The US has been in a cycle of bubbles, busts, and crashes since at least 1995, and more likely since Alan Greenspan became the Chairman of the Federal Reserve in August, 1987. It has become a machine for transferring income, wealth, ownership, and power to the very top. This is not 'the new normal.' This is financial corruption and the erosion of systemic integrity.
The Dallas Fed met with the banks a week ago and effectively suspended mark-to-market on energy debts and as a result no impairments are being written down. Furthermore, as we reported earlier this week when first nothing the rumor, the Fed indicated "under the table" that banks were to work with the energy companies on delivering without a markdown on worry that a backstop, or bail-in, was needed after reviewing loan losses would exceed the current tier 1 capital tranches.
When skimming through the company's loan loss reserve disclosure, we found that in Q4 JPM did something it hasn't done in 6 years: for the first time in 22 quarters, or since March 2010, JPM actually increased its loan loss provisions by $89 million, instead of reducing these.
There were four things we mostly cared about in today's JPM earnings release, the first Wall Street bank to report Q4 results:i) how did the company's fixed income and equity trading revenue do; ii)what is the bank's credit exposure to energy/oil;iii) did the recent Fed hike do anything to boost the company's Net Interest Margin (this has been the primary catalyst for bank share upside), and iv) did JPM halt its practice of releasing reserves and start building reserves - a major inflection point when it comes to management expectations for future credit quality deterioration.
"Unfortunately, an institution that was created to serve all Americans has been hijacked by the very bankers it regulates.” 2016 Democratic presidential candidate and Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders said in an op-ed on Wednesday that a full independent audit of the Federal Reserve is necessary “to reign in Wall Street."
Year end 2015, we go from Ponzi scheme to failure to the thing every major global bank desires. The dilemma is, the ingenuity to excel in this space lies in scrappy young startups, not trillion dollar mega banks. Let me prove this to you, step by prior art step.
Is having the CEOs of two of the largest, most powerful banks sit on the board of their own regulator literally worse than putting a fox in charge of the hen house? Here's why the name "Morgan" get's you a regulator board seat and what regular people can do about it.
As FT reports, "some of the European Central Bank’s top decision-makers met banks and asset managers days before major policy decisions, and on one occasion just hours before, copies of their diaries reveal."
Oil companies have sold $61.5 billion in stocks and bonds since January as oil prices have tumbled. However, the fees geneated are a tiny fraction of the bank's real exposure to the energy sector, at over $150 billion. So have the banks learned their lesson? "The bankers have gone through this before,” says Oscar Gruss’s Meyer. “They know how it works out in the end, and it’s not pretty." Then again, perhaps banks are just sailing on an ocean of liquidity allowing them to postpone the day of Mark to Market reckoning, especially since this time, everyone is in it together....
Retail Sales (ex Auts) dropped 0.3% in September, the 2nd drop in a row, the biggest drop since January (at the heart of the weather-driven economic weakness). For the first time since February, the 'Control Group' Retail Sales dropped (down 0.1% vs +0.3% expectations) as sales dropped in 7 of 13 categories (but notably autos rose significantly but was offset by a collapse in gas station spending). Notably 27 out of 27 'experts' agreed that the control group sales data woul dnot be negative.. wrong! Year-over-year data shows sustained stagnant growth in retail sales historically aligned with a recessionary environment.