• Pivotfarm
    04/18/2014 - 12:44
    Peering in from the outside or through the looking glass at what’s going down on the other side is always a distortion of reality. We sit here in the west looking at the development, the changes and...

JPMorgan Chase

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Frontrunning: January 7





  • Yellen’s Record-Low Senate Support Reflects Fed’s Politicization (BBG)
  • Euro-Zone Inflation Rate Falls in December, even further below ECB's target (WSJ)
  • Zambia politician charged for calling president a potato (AFP)
  • Blame gold: India Savings Deposit Scam Collapse Leaves Thousands Penniless (BBG)
  • Hedge Funds Raise Gold Wagers as Yamada Sees $1,000 (BBG)
  • George Osborne limits cuts options with pensions promise (FT)
  • Vietnam Raises Foreign Bank Ownership Caps to Aid System (BBG)
  • But they said buy a year ago... Goldman to JPMorgan Say Sell Emerging Markets After Slide (BBG)
  • SAC Trial Seen by Probe Convict as Latest Abusive Tactic (BBG)
 


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Frontrunning: January 6





  •  'Life-threatening' cold bites Midwest, heads east (Reuters)
  • Gold Analysts Get Most Bullish in a Year After Rout (BBG)
  • Asian Stocks Fall Most in Three Weeks on China Services (BBG)
  • Angela Merkel in skiing accident, cancels visits (Reuters)
  • High-Speed Traders Form Trade Group to Press Case (WSJ)
  • Toyota and Honda post record China sales (FT)
  • China Shadow Banking Risks Exposed by Local Debt Audit (BBG)
  • J.P. Morgan to Pay Over $2 Billion to U.S. in Penalties in Madoff Case (WSJ)
  • Corruption trial of Trenton, N.J., mayor starts Monday (Reuters)
  • Car Makers at Consumer Electronics Show Tout Ways to Plug Autos Into the Web (WSJ)
 


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Frontrunning: January 2





  • Threatening snowstorm may be early test for N.Y. Mayor de Blasio (Reuters), U.S. Northeast Threatened With Blizzard, Travel Delays (BBG)
  • Scarred U.S. consumers a hard sell for traditional retail (Reuters)
  • Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower (NYT)
  • A Few Brave Investors Scored Huge, Market-Beating Wins (WSJ)
  • Fiat gets full control of Chrysler for $4.35 billion (Reuters)
  • Billions Vanish in Kazakh Banking Scandal (WSJ)
  • SAC’s Cohen Focus of Trial as Martoma Rebuffs U.S. (BBG)
  • World's first state-licensed marijuana retailers open doors in Colorado (Reuters)
  • Hyundai, Kia face fading growth as currency tides buoy Japan rivals (Reuters)
  • Bond investors braced for new year shock (FT)
  • Putin vows total destruction of 'terrorists' after bombings (AFP)
 


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Frontrunning: December 30





  • Americans on Wrong Side of Income Gap Run Out of Means to Cope (BBG)
  • Michael Schumacher battles for life after ski fall (Reuters)
  • Professors for hire: Academics Who Defend Wall St. Reap Reward (NYT)
  • Chinese police kill eight in Xinjiang 'terrorist attack' (Reuters)
  • How to Prevent a War Between China and Japan (BBG)
  • Unemployment Benefits Lapse Severs Lifeline for Longtime Jobless (BBG)
  • Japan's homeless recruited for murky Fukushima clean-up (Reuters)
  • China Local-Government Debt Surges to $3 Trillion (WSJ)
  • How unexpected: Britons less inclined to pay down mortgage debt (Reuters)
 


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On The 100th Anniversary Of The Federal Reserve Here Are 100 Reasons To Shut It Down Forever





December 23rd, 1913 is a date which will live in infamy.  That was the day when the Federal Reserve Act was pushed through Congress.  Many members of Congress were absent that day, and the general public was distracted with holiday preparations.  Now we have reached the 100th anniversary of the Federal Reserve, and most Americans still don't know what it actually is or how it functions.  But understanding the Federal Reserve is absolutely critical, because the Fed is at the very heart of our economic problems. Since the Federal Reserve was created, there have been 18 recessions or depressions, the value of the U.S. dollar has declined by 98 percent, and the U.S. national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.  This insidious debt-based financial system has literally made debt slaves out of all of us, and it is systematically destroying the bright future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have. The truth is that we do not have to have a Federal Reserve.  The greatest period of economic growth in U.S. history was when we did not have a central bank.  If we are ever going to turn this nation around economically, we are going to have to get rid of this debt-based financial system that is centered around the Federal Reserve.  On the path that we are on now, there is no hope.

 


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Frontrunning: December 23





  • Apple, China Mobile sign long-awaited deal to sell iPhones (Reuters)
  • U.S. growth hopes help shares shrug off China money market jitters (Reuters)
  • Rule Change on Health Insurance Rattles Industry (WSJ), Obamacare's signup deadline on Monday has its exceptions (Reuters)
  • Tale of Two Polish Mines Shows Biggest EU Producer’s Woes (BBG)
  • Probes See U.K. Market Manipulation Reports Rise 43% (BBG)
  • Shoppers Grab Sweeter Deals in Last-Minute Holiday Dash (BBG)
  • Banks Mostly Avoid Providing Bitcoin Services (WSJ)
  • Secret Handshakes Greet Frat Brothers on Wall Street (BBG)
 


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Frontrunning: December 18





  • MOAR: BOJ Said to See Significant Room for More Bond Purchases (BBG)
  • Meltdown Averted, Bernanke Struggled to Stoke Growth (Hilsenrath)
  • New Mortgages to Get Pricier Next Year (WSJ)
  • Republicans to Seek Concessions From Obama on Debt Limit (BBG)
  • Hunting for U.S. arms technology, China enlists a legion of amateurs (Reuters)
  • Jury Begins Deliberating in Case of SAC Portfolio Manager (WSJ)
  • BP to Write Off $1 Billion on Failed Well (WSJ)
  • Rajan Unexpectedly Keeps India Rates Unchanged to Support Growth (BBG)
  • Thai protesters say they will rally to hound PM from office (Reuters)
  • SEC Brings Fewer Enforcement Actions, Slows Early-Stage Probes (WSJ)
 


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83 Numbers From 2013 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe





During 2013, America continued to steadily march down a self-destructive path toward oblivion.  As a society, our debt levels are completely and totally out of control.  Our financial system has been transformed into the largest casino on the entire planet and our big banks are behaving even more recklessly than they did just before the last financial crisis.  We continue to see thousands of businesses and millions of jobs get shipped out of the United States, and the middle class is being absolutely eviscerated.  Due to the lack of decent jobs, poverty is absolutely exploding.  Government dependence is at an all-time high and crime is rising.  Evidence of social and moral decay is seemingly everywhere, and our government appears to be going insane.  If we are going to have any hope of solving these problems, the American people need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and finally admit how bad things have actually become.

 

 


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Frontrunning: December 17





  • Fed’s $4 Trillion Assets Draw Lawmaker Ire Amid Bubble Concern (BBG)
  • Ex-Goldmanite Fab Tourre fined more than $1 million (WSJ)
  • EU Banks Shrink Assets by $1.1 Trillion as Capital Ratios Rise (BBG)
  • Japan to bolster military, boost Asia ties to counter China (Reuters)
  • China condemns Abe for criticizing air defense zone (Reuters)
  • Insider-Trading Case May Hinge on Phone Call (WSJ)
  • Republicans Gird for Debt-Ceiling Fight (WSJ)
  • Mario Draghi pushes bank union deal (FT)
  • German Coalition Plans More Pension Money (WSJ)
  • Oil Supply Surge Brings Calls to Ease U.S. Export Ban (BBG)
 


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Why Obama's Home Affordable Modification Program Failed (Spoiler Alert: Thank Bank Of America et al)





Back when the Executive and Congress at least pretended not to abdicate all power to the Fed, one of the centerpiece programs designed to boost the housing market for the benefit of the poor (as opposed to letting Ben Bernanke make marginal US housing a rental industry owned by a handful of private equity firms and hedge funds), was Barack Obama's Home Affordable Modification Program or HAMP, which attempted to prevent foreclosures by lowering distressed borrowers’ mortgage payments. Under the program, homeowners would be given trial modifications to prove they can make reduced payments before the changes become permanent. The program was a disaster as of the 3 million foreclosures that were targeted for modification in 2009, only 905,663 mods have been successful nearly five years later - a tiny 13% of the 6.9 million who applied (still, numbers which Obamacare would be delighted to achieve). Part of the reason: the program's reliance on the same industry that sold shoddy mortgages during the housing bubble and improperly sped foreclosures afterward. But there was much more. For the definitive explanation of everything else that went wrong, we go to Bloomberg's Hugh Son whose masterpiece released today explains how and why once again the banks - and especially one of them - won, and everyone else lost.

 


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JPMorgan's "Bitcoin-Alternative" Patent Rejected (175 Times)





Earlier in the week, we detailed JPMorgan's attempt to create their own "web cash" alternative to Bitcoin (and Sberbank's talk of doing the same). However, as M-Cam details, following the failure of the first 154 'claims', JPMorgan issued a further 20 claims - which were summarily rejected (making JPMorgan 0-175 for approved claims). As they note, The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO)’s handling of applications like JPMorgan’s ‘984 application ("Bitcoin Alternative") highlights the need to fix a broken system - patent applications of existing inventions need to be finally rejected and not be resurrected as zombies (no matter how powerful the claimant). Obviously, large financial institutions want in on the online alternative currency action. But they would be well advised to pursue novel and non?obvious approaches that do not duplicate existing commercial options with respect to a virtual medium of exchange.

 


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Is War With China Inevitable?





As a general rule, extreme economic decline is almost always followed by extreme international conflict. Sometimes, these disasters can be attributed to the human survival imperative and the desire to accumulate resources during crisis. But most often, war amid fiscal distress is usually a means for the political and financial elite to distract the masses away from their empty wallets and empty stomachs. War galvanizes societies, usually under false pretenses. We're not talking about superficial “police actions” or absurd crusades to “spread democracy” to Third World enclaves that don’t want it. No, we're talking about REAL war: war that threatens the fabric of a culture, war that tumbles violently across people’s doorsteps. The reality of near-total annihilation is what oligarchs use to avoid blame for economic distress while molding nations and populations. Because of the very predictable correlation between financial catastrophe and military conflagration, it makes quite a bit of sense for Americans today to be concerned.

 


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Frontrunning: Friday 13





  • Presidential Task Force Recommends Overhaul of NSA Surveillance Tactics (WSJ)
  • Monte Paschi's Largest Shareholder Says It Will Vote Against $4.1 Billion Capital Increase (WSJ)
  • SAC Reconsiders Industry Relationships—and Its Name (WSJ)
  • Icahn’s Apple Push Criticized by Calpers as ‘Johnny Come Lately’  (BBG)
  • In Yemen, al Qaeda gains sympathy amid U.S. drone strikes (Reuters)
  • Missing American in Iran was on unapproved mission (AP)
  • In China, Western Companies Cut Jobs as Growth Ebbs (WSJ)
  • U.S. lays out steps to smooth Obamacare coverage for January (Reuters)
  • Las Vegas Sands Said to Drop $35 Billion Spanish Casino Proposal (BBG)
  • Twitter Reverts Changes To Blocking Functionality After Strong Negative User Feedback (TechCrunch)
 


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Frontrunning: December 12





  • J.P. Morgan to Pay Over $1 Billion to Settle U.S. Criminal Probe Related to Madoff (WSJ)
  • Ford board aims to pin down CEO Mulally's plans (Reuters)
  • Raising Minimum Wage Is a Bad Way to Help People (BBG)
  • Japan Lawmakers Demand Speedy Pension Reform (WSJ)
  • EU reaches landmark deal on failed banks (FT)
  • In which Hilsenrath repeats what we said in August: Fed Moves Toward New Tool for Setting Rates (WSJ)
  • Senators Vow to Add to Iran Economic Sanctions in 2014 (BBG)
  • Centerbridge in $3.3bn LightSquared bid (FT)
  • Banks, Agencies Draw Battle Lines Over 'Volcker Rule' (WSJ)
 


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This Is How Much The Banks Paid To Get The "Volcker Rule" Outcome They Desired





Curious how much the various banks who stood to be impacted by or, otherwise, benefit from either a concentration or dilution of the Volcker rule? According to OpenSecrets, which crunched the numbers, here is how much being able to continue prop trading meant to some of the largest US banks and lobby groups:

Not bad considering the loophole-ridden Volcker Rule will effectively permit "hedge" books (where an army of lawyers paid $1000/hour defines just what a hedge is) to continue piling on billions of dollars in wildly profitable, Fed reserve funded trades.

 


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