Citibank

Did Citi Just Confiscate $1 Billion In Venezuela Gold

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday that Citibank planned to shut his government's foreign currency accounts within a month, denouncing the move by one of its main foreign financial intermediaries as part of a "blockade." What Maduro did not mention is that among the central bank accounts closed by Citi will be at least one, rather prominent, gold swap launched just over a year earlier, which saw some 1.4 million ounces in gold swapped over to Citi in exchange for cash... gold which now appears to be confiscated.

The Case For A Super Glass-Steagall

By embracing this kind of Super Glass-Steagall Trump would consolidate his base in the flyover zones and reel in some of the Bernie Sanders throng, too. The latter will never forgive Clinton for her Goldman Sachs speech whoring. And that’s to say nothing of her full-throated support for the 2008 bank bailouts and the Fed’s subsequent giant gifts of QE and ZIRP to the Wall Street gamblers.

In Latest Market Rigging Settlement, Citi Fined $425MM For Manipulating Interest Rates

Another day, another too-big-to-fail bank gets slapped on the wrist after being busted for blatant rigging of the market. The CFTC Order finds that from Jan 2007 to Jan 2012, Citibank on multiple occasions attempted to manipulate, and made false reports concerning, the U.S. Dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association Fix (USD ISDAFIX), a global benchmark for interest rate products. Notably, while a handful of European banks have already settled criminal or civil claims tied to Libor rigging, Citi is the first U.S. bank to do so. Citi will pay a combined $425 million to resolve this manipulation, and as they proudly note in the press release, with today's actions, CFTC has imposed over $5.08 billion in penalties in 17 actions against banks and brokers to address rigging and manipulation in ISDAFIX, FX, and LIBOR benchmarks.

What Consequences? Judge Rules Student Loans Of Broke Lawyers Can Be Cancelled

Following SCOTUS' decision not to hear a case making it easier to get rid of student debt, and The White House's push to ease student loan 'burdens', WSJ reports a federal judge ruled law-school graduates who file for bankruptcy protection can cancel the debt they racked up while studying for the bar exam. Once again - a poor outcome from a seemingly-easy decision (suggested by, and made easy by government) is made consequence-free by America's government (on behalf of US taxpayers). One wonders if the law graduates in question should receive "participation trophies" also as they enter the workforce (as Baristas).

This Is How Venezuela Exported 12.5 Tonnes Of Gold To Switzerland On March 8, 2016 Via Paris

Approximately 50 tonnes of BCV gold has been exported from Venezuela to Switzerland within the first 10 weeks of 2016. How much longer can this outflow continue? This gold is being exported by the BCV in order to participate in swaps (or maybe even outright sales) in order to provide external financing to the Venezuelan Government. The fact that the gold is being picked up by Brinks Switzerland suggests it is being brought to a Swiss gold refinery. The main reason gold is sent to Switzerland is so that it can be refined or recast.

Energy Wars Of Attrition - The Irony Of Oil Abundance

In the end, the oil attrition wars may lead us not into a future of North American triumphalism, nor even to a more modest Saudi version of the same, but into a strange new world in which an unlimited capacity to produce oil meets an increasingly crippled capitalist system without the capacity to absorb it. Think of it this way: in the conflagration of the take-no-prisoners war the Saudis let loose, a centuries-old world based on oil may be ending in both a glut and a hollowing out on an increasingly overheated planet. A war of attrition indeed.

Neil Howe Warns The 'Professional Class' Is Still In Denial Of The Fourth Turning

"The world has fundamentally shifted over the last decade, especially since we’ve emerged from the Great Recession... But the professional class has been very slow to understand what is going on, not just quantitatively but qualitatively in a new generational configuration that I call the Fourth Turning. They don’t accept the new normal. They keep insisting, just two or three years out there on the horizon, that the old normal will return – in GDP growth, in housing starts, in global trade. But it doesn’t return."