Category Archives: Banking

When The King Of Bonds Talk, People In Business Listen

Doubleline Capital CEO and founder Jeffrey Gundlach joins ‘Fast Money Halftime Report’ to discuss the Fed rate decision, if there is a recession risk and his market call.

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Trump Wants Middle Class To Bail Out Banks With Zero And Negative Interest Rates

(Volfefe begins today) One day before the ECB is expected to cut rates further into negative territory and restart sovereign debt QE, moments ago president Trump resumed his feud with the Fed piling more pressure on Powell to cut rates “to ZERO or less” because the US apparently has “no inflation”, while also crashing the conversation over whether the US should issue ultra-long maturity debt (50, 100 years), saying the US “should then start to refinance our debt. INTEREST COST COULD BE BROUGHT WAY DOWN, while at the same time substantially lengthening the term.” 

At least we now know who is urging Mnuchin to launch 50 and 100 year Treasuries. What we don’t know is just what school of monetary thought Trump belongs to – aside from Erdoganism of course – because while on one hand Trump claims that “we have the great currency, power, and balance sheet” on the other the US president also claims that “the USA should always be paying the lowest rate.” In a normal world, the strongest economy tends to pay the highest interest rate, but in this upside down world, who knows anymore, so maybe the Fed has just itself to blame.

Trump’s conclusion: “It is only the naïveté of Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve that doesn’t allow us to do what other countries are already doing. A once in a lifetime opportunity that we are missing because of “Boneheads.”

Expect even more badgering of the Fed once the ECB cuts rates tomorrow.

One parting thought: if Bolton was fired for disagreeing with Trump over the Taliban, we wonder just how stable Powell’s job will be once the market actually does drop.

Source: ZeroHedge

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JPMorgan Launches “Volfefe Index” To Track Impact Of Trump’s Tweets On Market Volatility

World’s Largest Pension Fund Warns About Risk of Losing on Every Front

Max and Stacy discuss the synchronized markets causing pension fund managers to lose money in every single asset class. As trillions and trillions of freshly minted fiat money sloshes around the financial system looking for any return, Japan’s pension fund manager warns this time is different. Max continues his interview with Craig Hemke of TFMetalsReport.com about gold markets and how negative interest rates, hyperinflating at a rate of $1 trillion per week, will impact fiat currencies.

Check-Mate For Central Banks: Negative Rates & Gold

The Fantasy Of Central Bank “Growth” Is Finally Imploding

Having destroyed discipline, central banks have no way out of the corner they’ve painted us into.

It was such a wonderful fantasy: just give a handful of bankers, financiers and corporations trillions of dollars at near-zero rates of interest, and this flood of credit and cash into the apex of the wealth-power pyramid would magically generate a new round of investments in productivity-improving infrastructure and equipment, which would trickle down to the masses in the form of higher wages, enabling the masses to borrow and spend more on consumption, powering the Nirvana of modern economics: a self-sustaining, self-reinforcing expansion of growth.

But alas, there is no self-sustaining, self-reinforcing expansion of growth; there are only massive, increasingly fragile asset bubbles, stagnant wages and a New Gilded Age as the handful of bankers, financiers and corporations that were handed unlimited nearly free money enriched themselves at the expense of everyone else.

When credit is nearly free to borrow in unlimited quantities, there’s no need for discipline, and so a year of university costs $50,000 instead of $10,000, houses that should cost $200,000 now cost $1 million and a bridge that should have cost $100 million costs $500 million. Nobody can afford anything any more because the answer in the era of central bank “growth” is: just borrow more, it won’t cost you much because interest rates are so low.

And with capital (i.e. saved earnings) getting essentially zero yield thanks to central bank ZIRP and NIRP (zero or negative interest rate policies), then all the credit has poured into speculative assets, inflating unprecedented asset bubbles that will destroy much of the financial system when they finally pop, as all asset bubbles eventually do.

Nobody knows what the price of anything is in the funny-money era of central banks. And since capital earns next to nothing, the only way to earn a return is join the mad frenzy chasing risk assets ever higher, with the plan being to sell at the top to a greater fool, a strategy few manage as it requires selling into a rally that seems destined to climb to the stars.

Having destroyed discipline–why scrimp and save when you can always borrow to buy or invest?– central banks have no way out of the corner they’ve painted us into. If they “normalize” interest rates to historical averages (3% above real-world inflation), then all the zombie companies and households that are surviving only because rates are near-zero will go bankrupt, wiping out the “wealth” of all the loans that can no longer be paid.

“Normalized” rates would also bring down the global housing bubble, an implosion that would trigger trillions in losses, reversing the vaunted wealth effect into a realization that we’re all getting poorer, not richer, and collapsing the risky mountain of mortgage debt that’s been piled on absurdly overvalued properties globally.

In effect, central banks added a zero to “money” and anticipated that this trickery would generate ten times more of everything: ten times more productive investments, ten times more consumption, ten times more people borrowing ten times more money, and so on.

But the trickery failed, and all we have is $200,000 houses that cost $1 million, a year in college that costs $50,000 instead of $10,000, and so on.Having destroyed discipline and price discovery, central banks attempted to replace reality with fantasy, and now the absurd fantasy is imploding. The financial system and the real-world economy have both been destabilized by this fantasy, and now both are fragile in ways few understand.

The only “policies” central banks have is to issue more credit at negative interest rates, i.e. doing more of what’s failed spectacularly, until the entire rickety travesty of a mockery of a sham collapses.

That collapse is currently underway in slow motion, but given the increasing instability of asset bubbles, it could accelerate at any time.

Source: by Charles Hugh Smith | ZeroHedge

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Quote Of The Pre-War Era…

The Federal Reserve Resistance: A recent official urges the central bank to help defeat Donald Trump.

Perhaps you’ve seen former Chairs of the Federal Reserve defending the central bank’s independence and fore swearing all political intentions. Fair enough. But then what are we to make of former Fed monetary Vice Chair William Dudley ’s marker that the Fed should help defeat President Trump in 2020? That’s the extraordinary message from the former, and perhaps future, Fed grandee in Bloomberg.

“Officials could state explicitly that the central bank won’t bail out an administration that keeps making bad choices on trade policy, making it abundantly clear that Trump will own the consequences of his actions,” Mr. Dudley asserts. We also think monetary policy should focus on prices rather than trade. But Mr. Dudley seems to be saying the Fed should do nothing to assist the economy even if it heads into recession. Then he goes further and essentially says the Fed should join The Resistance.

“There’s even an argument that the election itself falls within the Fed’s purview,” Mr. Dudley writes. “After all, Trump’s reelection arguably presents a threat to the U.S. and global economy, to the Fed’s independence and its ability to achieve its employment and inflation objectives. If the goal of monetary policy is to achieve the best long-term economic outcome, then Fed officials should consider how their decisions will affect the political outcome in 2020.”

Wow. Talk about stripping the veil. These columns wondered if Mr. Dudley was politically motivated while he was at the Fed, favoring bond buying to finance Barack Obama ’s deficit spending, urging the Fed to intervene in markets to boost housing, and keeping interest rates low for as long as possible. And now here Mr. Dudley is confirming that he views the Fed as an agent of the Democratic Party.

A key lesson of the Trump era is that every single allegedly neutral, nonpartisan, super-professional institution has turned out to be, in fact, a bunch of partisan hacks shilling for the permanent political party. Voters can be forgiven for adopting a “burn it all down” attitude in response.

Source: Concerned American | Western Rifle Shooters Association

Big Banks Outed For Enabled Jeffrey Epstein’s Sex Trafficking Crimes

Unlike the unfounded narrative that cryptocurrency enables crime, big banks are more than happy to serve unsavory clients if it is lucrative enough for them. The latest example of this is a report that Jeffrey Epstein was apparently using his bank accounts to fund sex trafficking and possibly other crimes.

Follow the Money

The reported death of the Wall Street financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein on Saturday morning in a Manhattan prison cell has left a lot of questions. Among these is how exactly he funded his criminal activities, which included sex trafficking of minors to be used by the rich and powerful. One matter that is not a mystery is how Epstein funded his perversions: he used the traditional fiat banking system, with all its extensive KYC and AML regulations.

The alleged suicide of Epstein shouldn’t stop the “Legions of lawyers, bankers and accountants” that have been digging into his financial affairs in recent weeks claims the New York Times. These include officials conducting internal reviews at the two big banks that worked with him for years, JP Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank. The employees at both of these financial institutions have reportedly been going over their books in a long overdue attempt to understand how they got into business with the convicted criminal and what exactly he was using their banking services for. A person who was briefed on Deutsche Bank’s internal review reportedly said “it appeared that Mr. Epstein was using his accounts for sex trafficking and possibly other illegal activity.”

Deutsche Bank headquarters on Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York

Further, according to the report, compliance officers and other employees at both JP Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank had strongly advised their higher-ups to stop doing business with Epstein years before his accounts were finally closed. This was suggested not due to the unpalatable nature of his businesses, but due to the risks associated with him such as hurting the bank’s brand and upsetting regulators. However, former employees at both banks said that “managers and executives rejected that advice and kept doing business with the lucrative client.”

Deutsche Bank Only Recently Closed Epstein’s Accounts

Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty and was convicted in court of law of both soliciting a prostitute and of procuring a minor for prostitution back in 2008. He served 13 months in custody with work release, as part of a plea deal, where federal prosecutes had identified 36 girls as young as 14 years old who had been victimized. His case was very hard to miss due to the fact that his name was tied to some of the most famous and powerful people in the world such as Donald Trump, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, the U.K.’s Prince Andrew, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and disgraced Hollywood star Kevin Spacey.

Despite all of this, it isn’t too hard to see why the higher-ups at the big banks didn’t want to let go of his business. While not much is known about the source of his money, Epstein definitely had a lot of it moving around. Among his confirmed assets is a private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a Manhattan mansion worth over $77 million, a Palm Beach estate worth over $12 million, additional real-estate properties in New Mexico and Paris, a private jet airplane and no less than 15 cars. Considering this, it isn’t that surprising that Deutsche Bank only cut its ties to Epstein when prosecutors were set to charge him again with operating a sex-trafficking ring of underage girls in June of this year.

A Chase Bank branch in Manhattan, New York

JP Morgan Chase worked with Epstein from the late 1990s until 2013 and Deutsche Bank served him from 2013 until June 2019. The latter bank has reportedly already started giving his complete transaction history to investigators while the former awaits receiving similar demands for his financial data from U.S. authorities.

In a statement on Saturday after the alleged suicide, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman expressed his commitment to the victims to keep the investigation ongoing, despite the demise of the defendant. This means that the public will hopefully get a detailed examination into the criminal banking activities of Epstein in due course.

Big Banks Have a Long History of Enabling Crime

Governments, central banks and international financial institutions have all been pushing a largely unfounded narrative in recent years that cryptocurrencies enable illicit activity. Parroted by the mainstream media, it was used as justification to crack down on exchanges and other crypto service providers with demands for less user privacy or outright bans. In contrast, the established banking system has a long and proven track record of enabling all sorts of crimes, despite its burdensome compliance requirements, and yet erring institutions receive nothing more than a fine equal to a slap on the wrist.

The recent seizure of a cargo ship owned by JP Morgan, which was loaded with 20 tons of cocaine, highlight the involvement of the big banks, albeit unwittingly in this instance, in such activities. Money laundering for drug cartels as well as moving funds for terrorists, arms dealers and dictatorial regimes are among the many misdeeds the banks have been caught red-handed abetting over the years.

What do you think about the big banks that reportedly enabled Jeffrey Epstein to fund his sex trafficking crimes? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source: by Avi Mizrahi | Bitcoin.com

Chase Bank Forgives “All Outstanding Credit Card Debt” For Canadian Customers

In a shocking move, Chase Bank announced on Thursday that it was going to be forgiving all outstanding credit card debt from its Canadian customers, according to Yahoo Finance. The bank closed all of its credit card accounts in Canada back in March of 2018. 

When the accounts were initially closed, customers were told to continue paying down their debt. Now, they’re being told by the company that their debt is cancelled. CBC talked to some customers who got letters from the bank this week.

Douglas Turner of Coe Hill, Ontario, who still owed about $4,500, said: 

“I was sort of over the moon all last night, with a smile on my face. I couldn’t believe it. It’s crazy. This stuff doesn’t happen with credit cards. Credit cards are horror stories.”

 

Paul Adamson of Dundalk, Ontario said he called his bank after seeing his account was closed because he was concerned about missing a payment. Adamson said:

 “I’m honestly still so … flabbergasted about it. It’s surprise fees, extra complications – things like that, definitely, but not loan forgiveness.”

The bank had previously offered rewards cards for both Amazon and Marriott in Canada. Maria Martinez, vice-president of communications for Chase Card Services, said that the bank could have sold the debt, but that forgiving it “was a better decision for all parties, including and most importantly our customers.”

It’ll be interesting to see if the news is as well received by diligent Chase customers in Canada who paid off their cards, as well as American customers who have undoubedtly racked up massive sums of debt with the bank. 

A 24 year old university student, Christine Langlois of Montreal, said she hadn’t paid the card in 5 years. 

“It’s kind of like I’m being rewarded for my irresponsibility,” she said. 

Source: ZeroHedge

Is The Federal Reserve Losing Control Of The Gold Price?

After years of being kept in the doldrums by orchestrated short selling described on this website by Roberts and Kranzler, gold has lately moved up sharply, reaching over $1,500 this week.  The gold price has continued to rise despite the continuing practice of dumping large volumes of naked contracts in the futures market.  The gold price is driven down but quickly recovers and moves on up.  I haven’t an explanation at this time for the new force that is more powerful than the short-selling that has been used to control the price of gold.

Various central banks have been converting their dollar reserves into gold, which reduces the demand for dollars and increases the demand for gold.  Existing stocks of gold available to fill orders are being drawn down, and new mining output is not keeping pace with the rise in demand.  Perhaps this is the explanation for the rise in the price of gold.

During the many years of Quantitative Easing the exchange value of the dollar was protected by the Japanese, British, and EU central banks also printing money to insure that their currencies did not rise in value relative to the dollar. The Federal Reserve needs to protect the dollar’s exchange value so that it continues in its role as the world’s reserve currency in which international transactions are conducted.  If the dollar loses this role, the US will lose the ability to pay its bills by printing dollars.  A dollar declining in value relative to other countries would cause flight from the dollar to the rising currencies.  Catastrophe quickly occurs from increasing the supply of a currency that central banks are unwilling to hold.

One problem remained. The dollar was depreciating relative to gold.  Rigging the currency market was necessary but not sufficient to stabilize the dollar’s value. The gold market also had to be rigged. To stop the dollar’s depreciation, naked short selling has been used to artificially increase the supply of paper gold in order to suppress the price.  Unlike equities, gold shorts don’t have to be covered. This turns the price-setting gold futures market into a paper market where contracts are settled primarily in cash and not by taking delivery of gold.  Therefore, participants can increase the supply of the paper gold traded in the futures market by printing new contracts. When large numbers of contracts are suddenly dumped in the market, the sudden increase in paper gold supply drives down the price. This has worked until now.

If flight from the dollar is beginning, it will make it difficult for the Federal Reserve to accommodate the growing US budget deficit and continue its policy of lowering interest rates. With central banks moving their reserves from dollars (US Treasury bonds and bills) to gold, the demand for US government debt is not keeping up with supply.  The supply will be increasing due to the $1.5 trillion US budget deficit.  The Federal Reserve will have to take up the gap between the amount of new debt that has to be issued and the amount that can be sold by purchasing the difference.  In other words, the Fed will print more money with which to purchase the unsold portion of the new debt.  

The creation of more dollars when the dollar is experiencing pressure puts more downward pressure on the dollar.  To protect the dollar, that is, to make it again attractive to investors and central banks, the Federal Reserve would have to raise interest rates substantially.  If the US economy is in recession or moving toward recession, the cost of rising interest rates would be high in terms of unemployment.  

With a rising price of gold, who would want to hold debt denominated in a rapidly depreciating currency when interest rates are low, zero, or negative?

The Federal Reserve might have no awareness of the pending crisis that it has set up for itself.  On the other hand, the Federal Reserve is responsive to the elite who want to rid themselves of Trump.  Collapsing the economy on Trump’s head is one way to prevent his reelection.

Source: by Paul Craig Roberts