ― perhaps Obama’s most embarrassing regulatory appointment for her deference to CEOs and dark money ― left Republican Commissioner Michael Piwowar in charge of the agency. And Piwowar has unleashed a reign of corporate favoritism that would make even White blush. Piwowar has already directed the agency to scuttle a Dodd-Frank-mandated rule that would require corporations to report the pay discrepancy between their CEOs and a typical worker. He has done the same for another Dodd-Frank regulation requiring companies to audit their supply chains to determine whether they relied on “conflict minerals” ― mining resources that enrich warlords engaged in long, violent campaigns in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The rule would also have required American companies to tell consumers whether their products were “conflict-free.” The conflict minerals rule was partially overturned in a controversial federal court decision, but Piwowar is apparently not one for half-loaves. His first public statement as acting SEC chair effectively called for killing what remained of the rule. You do you, failed state butchers. Piwowar is also moving to revoke the power of the SEC’s enforcement division to issue subpoenas launching investigations. What could go wrong?   Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Carson had been confirmed as HUD Secretary. He has been voted through the Banking Committee, and is yet to receive a confirmation vote on the Senate floor. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

21 февраля, 17:49

What Led to a 25% Pay Rise for Bank of America (BAC) CEO?

Bank of America Corporation's (BAC) Chief Executive Officer, Brian T. Moynihan has been awarded with an annual salary of $20 million for his performance in 2016.

21 февраля, 17:11

Is Citigroup (C) CEO's Pay Cut a Result of Tepid Earnings?

Citigroup Inc.'s (C) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Michael Corbat received about 6.1% pay cut in his total compensation package.

01 декабря 2016, 06:45

Команда Трампа. Голдман Сакс снова на коне

Дональд Трамп объявил имя будущего министра финансов США: им станет Стивен Тёрнер Мнучин (Steven Terner Mnuchin). Для кого-то это явилось неожиданностью. Ведь среди претендентов на высокий пост называли исполнительного директора банка JPMorgan Джейми Даймона, члена палаты представителей Джеба Хенсарлинга... У Стивена Мнучина, однако, было важное преимущество: в предвыборной кампании Трампа он работал финансовым менеджером. Кроме того, что...

07 января 2015, 14:33

Во время 9/11 Дик Чейни был не там, как это он утверждал официально.

Напомню, что я - аналитик и подборка информации идет соответственно- аналитическая, предполагающее самостоятельное изучение материалов.сначала с вами вспомним как звучит официально:Википедия:9:32: Диспетчеры аэропорта Даллеса в Виргинии наблюдают «цель на первичном обзорном радаре, двигающуюся с высокой скоростью в восточном направлении», относя это к рейсу 77.9:33 до 9:34: Руководитель башни аэропорта Рейган сообщает центру Секретной Службы Белого дома, что «в вашу сторону летит самолёт, который не выходит с нами на связь.» имея в виду рейс 77. Белый дом готовится к эвакуации, когда башня сообщает, что рейс 77 повернул, и заходит на посадку в аэропорт Рейган.9:34: Командный центр ФАА передает штаб-квартире ФАА имеющуюся информацию о рейсе 93.9:37: Вице-президент Чейни направляется в подземный бункер по туннелю.9:37:46: Рейс 77 врезается в западное крыло здания Пентагона, отчего начинается сильный пожар. Это крыло Пентагона находится на ремонте, и большинство офисов в нём не заняты. Погибают все 64 человека на борту и 125 человек в здании.1 канал, Россия:В 8:46 первый самолет врезался в северную башню Всемирного торгового центра в Нью-Йорке. Мэр города и руководитель службы спасения немедленно выехали к башням-близнецам. "Подъехав к торговому центру, мы убедились, что все намного хуже, чем мы думали, - рассказывает мэр Нью-Йорка в 2001 году Рудольф Джулиани. - Мы пытались дозвониться до начальника полиции, начальника пожарного департамента, даже до Белого дома. Но сотовая связь почти не работала".В 9:03 в южную башню Всемирного торгового центра врезался второй самолет. После этого первым лицам США стало понятно, что это нападение на страну. Президенту Бушу доложили о втором самолете.В этот момент новость о втором самолете получили журналисты президентского пула. Встреча со школьниками подошла к концуПервый звонок Буша – вице-президенту Дику Чейни. Они обсудили, с какими словами президент должен обратиться к нации. Оба понимали, что это террористический акт и они обязаны об этом сказать.В то время как президент завершал свое обращение к нации, в Центре управления ПВО возникла новая кризисная ситуация. Был замечен самолет в 10 километрах к востоку от Белого дома. При угрозе нападения на Вашингтон Белый дом должен быть немедленно эвакуирован. "Я работал за своим столом, когда в кабинет ворвался один из руководителей охраны. Он приказал следовать за ним без каких-либо объяснений. Потом одной рукой схватил меня за ремень, а другой за плечо и буквально вынес меня из кабинета сначала в коридор, а потом в туннель, ведущий в подземный оперативный центр", - вспоминает Дик Чейни.Оперативный центр находится в бункере. Он предназначен для управления страной в случае начала ядерной войны. Отсюда Чейни мог руководить организацией обороны страны и подготовкой ответного удара. Задача №1 – нейтрализация рейса 77 American Airlines, взявшего курс на Вашингтон.В 9:37 третий угнанный самолет врезался в здание Пентагона. В это время министр обороны Дональд Рамсфелд находился в своем рабочем кабинете. Выйдя на улицу, чтобы оценить ситуацию, он увидел пламя, дым и раненых и бросился помогать пострадавшим. Почти полчаса его не могли найти. Но затем он вернулся в свой кабинет, чтобы связаться с президентом и вице-президентомА теперь обращаемся к всежим американским источникам, коим является ранее мною упоминаемая согласительная комиссия по альтернативному (официальной точке зрения) расследованию этой трагедии. Ранее она находила свидетелей, которые утверждали,что черные ящики от врезавшихся самолетов в ВТЦ, были найдены: Новые доказательства отрицают,что не были найдены черные ящики самолетов.Пожарные, работающие в Граунд Зеро, утверждают,что были найдены три из четырех черных ящиков, так как они находятся в коробках, которые практически не поддаются разрушению. Эта информация была предоставлена согласительной комиссии из 24 членов по 9/11.Сейчас эта же комиссия утверждает,что слова Дика Чейни расходятся с показаниями свидетелей:Point MC-3: The Claim about the Time of Dick Cheney’s Entry into the White House Bunker  Поставим точку в MC-3: заявление относительно того времени, когда Дик Чейни находился в подземном бункере.The Official Account Официально:Vice President Dick Cheney took charge of the government’s response to the 9/11 attacks after he entered the PEOC (the Presidential Emergency Operations Center), a.k.a. “the bunker”. 9/11 Commission Report said1that Cheney did not enter the PEOC until almost 10:00 AM, which was at least 20 minutes after the violent event at the Pentagon that killed more than 100 people.Вице-президент США Дик Чейни взял на себя управление государством после того,как вошел в правительственный бункер и это произошло по его словам около 10:00 утра, через 20 минут после того, как в Пентагоне погибло более 100 человек.(1)The Best Evidence  Лучшее доказательство:Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta told the 9/11 Commission that, after he joined Cheney and others in the bunker at approximately 9:20 AM, he listened to an ongoing conversation between Cheney and a young man, which took place when “the airplane was coming into the Pentagon.”2After the young man, having reported for the third time that the plane was coming closer, asked whether “the orders still stand,” Cheney emphatically said they did.However, testimony that Cheney was in the PEOC by 9:20 was reported not only by Mineta but also by Richard Clarke3 and White House photographer David Bohrer.4 Cheney himself, speaking on “Meet the Press” five days after 9/11, reported that he had entered the PEOC before the Pentagon was damaged.5The 9/11 Commission’s attempt to bury the exchange between Cheney and the young man confirms the importance of Mineta’s report of this conversation.Министр транспорта Норман Минета сообщил комиссии 9/11,что он присоединился к Чейни и к остальным в бункере уже в 9:20 и услышал разговор между ним и молодым человеком, когда "самолет направлялся в сторону Пентагона".(2)Когда молодой человек в третий раз запросил Чейни, так как самолет приближается и "все ждут приказа", Чейни решительно ответил, что "он обдумывает".Норман Минета не единственный свидетель, кто подтверждает нахождение Чейни в бункере уже в 9:20. Помимо него об этом говорят Ричард Кларк (3) и фотограф Белого дома Дэвид Борер (4)Сам же Чейни утверждает,что он вошел в бункер после того,как был атакован Пентагон.(5)References for Point MC-31. 9/11 Commission Report (2004), note 213, p. 464.2. “911 Commission: Trans. Sec. Norman Mineta Testimony.”3. Richard Clarke, Against all Enemies (New York: Free Press, 2004), pp. 2-5.4. See “9/11: Interviews by Peter Jennings,” ABC News, September 11, 2002.5. “The Vice President Appears on Meet the Press with Tim Russert,” MSNBC, September 16, 2001.Казалось бы- ну и что? Какое это имеет отношение к экономике? А самое прямое. Напомню,что во время 9/11 были объявлены банковские каникулы, после которых в течении недели рынок потерял более 1 триллиона капитализации:Эти атаки оказали значительное экономическое воздействие на американский и мировой рынки. ФРС временно сократил контакты с банками из-за нарушений коммуникационного оборудования в финансовом районе Нижнего Манхэттена. Обратная связь и контроль над денежной массой, включая мгновенную ликвидность банков, была восстановлена в течение нескольких часов. Нью-Йоркская фондовая биржа (NYSE), Американская фондовая биржа и NASDAQ не открылись 11 сентября и оставались закрытыми до 17 сентября. Объекты NYSE и её центры обработки данных не пострадали, но члены биржи, клиенты и другие биржи потеряли с ней связь из-за разрушений телефонного узла около ВТЦ. Когда 17 сентября биржи открылись, после самого долгого периода бездействия со времён Великой депрессии в 1929 году, Индекс Доу-Джонса («DJIA») потерял 684 пункта, или 7,1 %, до 8920, это было самым большим его падением в течение одного дня. К концу недели DJIA упал на 1369,7 пунктов (14,3 %), это было самым большим недельным падением в истории. Американские акции потеряли 1,2 триллиона долл. в течение недели.Стоит обратить внимание на слова Билла Гросса "The Good Times Are Over, The Time For Risk Taking Has Passed" о том, что :"институциональные инвесторы финансовой экономики такие как, фонды денежного рынка, страховые, пенсионные, банковские и даже потребительские балансы больше не могут обеспечить уровень доходности, необходимых для оправдания своих будущих обязательств  и их стало невозможно достичь. Доход по депозитам слишкам мал,чтобы покрыть обязательства. В связи с чем доход по многим классам активов станет отрицательным. По мере снижения ливидности можно будет наблюдать, как ряды рискованных активов будут пополняться , напоминая всем известную игру с музыкальными стульями. И то, что 2015 год или ближайшие 12 месяцев- это время принятия рисков, можно судить по тому,что активов с положительным денежным потоком становится все меньше".Далее мы с вами наблюдаем любопытные вещи, происходящие в крупнейших финансовых учреждениях США.Зерохедж. Is Citi The Next AIG? Citi  - это новый AIG? Напомню, что в Сити работает Саммерс. Тот самый, который организовал в свое время провалившийся фонд Гарварда в России, планировавшийся для того,чтобы организовать то,что сейчас происходит на Украине. Стоит вспомнить о том,что война довольно затратное, а зачастую убыточное мероприятие. И не исключено,что пополнение баланса деривативами как-то связано с тем,что происходит на Украине- Украина банкрот, но , например, Обама подписал закон о поддержке Укрианы на 400 миллионов, к тому же он(Обама) довольно плотно работал с Саммерсом и только общественность заставила отклонить его кандидатуру на пост председателя ФРС, удовольствовашись кандидатурой Фишера на "вторых ролях", хотя Фишер от этого не испытывает никаких страданий.Мы обнаружили,что Citigroup, ранее пролоббировавшая деривативы за счет FDIC, увеличили деривативы на своем балансе в третьем квартале до $70.2 трлн, опередив в этом даже  JPM!Ну раз завели дело о JPM, то давайте поговорим о нем. Этот мегабанк уже довольно давно испытывает давление от регуляторов в том плане, что у них Джейми Даймон одновременно является и генеральным директором и председателем совета директоров. Но, как нам сообщает Зерохедж, основная опасность исходит от конкурента гиганта- Голдман Сакс, чьи люди как раз и работают в регуляторе. Кого заинтересовало, могут подробнее прочитать в оригинале:Зерохедж Goldman's Modest Proposal: It May Be Time To Break Up JPMorgan  Скромное предложение от Голдмана: может, пришло время разбить JPMorganЕще в 2008 году, после падения фондовых рынков, Голдман избавился от двух своих конкурентов: от Bear и Lehman, когда ФРС отказалась спасать эти банки. Теперь, волне возможно, пришла очередь и для JPM.Голдман: недавно было озвучено ФРС,что капитал JPM необходимо поднять до 11,5%,что на 100%-200% выше, чем у всех остальных, то, может быть имеет смысл говорить о целесообразности разделения акционерного капитала, учитывая,что он сейчас является отрицательным. Распад может создать стоимость ниже на 20% и его можно разделить на:  (1) трастовый банк, инвестиционный банк и бизнес по управлению активами и (2) все остальное (то есть более традиционный банковский бизнес). Разделение банка будет способствовать росту акционерного капитала.Вы мне скажете: а при чем тут Дик Чейни? Прямое отношение, конечно, он уже не имеет, просто надо иметь в виду,что США действуют всегда шаблонно, поэтому, например, не исключен вот какой вариант:прогнозирует Байрон Уин из Blackstone Group LP:По словам Уина, в этом году по настоящему проявят себя киберпреступники, которые становятся более ловкими, чем полиция.«Хакеры захватят частные и корпоративные счета одного крупнейшего банка, а Федеральная резервная система закроет это учреждение на пять дней для проверки его счетов»А хакеры- ,понятно, кто- Федеральное бюро расследований США расследует кражу данных из американского банка JP Morgan Chase. Она произошла в середине августа, сообщило агентство Bloomberg со ссылкой на двух сотрудников, имеющих отношение к следствию. По данным агентства, под подозрение попали российские хакеры. Они украли петабайты закрытой информации настолько умело, что эксперты подозревают — хакеры действуют при поддержке российских властей. ФБР расследует, является ли взлом JP Morgan местью российских властей за санкции США из-за конфликта вокруг Украины.или :Блумберг:"элитные российские хакеры взломали биржу Nasdaq и заложили туда цифровую бомбу".Я , надеюсь, что понятно. В условиях, когда ставки находятся на нуле и практически все активы показывают отрицательное значение, то есть идут убытки по причине невозможности капитал воспроизводить, происходит органический рост - за счет поглощения конкурентов. В США давно поглощены мелкие банки, настала очередь крупного финансового капитала выяснять, кто будет сидеть на стуле. В свою очередь, Россия только вступила в данный этап , когда крупные банки выживают за счет разорения мелких, в чем немало способствует ЦБ РФ. Во всяком случае, мы наблюдаем назревание явно революционной ситуации:"верхи не могут, низы не хотят". Вернее: верхи разбираются, для кого стул лишний, а когда разберутся, то назначат мальчика для битья, коим,скорее всего, будет российская элита,этакий хакерский Бен Ладен. Хотя проблемы финансового капитала США должны решаться несколько иными решениями, но американская элита иначе не может- виноват в их проблемах всегда кто-то другой, вот они и решают их, как могут- за чужой счет. И если это кто-то другой согласен его оплачивать- то тем более.

11 декабря 2013, 21:15

Джейми Даймон благодарит Конгресс

 Глава банка JP Morgan Джейми Даймон благодарит конгресс за принятие бюджета. "Этим утром я собираюсь отправить Полу Райану и Патти Мюррей сообщение по электронной почте со словами "Спасибо вам, спасибо вам, спасибо вам, и пусть Господь благословит вас", – заявил Даймон в среду, обращаясь к республиканским конгрессменам и сенаторам из Демократической партии, которым удалось прийти к бюджетному соглашению. По его мнению, бюджетное соглашение - это "большой прорыв", так как повторной временной приостановки работы правительства не произойдет. Напомним, что Конгресс США, не дожидаясь крайнего срока, принял бюджет и предотвратил еще одну временную приостановку работы американского правительства. После продолжительных дебатов демократы и республиканцы все же достигли договоренности и приняли бюджет на 2014 финансовый год. Соглашение предусматривает сокращение госрасходов в течение двух лет на $63 млрд. Причем большая часть секвестра придется на текущий 2014 финансовый год, который в Америке начинается 1 октября.