Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Frontrunning: September 23

  • Futures slip after three-day rally as oil dips (Reuters)
  • Charlotte protests diminish early on Friday as family views video (Reuters)
  • Undecided Voters Are Proving a Tough Sell for Clinton and Trump (BBG)
  • Facebook Overestimated Key Video Metric For Two Years (WSJ)
  • Trump received $1.6 million from Secret Service (Politico)

JPM Downgrades Wells Fargo; Expects More Probes "Following Tough Senate Hearings"

One day after what was a rather disastrous hearing for Wells CEO John Stumpf, which culminated with a Senator telling the embattled chief executive he may want to consider going to prison, the bad news continued overnight when the bank that overtook Wells in the "biggest US bank by market cap" category, JPMorgan, downgraded Wells to Netural, cutting its price target from $53.50 to $48.00 as a result of "tough Senate hearings and mounting public scrutiny following the opening of fraudulent accounts."

Buffett Exits Entire Credit Default Swap Exposure, As Citi's Appetite For Derivative Destruction Surges

It was considered one of the bigger paradoxes for years. Back in 2003, Warren Buffett famously dubbed derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction” and yet over the next several years went ahead and entered a number of the contracts, including both equities and credit, ostensibly by selling CDS to collect up monthly premiums. However, at least when it comes to CDS, after several years of Berkshire trimming its credit derivative exposure, it is now completely out. Meanwhile, Citi is loading up on any CDS it can find...

Goldman Fundraising For Failed Malaysian Wealth Fund Probed By NY Bank Regulator

The New York bank regulator has asked Goldman Sachs to "swiftly report" on its internal review of more than $6 billion in bond sales for 1MDB, Malaysia's failed sovereign wealth fund. In a letter, the New York bank regulator also asked Goldman to provide an overview, by June 14, of every investigation in the U.S. and abroad into its work for the fund. This is bad new for Mr. Kimora Lee.

As Fed Meeting Begins Futures Are Flat In Sleepy Session; Apple Earnings On Deck

With the Fed decision just one day away, followed the very next day by the increasingly more irrational BOJ, stocks had no desire to make significant moves and overnight's boring session was the result, as European stocks and U.S. index futures rose modestly but mostly hugged the flatline while Asian declined 0.2% for a third day as raw-material shares declined and Tokyo equities slumped before central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan this week. China’s stocks rose the most in almost two weeks, up 0.6% but failed to rise above 3000 on the Shanghai Composite, in thin trading.

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.”

Dear Dallas Fed, Any Comment?

"In September, regulators from the OCC, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. met with dozens of energy bankers at Wells Fargo’s office in Houston...  Regulators pushed lenders to focus instead on a borrower’s ability to make enough money to repay the loan, according to the person familiar with the discussions."

Fed Reveals Which "Developments To Financial Stability" It Is Most Worried About

Broad equity indexes have declined significantly since July 2015, and forward price-to-earnings ratios have fallen to a level closer to their averages of the past three decades.
Leverage [among speculative-grade and unrated firms] firms has risen to historical highs, especially among those in the oil industry, a development that points to somewhat elevated risks of distress for some business borrowers.

Swap Spreads Just Hit A New Record Negative Low: Goldman's Explanation Why

Having detailed the "perverted nonsense" that is the collapsing and negative US swap spreads (here, here, here, and here) and noted money manager's concerns that the big question remains whether there is "something bigger brewing under the surface that so far hasn’t been pinpointed yet," it appears Goldman Sachs feels the need to 'explain' the anomaly in what appears an effort to calm fears about the broken money markets. Of course, we don’t have to figure out what the “market” is saying about a negative spread because it isn’t saying anything other than “something” is wrong and even Goldman admits this signals funding and balance sheet strains are worsening since August.