Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
With Top 4 US Banks Holding $217 Trillion In Derivatives, Total Number Of US Banks Drops To Record LowSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/03/2013 10:49 -0400
Overnight, the WSJ reported a financial factoid well-known to regular readers: namely that as a result of a broken system that ever since the LTCM bailout has encouraged banks to become take on so much risk they become systematically important (as in their failure would "end capitalism as we know it"), and thus Too Big To Fail, there has been an unprecedented roll-up of existing financial institutions especially among the top, while the smaller, less "relevant", if far more prudent banks have been forced out of business. "The decline in bank numbers, from a peak of more than 18,000, has come almost entirely in the form of exits by banks with less than $100 million in assets, with the bulk occurring between 1984 and 2011. More than 10,000 banks left the industry during that period as a result of mergers, consolidations or failures, FDIC data show. About 17% of the banks collapsed."
- With website improved, Obama to pitch health plan (Reuters)
- Joe Biden condemns China over air defence zone (FT)
- Tally of U.S. Banks Sinks to Record Low (WSJ)
- Black Friday Weekend Spending Drop Pressures U.S. Stores (BBG)
- Cyber Monday Sales Hit Record as Amazon to EBay Win Shoppers (BBG)
- Ukraine's Pivot to Moscow Leaves West Out in the Cold (WSJ)
- Investment banks set to cut pay again despite rise in profits (FT)
- Worst Raw-Material Slump Since ’08 Seen Deepening (BBG)
- Democrats Face Battles in South to Hold the Senate (WSJ)
- Hong Kong reports 1st case of H7N9 bird flu (AP)
- In Fracking, Sand Is the New Gold (WSJ)
Just as in the 1930s the Fed fueled deflation by not making credit available, today the opposite seems to be the case – low rates are fueling deflation and preventing markets from clearing.
There is no free lunch. Either we kill growth via financial repression of savers or we embrace the painful process of debt restructuring for the major industrial nations.
To the DOJ, a $13 billion receipt is the "largest ever settlement with a single entity." To #AskJPM, a $13 billion outlay is a 100%+ IRR. And perhaps more relevant, let's recall that JPM holds $550 billion in Fed excess reserves, on which it is paid 0.25% interest, or $1.4 billion annually. In other words, out of the Fed's pocket, through JPM, and back into the government. Luckily, this is not considered outright government financing.
On December 23, 2013, the U.S. Federal Reserve (the Fed) will celebrate its 100th birthday, so we thought it was time to take a look at the Fed’s real accomplishment, and the practices and policies it has employed during this time to rob the public of its wealth. The criticism is directed not only at the world’s most powerful central bank - the Fed - but also at the concept of central banks in general, because they are the antithesis of fiscal responsibility and financial constraint as represented by gold and a gold standard. The Fed was sold to the public in much the same way as the Patriot Act was sold after 9/11 - as a sacrifice of personal freedom for the promise of greater government protection. Instead of providing protection, the Fed has robbed the public through the hidden tax of inflation brought about by currency devaluation.
... And why does the Fed, with $1.3 trillion in cash parked at foreign commercial banks or more than half of the reserves created under QE1, 2 and 3, continue to bail out non-American banks?
Ben Bernanke is participating in an IMF panel with Larry Summers, Ken Rogoff, and fromer Bank of Israel chief Stan Fischer... Full speech below...
JPMorgan shares have dropped modestly (though any drop is notable in the new normal) as the WSJ reports that the $13bn deal with the Department of Justuice may be at risk:
*JPMORGAN FALLS 0.6% AS DOW JONES SAYS DOJ DEAL AT RISK
*JPMORGAN, JUSTICE DEPT SAID TO DISAGREE ON FDIC REIMBURSEMENT
*JPMORGAN PROPOSED SETTLEMENT SAID TO FACE U.S. RESISTANCE
It appears the 'breakdown' is over JPMorgan's demands that they offset payments to the DoJ from the FDIC fund (i.e. they wanted to use FDIC to fund this penalty on the basis of som epossible indemnification from the WaMu deal). DoJ lawyers are not amused (for now)...
"We see upside surprise risks on gold and silver in the years ahead," is how UBS commodity strategy team begins a deep dive into a multi-factor valuation perspective of the precious metals. The key to their expectation, intriguingly, that new regulation will put substantial pressure on banks to deleverage – raising the onus on the Fed to reflate much harder in 2014 than markets are pricing in. In this view UBS commodity team is also more cautious on US macro...
The dollar is the world’s go-to currency. But for how much longer? Will the dollar’s status as the only true global currency be irreparably damaged by the battle in the US Congress over raising the federal government’s debt ceiling? Is the dollar’s “exorbitant privilege” as the world’s main reserve currency truly at risk? Sane governments do not default when they have a choice – especially not when they enjoy the “exorbitant privilege” of issuing the only true global currency. We are about to find out whether the US still has a sane government.
So are you going to be among the few, the proud, the surprised Sell Side analysts?
Hidden deep in the pages of JPMorgan's Living Will report just realesed by the FDIC, the WSJ has found that CEO Jamie Dimon (still Chairman of the overall JPM entity) has relinquished his position as Chairman of the banking conglomerate's major deposit-taking subsidiary. While the bank claims this is "solely to create a more uniform structure among our subsidiary boards," one can't help but feel this is driven by unrelenting pressure from the administration (and its regulators) as the deposit-taking subsidiary had its confidential management rating downgraded from a 2 to a 3 on a scale of 5, a rare score for such a large institution; and faces public enforcement actions demanding changes to alleged risk-management, anti-money-laundering and debt-collection weaknesses.
In and of itself, the government shutdown appears to be a limited market event. The indirect effect, however, is on the other main risk scenario for markets – the deal on the debt ceiling (which will need to be in place before October 17). An increase in the probability of breaching the debt ceiling would likely be destabilizing for the market. For one, the effect on growth will be far larger – our economists estimate that it would imply an immediate cut in spending equal to 4.2% of GDP (4Q average of the fiscal deficit). Second, it would raise the risk of a US sovereign default because the Treasury does not believe it has the authority to prioritize interest payments above other obligations. As such, with markets firmly focused on US fiscal matters - so where to from here?
Who's Who of Prominent Economists and Billionaire Investors Say that Runaway Inequality Harms the EconomySubmitted by George Washington on 09/27/2013 13:16 -0400
Free Market Libertarians and Progressives Agree that If All of the Poker Chips Are Concentrated In One Hand ... The Game Stops