Tag Archives | Wall Street

The Fiefdom Will Soon Be Complete: Wall Street Buying Up Farmland

PIC: LOC (PD)

PIC: LOC (PD)

Not merely satisfied with purchasing our foreclosed homes en masse and charging us to rent them back (thanks to a crisis they created), Wall Street has set their sights on America’s fertile soils. Sing it with me! This land is their land, this land is their land…

Via Tom Philpott at Mother Jones:

In a couple of posts last fall, I showed that corporations don’t do much actual farming in the United States. True, agrichemical companies like Monsanto and Syngenta mint fortunes by selling seeds and chemicals to farmers, and grain processors like Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill reap billions from buying crops cheap and turning them into pricey stuff like livestock feed, sweetener, cooking oil, and ethanol. But the great bulk of US farms—enterprises that generally have razor-thin profit margins—are run by independent operators.

That may be on the verge of changing. A recent report by the Oakland Institute documents a fledgling, little-studied trend: Corporations are starting to buy up US farmland, especially in areas dominated by industrial-scale agriculture, like Iowa and California’s Central Valley.

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Fragmentation of Bitcoin Community Begins after the Collapse of Mt. Gox and Secondmarket’s Wall Street Exchange Proposal

bitcoin wall streetvia chycho

A few comments regarding Bitcoin and the recent developments with Mt. Gox (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) and the announcement that SecondMarket is stepping into the game and planning to launch the “first New York-based Bitcoin exchange” (emphasis added):

“SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert says that he’s modeling it after the early days of The IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), and that he hopes to have a set of founding members in place by the end of March (i.e., a ‘seat’ model). These members are expected to include Wall Street banks and well-funded Bitcoin startups (think Circle and Coinbase). Non-member firms or individuals would not be allowed to trade — at least at the outset — but likely could do business via the member firms.

When Wall Street insiders announce that they are joining your game, but not allowing you to play on their field, which is what is implied with “Non-member firms or individuals would not be allowed to trade”, one should be concerned that the fundamental rules of the game may be changing, but, unfortunately, with fear running rampant within the Bitcoin community due to the collapse of Mt.

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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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The Mega Banks’ Most Devious Scam Yet

General Jackson Slaying the Many Headed Monster cropBanks are no longer just financing heavy industry. They are actually buying it up and inventing bigger, bolder and scarier scams than ever, writes Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone:

…Today, banks like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs own oil tankers, run airports and control huge quantities of coal, natural gas, heating oil, electric power and precious metals. They likewise can now be found exerting direct control over the supply of a whole galaxy of raw materials crucial to world industry and to society in general, including everything from food products to metals like zinc, copper, tin, nickel and, most infamously thanks to a recent high-profile scandal, aluminum. And they’re doing it not just here but abroad as well: In Denmark, thousands took to the streets in protest in recent weeks, vampire-squid banners in hand, when news came out that Goldman Sachs was about to buy a 19 percent stake in Dong Energy, a national electric provider.

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Wall Street Pros Insist It’s Not ’1929 All Over Again’

Shakespeare’s phrase from Hamlet, “the lady doth protest too much, methinks” comes to mind as MarketWatch follows up its story about the scary stock market chart with vigorous denials from Wall Street professionals that a 1929-style stock market crash is coming:

Chart from MarketWatch

Chart from MarketWatch

Mobster Al Capone once said of the 1929 stock-market crash: “I deny absolutely that I am responsible.” Today, many strategists find themselves fighting off suggestions of a looming repeat of that long-ago market rout.

Rising to the surface again recently is the so-called “scary” 1929 crash chart that maps out market performance from mid-2012 to the present for the Dow industrials and compares it to 1928 and 1929.

The 1929 chart grabbed lots of attention in November. At the end of January, market timer Tom DeMark stirred the retro pot again by telling CNBC that stocks could “unravel quickly” in days and have reached an inflection point that resembles the period before 1929.

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Stock Market Chart Looks Just Like 1929 Before The Crash

What’s the old saying, those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it? Well take a look at this chart and read what Mark Hulbert has to say about it at MarketWatch; do you think it’s going to be 1929 all over again?

Chart from MarketWatch

Chart from MarketWatch

There are eerie parallels between the stock market’s recent behavior and how it behaved right before the 1929 crash.

That at least is the conclusion reached by a frightening chart that has been making the rounds on Wall Street. The chart superimposes the market’s recent performance on top of a plot of its gyrations in 1928 and 1929.

The picture isn’t pretty. And it’s not as easy as you might think to wriggle out from underneath the bearish significance of this chart.

I should know, because I quoted a number of this chart’s skeptics in a column I wrote in early December.

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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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The Occult On Wall Street: The Art Of Financial Astrology

zodiac

The Telegraph claims that a surprising number of mainstream investment bankers make decisions based on astrology. Can you envision this growing into a quasi-religious cult?

Donald Bradley’s method of foreseeing changes in the market involved assigning a numerical value to the position of the planets and stars and plotting the values on a graph. The peaks and troughs of that line should, in theory, plot “turns” in the fortunes of stocks, bonds and commodities. It sounds utterly mad, but the model has been described by market watcher Peter Eliades as “eerily accurate”.

I wanted to do a statistical analysis of his method and use it if it worked,” says Crawford. Back in the library, Crawford found records of the Dow Jones going back to 1885 and a book outlining the details of planetary positions. After comparing the two, he was impressed.

So Crawford began using astrology alongside his technical analysis. Over the years, Crawford found his predictions working out so well that, in 1977, he set up business as a full-time astrological adviser.

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