Meltdown

The Fed Sends A Frightening Letter To JPMorgan, Corporate Media Yawns

Yesterday the Federal Reserve released a 19-page letter that it and the FDIC had issued to Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, on April 12 as a result of its failure to present a credible plan for winding itself down if the bank failed. The letter carried frightening passages and large blocks of redacted material in critical areas, instilling in any careful reader a sense of panic about the U.S. financial system. The Federal regulators didn’t say JPMorgan could pose a threat to its shareholders or Wall Street or the markets. It said the potential threat was to “the financial stability of the United States.”

U.S. Economy 2016: 3 Classic Recession Signals Are Flashing Red

Those that were hoping for an “economic renaissance” in the United States got some more bad news this week.  It turns out that the U.S. economy is in significantly worse shape than the experts were projecting.  Retail sales unexpectedly declined in March, total business sales have fallen again, and the inventory to sales ratio has hit the highest level since the last financial crisis.  When you add these three classic recession signals to the 19 troubling numbers about the U.S. economy that we wrote about last week, it paints a very disturbing picture.

The Great Glut: Why LNG Markets Might Not Balance Before 2025

The worldwide rush to build liquefaction capacity has the characteristics of speculative bubbles and gold rushes of past centuries. In the case of the developing LNG glut, the blame must probably be shared by overambitious promoters and prestigious but imprudent energy experts.

Goldman Slammed With $5.1 Billion Fine For "Serious Misconduct" In Mortgage Selling

Hot on the heels of Wells Fargo's $1.2 billion settlement, Bloomberg reports that Goldman Sachs will pay $5.1 billion to settle a U.S. probe into its handling of mortgage-backed securities involving allegations that loans weren’t properly vetted before being sold to investors as high-quality bonds. “This resolution holds Goldman Sachs accountable for its serious misconduct in falsely assuring investors that securities it sold were backed by sound mortgages, when it knew that they were full of mortgages that were likely to fail,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart Delery.

Janet's Jabbering Leaves Investors "On The Edge Of A Live Volcano"

The evidence that Yellen is clueless or a blatant liar is endless. The casino gamblers keep dancing on the edge of a live volcano in the belief that Yellen has their back. In fact, her statements this week prove once again that she is right there on the edge with them - jabbering incoherently. One of these days, even the silicon units in the casino will take notice. The dancing will then turn into diving for the doors.

The Panama Papers Could Really End Hillary Clinton's Campaign

Despite the supposedly ineluctable logic of Sanders’ unelectability, many pundits now believe there has been a seismic shift in the 2016 presidential race. It is becoming increasingly obvious that Americans are sick to death of the two corporatist political establishments and will do anything to send them a message. Then there’s the matter of the Panama Papers, which once again illustrate the stark contrast in judgement between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

"Let Me Tell You About The Very Rich"

As the Panama Papers appear to show, the very wealthy play by an entirely different set of rules than the average person when it comes to paying taxes. The role of global banks has been a prominent feature of early reporting on the Panama files, reinforcing the impression of the entire sector as one big, risky rip-off machine, preying on consumers and governments to maximize profit. The scandal is only the latest in a series of almost countless ones, most of which were settled with fines and no admission of guilt. There is hardly a global financial market that has not been systematically manipulated by major Wall Street firms: interest rates, foreign exchange, metals, electricity — the list goes on.

Before Trump, Sen Bulworth Spoke Truth To Power

As our empire erodes, and overseas tyranny evolves into full moral meltdown at home, and the economy becomes a series of bubbles, the sociopaths in charge resort to more inventive and draconian measures. Trump is neither the solution nor the answer but more like another symptom. A long simmering effect of a longer lingering cause. The cause and effect of bad governance, of corruption without any consequences.

Brazil Posts Largest Budget Deficit Ever As Rousseff Cries "Coup," Olympic Ad Sales Top $1 Billion

Less than 24 hours after VP Michel Temer's PMDB split with President Dilma Rousseff's coalition government, Brazil posted its largest primary deficit on record, underscoring how dire the fiscal situation has become amid the political and economic turmoil. Meanwhile, NBC is still selling ads for this summer's Olympic games in Rio. Who's interested in some expensive air time? 

Brazil's Coalition Government Officially Collapses As Vice President's Party Abandons Rousseff

In the latest blow to Brazil’s embattled President Dilma Rousseff, VP Michel Temer’s PMDB will split with the coalition government, further isolating the Worker’s Party as the country lurches towards a political meltdown. The PMDB’s decision was expected, but it still marks a key turning point in the effort to oust Rousseff, who angered opposition lawmakers when she attempted to appoint former President and Worker’s Party founder Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to a ministerial position earlier this month. To paraphrase Lula himself: things are getting more "f**ked up" by the day.

The World Has 6 Options To Avoid Japan's Fate, And According To HSBC, They Are All Very Depressing

"The escape options are a mixture of the ineffectual, the limited, the risky, the foolhardy or the excessively slow. As Japan’s recent experiments have demonstrated, upping the monetary dosage alone is not enough to cure the affliction. Indeed, to the extent that monetary stimulus only encourages a further wave of risk-taking within financial markets – often outside of the mainstream banking system - it may only perpetuate unstable deflationary stagnation."

Thunder CLOuds Arrive: 6 CLOs Hit Triggers, Fail Tests

There's trouble brewing in the leveraged loan market as cracks continue to show in post-crisis CLOs. As we reported late last month, the number of CLO 2.0 deals’ equity tranches currently having NAV below zero has risen to 453. Given that, we weren't terribly surprised to learn that 6 CLO 2.0s are failing their interest diversion tests and another 20 are within a point of hitting their triggers.