Wall Street criminals just won't stop misbehaving.
The latest crime was exposed Wednesday. Five of the biggest names in global finance agreed to pay billions to settle lawsuits alleging they illegally gamed the $5 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.
"America has become a banana republic run by Wall Street criminals," Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani said on Wednesday.
Wall Street criminals just won't stop misbehaving.
Of course, history dictates the fines will have no actual effect on business practices. Not including this week’s, just look at the litany of settlements too-big-to-fail banks have shelled out in the last five years alone…
On Wednesday, five of the world's biggest banks pled guilty to manipulating foreign currency rates for their own benefits. They will now pay a combined $5.6 billion in penalties.
With this week's settlements, big banks have now paid more than $60 billion in fines over the past two years.
My continuing search for sectors of the stock market that are trading cheaply and offer the potential for gain has led me to a controversial slice of the market: bank stocks.
Looking at the "Big Four" in the U.S. banking sector, it's easy to conclude that the sector is undervalued...
But that conclusion may be a bit misleading.
Make no mistake - by traditional measures banks look cheap, and their stocks could do fine until the next financial crisis.
But that's the problem. Looking at banks that way ignores the elephant on their balance sheets, and the potential damage to our portfolios.
The JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) stock price faltered more than 4% on this morning on an earnings miss.
JPMorgan was hit hard by legal fees. The bank, along with several other big banks across the globe, had to cough up just over $1 billion. Most of that stems from a November settlement tied to shady activity in the foreign exchange market. But legal fees are nothing new.
JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) is about to become Goldman Sachs' newest toy. Except its version of "playing" is "smashing it into pieces."
That's right, Goldman Sachs has joined a bandwagon of analysts calling for JP Morgan Chase to break up. And since Goldman Sachs is simply the best at what it does - good and evil - their mission shouldn't be too hard.
"Business culture in the banking industry is favoring, or at least tolerating, fraudulent or unethical behaviors."
That's what Ernst Fehr told reporters in a telephone interview last week.
Fehr is an economist at the University of Zürich in Switzerland who co-led a study about business behavior.
Fehr's study proves what we've all long known - but it wasn't the only piece of news last week that demonstrates the crookedness of bankers.
Today I'll show you how Wall Street's manipulations are affecting the prices we pay for everything from the cars we drive to our pots and pans.
Stock market today, October 3, 2014: U.S. stock market futures were up this morning (Friday), after U.S. crude oil prices fell to the lowest price in nearly 18 months on Thursday, and the S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX) - which gauges fear in the market - dropped by 3%.
Investors seem confident that the economy is picking up as warmer weather takes hold...
But problems continue within the housing sector, where sales and construction forecasts were recently slashed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Existing home sales are expected to remain flat when they are reported this morning.
For the first time in over two years, and only the fifth time in a decade, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) missed earnings forecasts when it posted first-quarter 2014 results Friday.
Investors were prepared for a slip in earnings compared with Q1 of 2013. In February, JPM cautioned trading revenue was weak. The warning was especially troubling because the first quarter is traditionally a strong one.
Stock market news today, April 11, 2014: The Nasdaq fell 129 points to finish Thursday at 4,054.11, its worst one-day drop since 2011 as investors ditched biotech, Internet, and other high-growth stocks. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) surged 17%, its largest one-day jump since late January.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 267 points to finish at 16,169.90, while the S&P 500 dropped 39 points yesterday to 1,833.09.
The earnings reports calendar is getting crowded as some big names deliver numbers this week - and investors will get to see if a harsh winter hurt Q1 results this season.
S&P 500 companies' Q1 earnings are forecast to have fallen 1.4% year over year, according to data from FactSet. That's down sharply from the start of the year, when profit growth was projected to rise 4.5%.
Stock market news today, April 9, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10 points yesterday to finish at 16,256. The Nasdaq increased 33 points to finish at 4,112, while the S&P 500 added 6 points to end the day at 1,851.
Today, the FOMC will release minutes from its March meeting. Investors are seeking clues on when Fed Chair Janet Yellen and the central bank will exercise an increase in interest rates.
At today's closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 91.19 points to finish at 16,367.88. The Nasdaq increased 7.88 points to finish at 4,234.27, while the S&P 500 hit an intraday all-time high before falling to close at 1,865.62.
Here's a recap of other major events today:
The markets roared today after the Philadelphia Federal Reserve announced better than expected news in its area manufacturing figures.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 108.88 points to finish at 16,331.05. The Nasdaq increased 11.68 points to finish at 4,319.29, while the S&P 500 added 11.24 points to close at 1,872.01.
When it comes to big banks' bad behavior and the fines they pay to settle "allegations" - which are actually civil charges and which would be criminal charges if applied to any other business or in any parallel universe - things aren't even close to what they seem.
Sure the headlines scream victory, at least monetary victory, for some ripped-off consumers, some hard-charging regulators, and our vaunted (NOT) Justice Department.