Featured StoryHere's a story about a bank that failed, got rescued, was resuscitated, and made its private equity investors more than 100% on their money, all the while costing the FDIC around $5.9 billion.
It's not a story about a failed bank... although it is.
It's not a story about how smart the bank's private equity "rescuers" were... although it is.
It's not a story about how the FDIC is such a great savior of banks.
Or that that moral hazard exists manifestly because the FDIC is a tool (not as in a tool used to fix something) that lets banks run hog-wild... although it is.
This is a story about how nothing has changed and why another bank crisis is coming... Full Story
- The Staggering Numbers Your Bank Doesn't Want You to See Many of us may have a small share of the country's largest banks in our wallet: a debit card, a credit card, or for the old-schoolers, a checkbook. And each month we get a statement showing our account activity, not the banks'... That's because there's a staggering number that the banks will never show you, or even reference, on the statement... Yet it directly impacts what you're paying them... this month... and for years to come. It's the staggering amount of fines that they've paid out for a litany of misdeeds. They're all here, in one place. You'll be shocked to see how colossal they are... Full Story...
Inside the Bankster Settlements: Where All the Money Is Going
Everyone wants to know where the billions of dollars big banks have forked over to bank regulators, the SEC, the CFTC, the FERC, and the Department of Justice ends up.
But, before I can tell you who's paid out what, the infractions they committed, and where that money ends up, I want to give you information that's critical in assessing your bank and your investments...
Just who is it that's looking out for your money?
Best Stocks to Buy Now: A Big Growth Case for Small Banks
While the big banks may have the attention of the Street right now, it's the smaller regional and community banks that are among the best stocks to buy now.
These small bank growth stocks are starting to show dazzling growth as their balance sheets improve dramatically. And they are still very early in the recovery cycle, so there is still plenty of time for individual investors to catch this train...Read More...
If A New Glass-Steagall Act Can Protect Us, Why Is There Opposition?
There has been a huge outpouring of support for Senators John McCain and Elizabeth Warren's idea to reinstate some form of the Glass-Steagall Act, which drew a clear separation between investment banking and commercial banking.
The enthusiasm has managed to vault a wall that many thought impossible: broad bipartisan support.
In fact, from McCain and Warren on down to the right and left, strange bedfellows are signing on.
Whether it's the various Tea Party groups, or MoveOn.Org. Whether it's the Huffington Post or Breitbart, or Bill Clinton, there is plenty of common ground between all of these divergent groups.
Even in Congress itself, there is significant bipartisan support for at least the idea behind Glass-Steagall - that big banks should be broken up, and that those who remain should be absolutely prohibited from, frankly, gambling with our money.
It's perfectly clear that, among the people of this country, there is a real desire to bring banks to heel.
Professor William K. Black, veteran warrior of the Savings & Loan Crisis, put it well when he said that "it violates the core principles of conservatism and libertarianism to extend the federal subsidy (to)... commercial banks via deposit insurance to allow that subsidy to extend to non-banking operations," meaning that we, the taxpayers, shouldn't be forced to subsidize a bank's gambling habit.Read More...
After 14 Years of Free-for-All, Glass-Steagall Is Back
The diminutive senator from Massachusetts has got the Big Banks shaking in their boots. Elizabeth Warren fired a Scud missile of legislation at too-big-to-fail banks to separate their commercial banking activities from their investment banking speculation.
Let's see, that might just limit the contagion during the next financial crisis. Find out why Shah Gilani thinks the senator is right on the money... Read More...
- The Big Banks On Trial, Again It looks like the big banks aren't out of the woods from past indiscretions yet. Just this week the most powerful court in Europe has accused 13 major global financial institutions (many US based) of colluding back in the heady days that led up to the 2008 financial reckoning. Read More...
- It's Enough to Make Your Blood Boil According to Shah Gilani, the usual suspects are at it again and nobody but Elizabeth Warren is willing to push back. Read more... Read More...
- Check Out Who's Hiding $32 Trillion in Offshore Accounts Emails uncovered by British media and a DC-based group show $32 trillion has been hidden in offshore accounts. Guess who the culprits are... Read more... Read More...
- A Simple, Scary Way to Neuter Goldman Sachs and Friends Two Senators have just introduced their own TBTF bill. It stands for “Terminating Bailouts for Taxpayer Fairness” and it’s a thing of beauty. Read more... Read More...
- There is No Such Thing as a "Safe" Big Bank Shah Gilani pulls back the curtain on dangerous big bank shenanigans. The bottom line: The 2008 financial crisis could happen all over again. Read more... Read More...
- The Next Bank Meltdown Won't Be an "Accident" Do you want the truth about what shape banks are in right now? Sure you can handle it? Shah Gilani explains why nothing has really changed. Read more... Read More...
Why It's Time to Sell Too-Big-to-Fail Banks
I'm not buying any bank stocks at these levels. I don't own any at present. And if I did, I'd either sell them or at least hedge them.
But it's not that they're doing poorly. They're not.
Citigroup beat analysts' expectations and finished up yesterday - even though the Dow took a big tumble. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase didn't do badly last week, in terms of their earnings and profit numbers either.
Admittedly, if you're a "too-big-to-fail bank or a shareholder, it's been a good ride.
But here's why it's about to end... Read More...
Too Big To Jail: It's a Dark Day For the Rule of Law
The opening line of a December 11, 2012 New York Times editorial on federal and state authorities choosing not to indict HSBC for money laundering reads: "It is a dark day for the rule of law."
It may be a dark day for the rule of law, but it's business as usual for the banks.
America's heralded and frighteningly powerful Department of Justice, along with all of the not so heralded or frightening banking regulators, simply refused to prosecute Britain's biggest bank out of fear of "collateral consequences."
In other words, they're "too big to prosecute."
That's what Andrew Bailey, the chief executive-designate of the Prudential Regulation Authority, said about the usual deferred prosecution agreement that accompanied HSBC's $1.9 billion fine. The Prudential Regulation Authority is set to replace the U.K.'s Financial Services Authority - the country's current toothless watch dog,
It's just another example of too big to fail and too big to jail.
Deferred prosecution agreements and hefty fines levied against the world's TBTF banks have become commonplace. Still, there are relatively few criminal charges, just wrist-slapping, don't-do-it-again fines and public spankings.
It is a dark day for the rule of law because the money cloak has effectively been cast over all things having to do with justice.
Let's call it what it is: buying immunity.
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Central Banks are the Problem
The Libor scandal is about to get a whole lot worse.
And that's the good news...
Not only are at least 20 more big banks under investigation as part of a massive fraud to manipulate interbank lending rates that affect some $800 trillion in loans and derivatives, but the Bank of England is about to take center stage in the scandal.
And that's bad news for central banks around the world.
Well, actually, it could be good news, as in really good news, if it's the beginning of the end of what central banks do to manipulate free markets to the benefit of their only real constituents, the world's big banks.
First the good news.
It's already come out that traders at Barclays with huge derivatives positions leaned on co-workers who sit on "panels" that submit internal bank borrowing cost data to Thompson Reuters. And Reuters averages the middle lot of submissions to determine Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate) "fixings" (not my word, but actually the established nomenclature for what it apparently is that they do... as in "fix" rates). And it's all under the auspices of the British Banking Association.
What's good is that we now know for a fact that the traders (crooks?) were aided and abetted by their co-workers, the submitters (crooks?), who were overseen by managers and top executives who design most of these schemes (crooks?), and were all blessed by the British Banking Association, an illustrious association of 200 some-odd banks, whose many members (crooks?) are panel members submitting crooked (no question mark necessary) data.
Still don't get why that's good news?
Because it's proof there are crooks out there.
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