Guest Post: Biggest Bank Robbery In History

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Joe Saluzzi of Themis Trading

Biggest bank robbery in history

“There are over 300 bank robberies in Boston every year.  And a
one-square-mile neighborhood in Boston, called Charlestown, has produced
more bank and armored car robbers than anywhere in the U.S.”

That line is from the recent movie “The Town” with Ben Affleck.  He
played the character of a bank robber who wanted to quit but had to pull
off one last job for the bosses before he could leave.  The movie got
us thinking about other famous bank robbers: Jesse James, Willie Sutton,
and Ben Bernanke.  That’s right, the Bernank.  The Fed has been
literally stealing money from the savers of this country for the past
two years with their zero interest rate policy and now quantitative
easing strategy.  But unlike a traditional bank robbery where the bank
is the victim,  this time the banks have been the recipient of the stolen money.  
Sure, an argument could be made that in 2009, the economy was teetering
and zero interest rates helped save the economy.  But now that many
economic numbers and retail sales figures have improved dramatically,
the justification for zero interest rates is not there anymore.

Up until recently, the banks have been enjoying a free ride at the
savers expense.  The yield curve is at its steepest slope since 1977. 
The spread between the US 2 year and 30 year is 400 bps while the 2-10
spread is 275 bps.  The plan was for that big fat spread to add up to
big fat bank revenues (witness Citigroup 4Q net interest revenue of over
$12 billion).  But just like most bank robberies, the plan usually goes
wrong and the robbers  are caught by the cops.  This time the cops are
the bond market.  Prices on treasuries dropped 13% in the 4Q of 2010. 
This has wrecked havoc on the banks free money plan and we are now
seeing this in the investment portfolio losses of the banks (witness
State Street earnings report this morning where their revenue dropped
12% due to “investment portfolio repositioning”).

The Fed has outright stated that they want the stock market to go
higher to help bring confidence back to the economy.  They are trying to
force John Q. Public to take his money out of his 0% yielding savings
account and pump it into riskier assets like stocks.  It appears for the
past 5 months that their plan was going according to script.  But
unlike the movie “The Town” which had a very good ending (we won’t spoil
it for you here), we are not quite sure that the Bernank will enjoy his
movie’s ending and neither will we.

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Turd Ferguson's picture but this is contains a link to the latest Hugh Hendry interview:

redpill's picture

"A man's got to know his limitations."
-Clint Eastwood

hbjork1's picture

Clint is a great actor and a very good director.  But for dialog, didn't you mean hat tip to script writer for "Magnum Force". 

The script writers were listed as:

Harry Julian Fink and Rita M. Fink


TruthInSunshine's picture


Attorney:              How many savers have you shot, since becoming the 'Fed Head'?

Bernank:               I ain't shot no savers I didn't have to.

Attorney:             That was not the question. How many?

Bernank:              Shot...or killed?


asteroids's picture

Let's see. The FED is happy to have the banks park all the money they have printed in their vaults, but is pissed when savers do the same? Eh?

bunkermeatheadprogeny's picture

Great cartoon would be Bernanke purse snatching from grandma.

assumptionblindness's picture

Great idea.  I am sure that William Banzai can whip something up for ya...

cosmictrainwreck's picture

nice pop-up on that vid, Rusty: "date Chineses girls" hmm....

philgramm's picture

Vigilante QE mothafucka!!!!!!!!

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Now the Argentine people know that there is no safety in safety deposit boxes.  Something to keep in mind as we're looking more Argentine every day.

DaveyJones's picture

"My buddies wanted to be firemen, farmers or policemen, something like that. Not me, I just wanted to steal people's money" -  J. Dillinger

Bob's picture

"I suddenly realized I had joined the wrong mob." -- Lucky Luciano, comparing Wall Street to the Mafia.

Cpl Hicks's picture

"This has wrecked havoc on the banks free money plan..."

I think the word you were looking for was wreaked.

To wreck havoc might a good thing these days.

Cdad's picture

Speaking of havoc and banks and robbery...ummmm...I found this little article to be a tiny point of light in a giant black hole of banking crimes:

Isleman75's picture

Thank you, Cpl, for being smart enough to notice this and reminding me that I'm not an idiot in thinking too many people don't even notice when they incorrectly use idioms in the English language. I heard a woman being interviewed on NPR last night. She was introduced as having written a book and had a masters degree in literature or something, blah blah. She used "wreck havoc"...Wow...

fellatio is not fattening's picture

If it's on NPR you have to know it's upside down or backwards

downrodeo's picture

what the...

I thought NPR was a comedy station. That Kai Ryssdal is a regular Sinbad (the entertainer, not the swashbuckling sailor)!

Bob's picture

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

Thomas Jefferson

serotonindumptruck's picture

Based upon that excellent quote alone, it would be difficult to argue that US citizens lacked appropriate forewarning.

jomama's picture

too bad (for us) the average american citizen finds that stuffing their faces with subsidized GMO foods and driving around their ICE vehicles with subsidized petrol to worry their sedated brains with such complicated issues. 

it's not the warning that isn't proffered, it's the simple lack of will for anything to change.

i, for one, personally HOPE that many of these complacent, myopic, carrot chasing simpletons starve when financial collapse occurs.  the world could stand to do without the lot of them...

serotonindumptruck's picture

I agree with your sentiments. It seems as if we are smacked in the face with the selfishness and avarice that is so prevalent within US society on a daily basis.

"I've got mine. Screw everyone else."

jomama's picture

precisely.  there was a long period of time where i have been trying to tell all my friends and family that we are getting reamed.  i've been labeled as a 'negative nancy', or a 'debbie downer', and hey dude, have a steak and watch some football... stop bumming everyone out.  

people just want to 'enjoy life' without worrying about systemic financial collapse.  most would genuinely rather deal with it when and if it shows up on their doorstep.  i say let them.

downrodeo's picture

This is the most frustrating thing you can try to do. I gave up long ago and adopted the stance that I will only focus on tending my own garden (both figuratively and literally). The naysayers certainly won't be there to support you if ever the proverbial shit does hit the fan.

Nonsense's picture

I'm not popular either with the "real estate only goes up" crowd- but the stampede of parasitic realtor vultures do make for great entertainment.   The second you can get them out of your hair. 


On the bright side, Gen Y is opting out of home ownership in the meanwhile, unfortunately getting called out on it.   Who the heck would live in the burbs, sit in traffic for two hours, put up with rude neighbors with either anchor or illigitimate babies in families tripled up in a single family home... only to end up underwater on that mortgage?


Heres' what you do.  Since California is now Tijuana Norte and Govenor Jerry Brown will run it into the ocean, and illegals can get ARM loans... great strategy for homeowners still stuck in California

1. get your own realtor's license and sell your own properties (if you still own).  All you need is a GED, $400 (in California) and a fingerprint.  And In California, it's guarenteed to save you 5 figures.  (spending $400 to save $10,000 is a great deal).

2. if you speak Spanish, or if you can find a Spanish speaking realtor... sell your house to an illegal with an ARM loan.

3. gtfo and pay off a house in a more affordable area.


Five figures is A LOT of money.  It's a car, a college education, investments in the Yuan or something that will yield a net gain...or a buffer against a loss on your real estate.


It is known that realtors took out most ARMs to speculate in real estate with.  It's also known that they bribed our Senators to pass things like TARP and other bailouts like the PPIP heist.

Myself, I'm not happy with the economically illiterate "non-materialistic" baby boomer voting majority who thinks that real estate only goes up.   They obviously think everyone owes them the artificial inflation in their real estate values when the wages in those areas stagnate.  

on the political front, we can send $76 million baby boomers to Mexico upon their retirement in exchange for just a trillion $$ of silver.  Since many upper middle class, older caucasians took out ARMs on their homes, they obviously don't care about true ownership.  So it wouldn't matter to them if they can't own land in Mexico anyways, even if you built a house on it.  


The baby boomers can get their social security checks and Medicare from the Felipe Calderon and rack up inflation there, since Mexico owe us anyways for amnesty.   We can't afford any more of baby boomer elected politicians. 


If nobody wants to listen, there are things you can do to end up ahead of the game.  The answer lies within the problem.   



Bob's picture

I think we got to where we are due to government capture by banksters back in 1913.  Anyone now alive has been conditioned to accept the prevailing system without question. 

Corporate media capture doesn't provide the public the information necessary to question the status quo or help them develop the conceptual tools it takes for them to deconstruct the Great Lies of our time. 

It's not the kind of thing the average person has ever or probably will ever do independently.  That's what geniuses do.

Leadership seems to be the problem, imo.  Give it some time, though.

jomama's picture

a noble approach.  you give a lot of credit to a lot of people that either live in ignorance or choose to live in ignorance.

i don't think that i am some kind of prodigy (nor a lot of us reading ZH) to be aware that this racketeering contagion is systemic, and that the fraud is so flagrantly obvious that a high school kid could wrap his/her mind around it.

i've found through my non-scientific observations that most people just 'wish the problem will fix itself' or somehow magically 'go away', or better even, 'too complicated and widespread for me to do anything about even if i knew how'.

when i tell friends about my simple, peaceful quest to bring down the evil banking cartel by buying silver, (educated) people honestly look at me like i have a few screws loose and i'm definitely on the fringe.  i've gotten to the point where i'm convinced these people need to starve first before they 'get it'.  so be it.

serotonindumptruck's picture

For the most part, I've ceased all attempts to enlighten those around me. The cognitive dissonance becomes too tiresome to deal with. I still enjoy being invited to pleasant social gatherings on occasion, so I try to limit my "doom-n-gloom" comments to one or two well-placed witticisms. The angry sideways stare-downs from my friends lets me know when to shut up.

Threeggg's picture

This Briton Bloke got fair warning 

lets hava look see what it did for him !

Crybaby !

Smiley's picture

Its so sad that it is the same game over and over with the same outcome and yet people still play.  How many times do we have to go through the cycle of central banks subverting treasuries, taking over issuing of money, and collapsing economies?  It happens every single time.  Are people really that stupid or do they just not care?

Thomas's picture

I get a knot in my stomach sometimes reading this stuff. I am a big Joe Saluzzi fan. Hey Joe: If Eric King offers an interview make sure you take him up on it.

Sudden Debt's picture

Just made a nice 20% on my BAC put warrant :)


colonial's picture

is it really different this time? 

As evidenced by a recent speech from Fed Head Plosser, monetary policy has its limitations.  ("A man's got to know his limitations." Thank you Harry.) 

At its best, monetary policy can re-direct capital and foster both economic growth and stable prices.  But in other situations, monetary policy looks very much like its red-headed step child in the basement, fiscal policy, clumsy and dangerous

The Fed is using an old playbook here.  If one segment of the economy is in recession, or in this case depression, stimulate another.  If stimulation doesn't work, shock the @#$% out of it.  I wonder what Hu is saying right now in his chat with Obama...

This will end with an ugly turn in the sovereign markets, which begs the question, where will the Fed turn its stimulus next?  We've been kicking the can down the road for years, but it only works if there is someone on the other side of the trade. 

How' that for mixing metaphors?

Rusty Shorts's picture

"I wonder what Hu is saying right now in his chat with Obama..."


You listen up Obama, you tell that fucking Biden to bow next time I show up.

grunk's picture
Ballmer, Blankfein among CEOs to meet Obama, Hu at White House

You see? Crime DOES pay.

Oh regional Indian's picture

ZIRP is permanent, look east, the rising sun is example enough, on that count anyways. sure banks will take a haircut in their bond holdings at some point, but they would have moved to another teat on the Bitch that keeps on giving (them).

By the looks of it, banks don't have to give justifications for anything anymore.


Sudden Debt's picture

That rising sun looks more and more like a SUPERNOVA.

I just keep on asking to myself, at what point will they own EVERYTING?


Oh regional Indian's picture

Actually they do SD. Ownership is an illusion for the serfs. They've got everyone tied up in treaties.

Meanwhile, check this out, the guy is awesome.


Caviar Emptor's picture

Even with eye popping spreads with which to rob the masses, banks are not lending: Citi reported over 10% Tier 1 capital. Cash hoarding is rampant not only with banks but every major US corporation since the crash. The Fed mistakenly assumed that their gifts to these guys in the form of 'free' credit, backstopping, favorable rule changes, toxic debt transfers and backstopping their huge junk bond and secondary equity issuance would end up being "Reinvested" LOL! Nobody's going to lend or 'reinvest' into a deflationary environment! Cash makes money just by standing still. So the Fed tried to force their hand by creating inflation, but they succeeded only in creating Biflation: the deflation never left, but the cost of doing business and cost of living took off. And globally, the surfeit of free cash just encouraged competing nations to compete with the US for raw materials. Brilliant!!! LOL

aerojet's picture

I hate movies where the premise is "one last job"--it's the stupidest Hollywood gimmick there is.

alexwest's picture

very,,,,,,,,, LOL
#which had a very good ending

as far as i remember exl afleck rest of is fuckign dead


thepigman's picture

Weak top line based on trading

revenue (there ain't any) and anemic

loan growth adds up to a bullshit

recovery scenario. Need more of

Uncle Ben's QE crank to keep the fiction


thepigman's picture

Course, Uncle Ben has known this all


ak_khanna's picture

It is an uphill task to gather political will to effectivel­­­y control the too big to fail banksters. They have a lot of influence on the political class, the rule makers and the rule enforcers due to their enormous purchasing power. So irrespecti­­­­­­ve of the position in the government­­­­­­, everyone works for the benefit of the banksters.

The politician­­s around the world are auction items which can be sold to the highest bidder. They will do whatever they can for the lobbyist paying them the maximum money or votes, be it the unions, the banksters, the richest corporatio­­¬¬ns or individual­­¬¬s. They are in the power seat to extract maximum advantage for themselves in the small time frame they occupy the seat of power.

The rest of the population is least of their concerns. The only activity they do is pacify the majority of the population using false statistics and promises of a better future so that they do not lynch them and their masters while they are robbing the taxpayers.

DavidC's picture

Joe Saluzzi is ace. I always try and watch him when he's on TV and follow his Twitter comments.


partimer1's picture

after the crisis, do we really know how the banks are doing?  they reported earnings.  But what happened to the toxic stuff, are they under the rug or purge the files and don't want anyone to know about it?  One thing we know is that the housing is not going back, and there are a lot default loans out there. do Fannie and Freddie own all of the bad loans now?  are we just pretending nothing happened in the past two years?