Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
An Update From the Front Lines ...
The most important fact investors need to know about the Forex market - The Federal Reserve Bank of the United States of America has a Big Red Forex Button that can halt all US Dollar denominated commerce.
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.
Somehow, without the American public’s awareness, the U.S. government is on the hook to two failed companies for $445.6 billion dollars. And that may be just the tip of the iceberg of this story.
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.”
"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."
Most certainly there is no level playing field.
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.
It is Pedro's "courage to write" what Bernanke conveniently forgot to add in his memoir, that makes this review so much more memorable than the generic sycophantic tripe written by his "access journalism" peers.
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.