Tag Archives | Banking

Stressed: What Are They Trying To Tell Us?

CitibankOk, I have to admit it, I feel as though my faith in economic justice is being tested with these stress tests. Truth is, I  am becoming more stressed than ever.

The reason: despite all the “regulations” in the Dodd Frank Financial “reform” and the Volcker Rule and The Fed’s “oversight:’ the banks seems to have free reign to do what they will despite the financial crisis, and the pathetic “recovery.”

There have been fines and settlements but nothing is settled. None of them have or will go to jail.

Economic conditions continue to stress out millions even as the Fed announces “stress tests” that appear on the surface to be a way of insuring that big banks won’t need more bailouts.

Sad to say, it’s more of the charade. Partially that’s because the banks dominate the Federal Reserve, a private, not public, institution.

And, partially, because when it comes to economic crises, the stories are buried in the business pages and rarely surface as topics of concern on popular talk shows and media that most folks watch.… Read the rest

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Multiple Banker Deaths Rattle Banking Industry

Canary Wharf 200810We’ve been reporting on the multiple suicides by bankers around the world for a while now, and the rash of seemingly unrelated deaths has the banking industry asking “why?” The bankers’ ubiquitous news service Bloomberg reports:

Coroners in London are preparing to investigate two apparent suicides as unexpected deaths by finance workers around the world have raised concerns about mental health and stress levels in the industry.

The inquest into the death of William Broeksmit, 58, a retired Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) risk executive found dead in his London home in January, will start tomorrow. The inquest for Gabriel Magee, a 39-year-old vice president in technology operations at JPMorgan Chase (JPM) & Co., who died after falling from the firm’s 33-story London headquarters, is scheduled for late May.

The suicides were followed by others around the world, including at JPMorgan in Hong Kong, as well as Mike Dueker, the chief economist at Seattle-based Russell Investment Management Co.

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37-Year-Old JPMorgan Executive Is The Latest Leading Banker To Die Strangely Over The Past Three Weeks

jpmorgan chaseTwo weeks ago we noted that in a span of six days, a former Federal Reserve economist was found dead in an apparent suicide, a former senior manager for Deutsche Bank was discovered hanging from a noose in his home, and a JPMorgan Chase vice president seemingly jumped to death in London. The Financial Post reports that the string of sudden fatalities among masters-of-the-universe continues:

A 37-year-old JPMorgan Chase & Co executive director who died from unknown causes Feb. 3 appears to be the latest in a series of untimely deaths among finance workers and business leaders around the world in the past three weeks.

Ryan Crane, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. employee who in a 14-year career at the New York-based bank rose to executive director of a unit that trades blocks of stocks for clients, died in his Stamford, Connecticut, home. The cause of death will be determined when a toxicology report is completed in about six weeks.

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Third Prominent Banker In Six Days Found Dead Of Apparent Suicide

fed_banker In what seems like a bizarre coincidence, top officials from JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, and the Federal Reserve seemingly took their own lives last week, HousingWire notes:

Bloomberg is reporting this morning that former Federal Reserve economist Mike Dueker was found dead in an apparent suicide near Tacoma, Washington. Dueker, 50, a chief economist at Russell Investments, had been missing since Jan. 29 and was reportedly having troubles at work.

Normally HousingWire wouldn’t cover deaths in the industry, but what’s strange is that Dueker is the third prominent banker found dead since Sunday.

On Sunday, William Broeksmit, 58, former senior manager for Deutsche Bank, was found hanging in his home, also an apparent suicide. On Tuesday, Gabriel Magee, 39, vice president at JPMorgan Chase & Co’s London headquarters, apparently jumped to his death from a building in the Canary Wharf area.

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The Fantasy Of Apolitical Money

moneyYanis Varoufakis on Bitcoin and the fruitless dream of a de-politicised currency:

The Crash of 2008 has infused our societies with enormous scepticism on the role of the authorities, both government and Central Banks. It is quite natural that many dream of a currency that politicians, bankers and central bankers cannot manipulate; a currency of the people by the people for the people. While it is true that local communities have, in the past, generated successful communitarian currencies (that enabled them to improve welfare in their midst, especially at a time of acute economic crises), there can be no de-politicised currency capable of ‘powering’ an advanced, industrial society.

Since the second industrial revolution made possible the emergence of large, networked oligopolistic companies (the Edisons and Fords of the 1900s, and the Googles or Apples of today), capitalism became dependent on large credit spurts for the purposes of financing these capital corporations’ needs.

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JPMorgan Chase Resisting Inquiries Into Its Relationship With Bernie Madoff

jpmorganBehind every major criminal operation is a bank propping them up. Newsweek reports:

JPMorgan Chase has for years obstructed federal bank examiners trying to ascertain what it knew about Bernard Madoff’s gigantic Ponzi scheme, an official document obtained by Newsweek shows.

JPMorgan was the principal bank Madoff used in his fraud. On the day of his arrest in December 2008, he claimed to be the world’s biggest money manager, handling $64.8 billion of other people’s money.

The Justice Department refused in September to back up Treasury inspector general staff who wanted a court order to enforce a subpoena, in effect shielding JPMorgan from law enforcement, the October 8 document shows.

The JPMorgan memos are almost certain to show that years earlier the bank had grounds to suspect Madoff was running a fraud. Despite this, JPMorgan continued doing business with Madoff almost until the moment of his arrest in December 2008.

The memos Justice is helping JPMorgan conceal might also shed light on how the Securities and Exchange Commission failed to uncover the decades-long scam, despite audits and warnings from Harry Markopolos, the Boston fraud investigator who tried in vain to get an official investigation.

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How Wall Street Criminals Have Partnered With The NYPD

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Wall Street on Parade on questionable financial institutions teaming with the police to monitor everyone walking the city streets:

Nothing reveals the incestuous, one-percent-mindset that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly have with Wall Street than [a photo showing] an employee of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s number one target for financial fraud investigations, JPMorgan Chase, working inside a high security spy center in Lower Manhattan to — wait for it — help the New York City Police Department catch crooks.

While most law enforcement bodies around the U.S. would instantly weed out serial wrongdoers as job hires, Bloomberg and Kelly have created an art form out of joint policing ventures with Wall Street, operating both a rent-a-cop program with Wall Street as well as pumping at least $150 million of taxpayer money into the Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center where Wall Street employees sit elbow to elbow with NYPD officers.

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Secret Agenda in Syria?

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Is there a secret agenda afoot in America’s rush to war in Syria?
In an August 2013 article titled “ Larry Summers and the Secret ‘End-game’ Memo,” Greg Palast posted evidence of a secret late-1990s plan devised by Wall Street and U.S. Treasury officials to open banking to the lucrative derivatives business. To pull this off required the relaxation of banking regulations not just in the US but globally. The vehicle to be used was the Financial Services Agreement of the World Trade Organization.
The “end-game” would require not just coercing support among WTO members but taking down those countries refusing to join. Some key countries remained holdouts from the WTO, including Iraq, Libya, Iran and Syria. In these Islamic countries, banks are largely state-owned; and “usury” – charging rent for the “use” of money – is viewed as a sin, if not a crime. That puts them at odds with the Western model of rent extraction by private middlemen.

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SEC Investigating J.P. Morgan For Hiring Chinese Elites’ Children As Possible Form Of Bribery

jpmorganHold a position of global influence? Then there may be a job at J.P. Morgan for your offspring. Via Raw Story:

The United States is investigating JPMorgan over its hiring practices in China, the company confirmed Sunday. The New York Times had earlier reported that the investment bank was under investigation over claims it hired the children of influential Chinese officials to secure business in the country.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission filing confirmed that there had been a request from regulators for “information and documents relating to, among other matters, the firm’s employment of certain former employees in Hong Kong and its business relationships with certain clients.”

The Times had cited one case where the bank hired the son of Tang Shuangning, a former Chinese banking regulator who is now chairman of the state-run China Everbright Group financial conglomerate. JPMorgan secured a succession of sought-after deals from China Everbright after hiring the son, Tang Xiaoning.

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Russian Man Outwits Credit Card Company Using Its Own Tactics

TinkoffGenius. Via MSN:

Unhappy with the terms of an unsolicited credit card offer he received from online bank Tinkoff Credit Systems, Dmitry Agarkov scanned the document, wrote in his own terms and sent it through. The bank approved the contract without reading the amended fine print, unwittingly agreeing to a 0 percent interest rate, unlimited credit and no fees, as well as a stipulation that the bank pay steep fines for changing or canceling the contract.

Agarkov used the card for two years, but the bank ultimately canceled it and sued Agarkov for $1,363 in charges, interest and late-payment fees. A court ruled that, because of Agarkov’s no-fee, no-interest stipulation, he owed only his unpaid $575 balance. Now Agarkov is suing the bank for $727,000 for not honoring the contract’s terms, and the bank is hollering fraud.

“They signed the documents without looking. They said what usually their borrowers say in court: ‘We have not read it,’” Agarkov’s lawyer said.

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