After an almost uninterrupted period of decline over the last few years, US home prices now have some positive momentum. For one, the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities has seen its highest increase in more than two years. In addition, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon recently stated that his bank was seeing a surge in mortgage applications. And perhaps most importantly, the National Association of Realtors has reported that the nation’s inventory of homes on the market has dropped to its lowest level since March 2006, while the median home price is 11.3% higher than a year ago. These are definitely good signs for housing. But remember, nothing goes up or down in a straight line. Just like a stock market that suffers a serious crash, housing has been due for an upward correction. But it is a false premise to conflate ‘rebound’ with full blown ‘recovery’. The market could just as easily improve, then decline once again in a few months’ time. Positive data is great, but doesn’t necessarily portend long-term growth.
So now that Vikram Pandit has exited stage right from the CEO position at Citigroup, a number of people have asked me about the Zombie Dance Queen.
Before the campaign contributors lavished billions of dollars on their favorite candidate; and long after they toast their winner or drink to forget their loser, Wall Street was already primed to continue its reign over the economy. For, after three debates (well, four), when it comes to banking, finance, and the ongoing subsidization of Wall Street, both presidential candidates and their parties’ attitudes toward the banking sector is similar – i.e. it must be preserved – as is – at all costs, rhetoric to the contrary, aside. Obama hasn’t brought ‘sweeping reform’ upon the Establishment Banks, nor does Romney need to exude deregulatory babble, because nothing structurally substantive has been done to harness the biggest banks of the financial sector, enabled, as they are, by entities from the SEC to the Fed to the Treasury Department to the White House.
Dimon: "So, we were asked to buy Bear Stearns. Some said the Fed did us a favor...No, no, we did them a favor. Let's get this one exactly right. We were asked to do it."
Reports that the housing sector is recovering has generated more than a little irrational exuberance among investors regarding financials.
We must respond to every miserable attempt to rewrite history, particularly by this sorry piece of reckless TBTF CEO malfeasance and Wall Street parasitism.
The State of New York should be seeking the removal of Bank of New York (BK) as custodian with respect to all RMBS trusts operated pursuant to NY law and immediately file a claim on behalf of all investors against BK for negligence.
- Global easing deluge resumes: Bank of Korea Slashes Policy Rate (WSJ)
- And Brazil: Brazil cuts Selic rate to new record low of 7.25 pct (Reuters)
- With Tapes, Authorities Build Criminal Cases Over JPMorgan Loss (NYT) Just don't hold your breath
- IMF snub reveals China’s political priorities (FT)
- Add a dash of trade wars: Revised Duties Imposed by U.S. on Chinese Solar Equipment (Bloomberg)
- IMF calls for action as euro zone crisis festers (Reuters)
- Dubai Losing Billions as Insecure Expats Send Money Abroad (BBG)
- Softbank in Advanced Talks to Acquire Sprint Nextel (WSJ)
- Lagarde calls for brake on austerity (FT)
- EU lambasts Turkey over freedoms (FT)
- Race Tightens in Two States (WSJ)
So, Jamie, you still think that Bear Stearns is not material to JPM investors?
Nothing has changed, it has only gotten worse...
If the OCC treated JPM like it dealt with HCBK, Jamie Dimon would be out of a job and JPM would be auctioning off half a trillion in “noncore” assets to its competitors.
In a "new normal" "market" that has long since given up discounting fundamental news, and merely reacts to how any given central planner banker blinks, coughs, sneezes, or otherwise hints on future monetary injection plans at any given moment, it is useful to know the only market players that matter. Courtesy of Guggenheim, they are listed out below - these are no longer the major TBTF banks, Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein ambitions to rule the world notwithstanding; they are now the world's central banks, whose assets are rapidly approaching their host sovereign GDPs even as their overall leverage is increasing by leaps and bounds on a daily basis, putting such recent Investment Bank overlevered behemoths to shame. It is in this playing field where the price of any one "risk asset" is no longer indicative of anything more than monetary, and in a world in which politicians have long been made obsolete by the central planners, fiscal policies. It also means that capital markets are only whatever the various central bankers want to make them... and nothing else.
Putting our trust and faith in a few unelected bureaucrats and bankers, who use their obscene wealth to buy off politicians in writing the laws and regulations to favor them has proven to be a death knell for our country. The captured main stream media proclaims these men to be heroes and saviors of the world, when they are truly the villains in this episode. These are the men who unleashed the frenzy of Wall Street greed and pillaging by repealing Glass Steagall, blocking Brooksley Born’s efforts to regulate derivatives, encouraging mortgage fraud, not enforcing existing regulations, and creating speculative bubbles through excessively low interest rates and making it known they would bailout recklessness. They have created an overly complex tangled financial system so they could peddle propaganda to the math challenged American public without fear of being caught in their web of lies. Big government, big banks and big legislation like Dodd/Frank and Obamacare are designed to benefit the few at the expense of the many. The system has been captured by a plutocracy of self-serving men. They don’t care about you or your children. We are only given 80 years, or so, on this earth and our purpose should be to sustain our economic and political system in a balanced way, so our children and their children have a chance at a decent life. Do you trust that is the purpose of those in power today? Should we trust the jackals and grifters who got us into this mess, to get us out?
Last week we wrote that we were not surprised to learn that the first party of interest in the PFG bankruptcy was "none other than JPMorgan, which together with various other banks, will be the target of a subpoena by the PFG trustee." We added "How shocking will it be to find that Dimon's company is once again implicated in this particular episode of monetary vaporization." It appears that we were not the only ones shocked to learn that Jamie Dimon's firm could make a repeat appearance again when it comes to missing client money: JPM itself seems to not have expected this development. The result, as just reported by Reuters: "JPMorgan Chase & Co on Monday sought to limit the power the bankruptcy trustee for Peregrine Financial Group has to subpoena information from financial institutions that did business with the failed brokerage." Why, whatever may JPMorgan be hiding, and whyever is it taking preemptive steps from preventing such information from leaking into the public domain: because it is too "burdensome" - it is only logical that Jamie can not dedicate one person of his 261,453 employees to this modest matter. No fear though: even if it is found that just like in the MF Global bankruptcy JPM may have overreached just a tad when it comes to money that doesn't belong to it, the CFTC can just say that as a result of an extensive 4 year investigation, JPM was found to have done nothing wrong, and if the public can please already disperse.