Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
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.
Based on last week’s developments, which included the launch of an investigation into the world’s largest oil company and the rejection of the most politicized energy project to date, the “above ground” problems for the energy industry are growing much worse. That could complicate the future fortunes of oil and gas companies.
In reading various recent regulatory reports, it is clear that almost none of the promises that were made to the public about what was going to happen under Dodd-Frank financial reform is actually happening. Welcome to another day at the casino where the model continues to be — heads they win, tails you lose.
Land of the Fleeced ... Home of the Slave
The bear market in bullion is an artificial creation. This artificial, indeed fraudulent, increase in the supply of paper bullion contracts drives down the price in the futures market despite high demand for bullion in the physical market and constrained supply.
Congress Votes Today to Override State Law and Block Americans’ Right to Know If Our Food Has Been Genetically Modified
After investing $410 million in March 2013, two billionaires are about to make a $500 million return an investment they have held just over two years, with the blessing of a whole lot of debt investors. And all they had to do was pick up the carcass of a company which did nothing more than crush its unions.
"U.S. regulators are sounding the alarm about banks’ exposure to oil-and-gas producers, a move that could limit their ability to lend to companies battered by a yearlong slump in prices," WSJ reports, reinforcing the notion that North America's "zero hedged" O&G sector is in for a rough ride.
Elizabeth Warren may or may not understand the "global banking system" as Jamie Dimon alleges, but the JPM CEO certainly does as the following 14 "reasons" clearly confirm...
Two years ago, bank analyst Mike Mayo asked JPM chief Jamie Dimon a simple question: why should affluent customers not pick UBS over JPM due to a mismatch in capital ratios, to which Dimon's response was even simpler: "that's why I'm richer than you." To which we then added: "No logic, no rationale: all about the bottom line, which to Jamie at least is all that matters. The bottom line was indeed all, because as Bloomberg calculated overnight, over the past several years, Jamie Dimon quietly became not just "richer than you", but "much" richer: his net worth is now well over $1 billion!
The deterioration in the subprime auto market is perhaps the clearest sign yet that we have learned literally nothing from the crisis years. That is, this is precisely the same dynamic and it will end precisely the same way: defaults will rise, investors in assets backed by these loans will suffer outsized losses, and the assets themselves will become completely illiquid.
Under normal circumstances, after 2008's conflagration of the calamitous collateralizations, we shouldn’t have seen such irrational, reckless, greedy behavior from Wall Street for another generation. But, Wall Street didn’t have to accept the consequences of their actions. They were bailed out and further enriched by their puppets at the Federal Reserve, the lackey politicians they installed in Washington D.C., and on the backs of honest, hard-working, tax paying Americans. The lesson they learned was they could continue to take excessive, reckless, unregulated risks without concern for losses, downside, or consequences.
The myth of harsh lending conditions in the US is probably only matched in its disconnect from reality by the just as entertaining narrative of the "one-time, non-recurring" harsh winter crushing Q1 GDP. A narrative which even needed support from none other than former Fed Chairman Bernanke who allegedly was denied a mortgage refinancing on the $672K loan he still owes for his 3-bedroom, 2100 square foot home (a story which is about as credible as 17 year olds making $72 million by cornering the penny-stock market). For the truth we go to the Office Of the Comptroller of the Currency, which just reported in its annual survey that for the third year in a row, U.S. banks relaxed loan underwriting standards, "a trend mirroring the lax lending just before the financial crisis." To wit: "This year's survey showed a continued easing in underwriting standards, with trends very similar to those seen from 2004 through 2006," said Jennifer Kelly, senior deputy comptroller for bank supervision.
The Department of Treasury is spending $200,000 on survival kits for all of its employees who oversee the federal banking system, according to a new solicitation. As FreeBeacon reports, survival kits will be delivered to every major bank in the United States and includes a solar blanket, food bar, water-purification tablets, and dust mask (among other things). The question, obviously, is just what do they know that the rest of us don't?