6 Years After the Financial Crisis Hit, The Big Banks Are Still Committing Massive Crimes
“Rarely Does A Monthly Report On The United States Job Market Look So Terrific On The Surface While Being So Disappointing Underneath”
And Then There's This: "The Oceans Will Rise; Nuclear Winter Will Be Upon Us; And The World As We Know It Will End"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/01/2014 18:06 -0500
As U.S. Justice Department prosecutors begin to bring the first criminal charges against global banks since the financial crisis, they are facing dire warnings of uncontainable collateral damage from none other than the sell-side's banking analysts... "Don’t play with matches," warned Brad Hintz, bringing up the specter of Enron (somehow suggesting we would better if that had not been prosecuted?) “The mere threat of requiring a hearing could cause customers to lose confidence in the institution and could cause a run on the bank,” warns a banking lawyer (well isn't that how it's supposed to be?). Too Big To Prosecute is starting to tarnish a little as Preet Bharara begins to bring the heat, adding, somewhat humorously that, banks have a "powerful incentive to make prosecutors believe that death or dire consequences await."
There is much new info in the just released Bloomberg profile on the infamous ex-JPMorganite Blythe Masters, among which the disclosure that she had made it clear that she had wanted to go along with the disposable JPM physical commodities unit (which as was reported recently, was sold to Swiss commodities giant Mercuria) and "and continue as the group's chief", a plan which did not work out as she had planned since she has no plans to "join the unit’s purchaser" (although joining Glencore is another matter entirely, and one which looks increasingly plausible) but what we find most striking is the following revelation: "Masters is under investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. That probe was opened following a settlement with regulators that alleged JPMorgan manipulated power markets in the Midwest and California."
File this one in the "you can't make it up" category. Over two years after the MF Global collapse, in which the primary dealer headed by Jon "I don't recall" Corzine all but admitted it had engaged in the cardinal sin of any financial intermediary, i.e., commingling money, to cover up a trade gone horribly bad and which resulted in the disappearance of some $1 billion in client funds until such time as the bankruptcy process managed to "liberate" funds from other part of the company, MF Global has suddenly figured who is at fault: not the CEO, not his brown-nosing lackey, not some janitor meant to be scapegoated precisely in a situation such as this, not even the infamous "glitch" - no, the party that is accountable for the firm's theft of client funds, and horrible investing decisions that led to its bankruptcy, are the accountants.
We thought today's newsflow and "market action" ranked pretty high on the absurd surrealism scale. And then we saw this.
BLYTHE MASTERS TO JOIN CFTC GLOBAL MARKETS COMMITTEE
JPMORGAN’S BLYTHE MASTERS TO JOIN CFTC ADVISORY COMMITTEE
It's almost as if they are explicitly telling the handful of people who still care about this entire charade a resounding "fuck you."
How does the Federal government explain this scramble to hand over the "sole-sourced" healthcare.gov IT contract (to a company made possible thanks to Enron) so late in the process? Simple: the usual mutually assured destruction tactic used so "effectively" in all other recent rushed decisions. As the Hill reports, unless Accenture finishes (and fixes) the back-end of the HealthCare.gov portal by mid-March, the healthcare law will be jeopardized, according to a procurement document posted on a federal website. The punchline: "It says insurers could be bankrupt and the entire healthcare industry threatened if the build out is not completed." In other words, a newly retained consulting company has less than three months to fix all the errors of coding by a different company, and make sure healthcare.gov is working properly... all 500 million lines of healthcare.gov's code?
Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne goes to town on Keynesian Crony Paul Krugman in this brief interview. Byrne blasts Krugman for everything from his "unethical" involvement in the Enron debacle to his present day view that "the market failed so we need more government; or freedom failed so we need more government." Noting that Krugman may have done "some great work before he went crazy," he rants against the Fed apologist for his "bitcoin is evil" comments adding that he hopes "Bitcoin can destroy central banking." Byrne pulls no punches in his attack on Krugman and his "Keynesian magic money tree theories," as he explains why the so-called 'economist' would be against a 'bounded currency'.
Delighted by the Goldman Sachs et al commodity cartel hoarding aluminum inventory in one of their warehouses and pushing prices artificially higher? Happy that JPM is reprising the role of Enron (without admitting or denying it) and creating "schemes" with which to boost prices for end consumers (and have FERC furiously slap its wrist in response)? Ecstatic by that whole "precious metals" manipulation 'thing' by assorted unnamed banks (aside from the London fix of course - that has now been confirmed)? Then take this opportunity to tell the Fed how happy you really feel.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Some clarification from Wu Tang Financial on the ten key principles of economics...
"...they ain't no such thang as free lunch... if you haven't figured that out yet in yo life, we is shaking our heads at ya...
PV=MV bitches. Velocity of money just not picking up boo. People been deleveraging up in here..."
Five years have passed since the onset of what is sometimes called the Great Recession. While the economy has slowly improved, there are still millions of Americans leading lives of quiet desperation: without jobs, without resources, without hope. Who was to blame?
"The government, writ large, had a hand in creating the conditions that encouraged the approval of dubious mortgages. It was the government, in the form of Congress, that repealed Glass-Steagall, thus allowing certain banks that had previously viewed mortgages as a source of interest income to become instead deeply involved in securitizing pools of mortgages in order to obtain the much greater profits available from trading. It was the government, in the form of both the executive and the legislature, that encouraged deregulation..."
- Judge Jed Rakoff
With the numbers of 'real' enrollees in Obamacare looking dismal relative to government expectations, and the deadline for the first official details of the health law's enrollment figures due later this week, the administration has decided - in an oh so US Government-esque move - to change the rules. An enrollee is now defined as people who have purchased a plan (normal health insurance plan protocol) as well as those who have a plan sitting in their online shopping cart but have not yet paid. As The Washington Post notes, the disparity in the numbers is likely to further inflame the political fight especially in light of the fact that - for context - the average e-commerce shopping cart abandonment rate is 67%.
Earlier this afternoon, it was Steve Cohen's final fall from grace. Now, Bloomberg reports that Brazil's one time super billionaire, and now negativeworthaire, Eike Batista, whose sprawling petroleum empire was once valued in the tens of billions, is set to file for bankruptcy tomorrow.
- BRAZIL'S OGX SAID TO PLAN BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION FILING TOMORROW
We are confident that just like in Europe, there is no bank with any exposure to either OGX, Brazil, or whatever potential intercreditor avalanche will tear down many more Brazilian companies once this first insolvent domino finally tips over.
When on October 1, fallen billionaire Eike Batista's OGX Petroleo & Gas, missed a $45 million bond coupon payment, some were surprised but most had seen the writing on the wall. After all, Brazil's second largest oil company after Petrobras, and the crowning jewel of Batista's EBX Group, had been under the microscope of investors and certainly creditors (and if it wasn't it certainly should have been) after oil deposits that Batista had valued at $1 trillion turned out to be commercial failures. And so the countdown to the inevitable bankruptcy filing began. Overnight, Bloomberg reports that the wait should not be long (in fact it may coincide with the default of that other insolvent mega-creditor: the United States), and will mostly certainly take place before the end of the month, following the retention of bankruptcy specialist law firm Quinn Emanuel.