Here are two items that will upset you...
First, back in February, Attorney General Eric Holder christened the unofficial official doctrine of "Too Big to Jail."
He told Congress, "The size of some of these institutions [TBTF banks] becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if we do prosecute - if we do bring a criminal charge - it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy."
Of course, it was only the christening of another neat little name.
Check Out Who's Hiding $32 Trillion in Offshore Accounts
More than two million emails that shed light on the biggest tax dodge in history - trillions of dollars hidden in offshore accounts - have been uncovered by the British newspaper The Guardian and the Washington, D.C.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
Some $32 trillion has been hidden in small island banking hubs which host a bevy of trust funds, shell corporations and other tax havens, the Tax Justice Network estimates.
This money is to the financial world what the Higgs boson and dark matter are to particle physics: It's tough to prove it's there, but the universe doesn't make much sense without it. It's just a matter of connecting the money to the people hiding it.
That's been a tall order... until now.
A Simple, Scary Way to Neuter Goldman Sachs and Friends
TBTF is the acronym for "too big to fail."
It's the crazy notion that certain banks are so large and systematically important (which really means so threatening to financial systems) that they must be kept alive by the government, because their failure would wreak havoc on the economy.
How will they be saved from their own greed? And how will we be saved from their greed so we can kneel at their altars another day?
Central banks and governments, who are not as powerful as central banks, will backstop them with printed paper and taxpayer blood. That's how they'll be saved, grow bigger, and one day rule the world.
Oh, that already happened... never mind
There is No Such Thing as a "Safe" Big Bank
Thank goodness we have the FDIC and the Federal Reserve and Congressmen and women.
Thank goodness they're willing to tap the captive citizenry for as much cash as they need to back the Fed and the FDIC to safeguard our big, beautiful banks from... themselves.
Only, there's a problem.
Big bank "safety" is only a myth.
The Next Bank Meltdown Won't Be an "Accident"
Big banks turned in a pretty stellar first quarter. All but one beat profits expectations. But as I told you last week, I'm now out of these stocks completely.
Do you want the truth about what shape banks are in right now? Sure you can handle it?
I'm sorry; I can't tell you the truth.
Regulators can't tell you the truth.
And the Federal Reserve won't tell you the truth.
No one can tell you the truth. That's because banks don't tell the truth. And neither does the Federal Reserve.
Why It's Time to Sell Too-Big-to-Fail Banks
I'm not buying any bank stocks here. I don't own any at present. And if I did, I'd either sell them or at least hedge them.
It's not that they're doing poorly. They're not. Bank stocks have been strong because they've been making record profits. It's been a good ride if you're a Too Big To Fail bank or a shareholder.
But, being the cautious trader I am, I'm inclined to take profits when I have them in hand. That's why I'm out of the banks. I've banked my gains and turned cautious.
Citigroup beat analysts' expectations and finished up yesterday-even though the Dow took a big tumble.
Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase didn't do badly last week, in terms of their earnings and profit numbers either, but investors were disappointed.
But here's why I'm cautious...
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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Asia Expert: Despite the G-7 Intervention, Japanese Banking Crisis is Inevitable
The United States and Canada today (Friday) joined other Group of Seven (G-7) nations to intervene as a means of weakening the Japanese yen in an effort to help Japan deal with last week's catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. This G-7 intervention is a substantial development, although there are precious few details, since none of the [...]