Nobody on the Buy Side wants to sue JPM, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley et al for securities fraud on the more problematic deals of the past decade.
Dear Mr. Dimon,
Why do you impugn your character and reputation by allowing your firm to engage in these immoral activities? Sure, the regulators have failed to assess you any meaningful punishments that would deter you from this conduct on a strict, short-term dollars and cents analysis. Every penny of earnings counts, I get it. But, sir, you do not strike me as someone who is trying to pump your company’s stock price for a quarter or two. You are the face of JPMorgan Chase and, I would assume, you plan on being there for a while. Why intentionally destroy any and all goodwill your firm has to make additional revenue that is mostly insignificant in the short-term and, quite possibly, deleterious in the long-term? The only reason I can think of is: because you can. And, that, sir is where hubris starts.
Hubris is at the heart of this. Everyone says this cannot happen – we won’t allow it. Says who? The EU says: if it is written in an agreement, it must be totally correct, unchangeable, and followed at all costs. New realities can’t intervene and no slippage is allowed. Why the Germans are so sure that they know the future is beyond me. They are fallible too, but they won’t admit it, and the Greeks can’t make them budge. Haven’t they looked around? Santorini has a different economic and social cost structure than Wiesbaden. Humanity (and common sense) seems totally lacking in the negotiations with the Greeks and a violent backlash would be totally understandable. Why the countries that have been fattening up their current account surpluses selling products to Greeks, whom they should have known were basically broke – just as they always have been – should be paid 100% on the euro is beyond me. Major losses should apply not only to sovereign borrowings but also to accounts receivable for cars, electronics, and other consumer goods. The market has not opened its eyes to the impact this Greek unraveling will have. The Eurozone will be mortally wounded and the world will suffer a significant recession – maybe as deep as 2008. European banks will lose much of their capital base and many should be bankrupt, but just as in the Lehman aftermath, the governments will try to save the banks and the banks’ bondholders, solvent or not. As the bank appetite for Eurozone sovereign paper will be decimated, austerity will probably follow shortly, followed by deflation and uncontrollable money creation. The European recession should be one for the record books.
Scared by PM Volatility? Identify Severe Undervaluation Points in Gold & Silver v. Trying to Call Perfect BottomsSubmitted by smartknowledgeu on 01/26/2012 05:39 -0500
For a new investor in gold and silver, here is the most lucid piece of advice I can offer. Identifying severe undervaluation points in gold and silver, buying gold and silver assets during these times, and not worrying about interim short-term volatility, even if the immediate volatility is downward, is much more likely to impact your accumulation of wealth in a positive manner than trying to perfectly time market tops and bottoms in the highly manipulated gold and silver game.
The NY Fed is the single most powerful entity in charge of the Fed’s daily operations. How can any investor believe that the Fed can manage the system and restore trust when the NY Fed granted MF Global primary dealer status a mere nine months before the latter went bankrupt?
It seems like history is accelerating. Momentous events have been occurring regularly since 2007. Our political and financial leaders are blindsided on a daily basis by each new crisis. The majority of the American public continues to be apathetic, willfully ignorant, and constantly absorbed by their array of electronic gadgets and mindless drivel spewed at them by media conglomerates. Rather than think critically, most Americans allow left wing and right wing mainstream media to formulate their opinions for them through their propaganda and misinformation operations. Linear thinkers, who make up the majority of the political, social, media and financial elite in this country, believe the world progresses and moves ever forward. In reality, the world operates in a cyclical fashion, with generations throughout history reacting to events in a predictable manner based upon their stage in life. The reason the world has turned so chaotic, angry and fraught with danger since 2007 is because we have entered another Fourth Turning. Strauss & Howe have been able to document a fourfold cycle of generational types and recurring mood eras in American history back 500 years. They have also documented the same phenomenon in other countries.
We are far enough away from the onset of the Great Recession that another down-wave in the depression (or a new recession if you go by NBER) is either here or due soon. It may not be a severe downturn, as housing and autos would be falling from first- or second-floor windows in that case, but it would be occurring on the backdrop of a weakened structure, and thus the financial effects could be more severe than the economic effects (which could be severe or mild). Here is what you need to do.
To everyone needing a big picture refresh of all that is happening in the world, and to focus on the forest behind the trees of endless headlines, here is Damien Cleusix' latest macro markets update. "We will start with some rumblings on the financial sector in general and banks in particular. For those only interested in the financial market calls they are at the end... THE KEY for the future of the system has we know it will be the decision which will be made in the weeks/months to come with regard to banks. If politicians screw this once more we are afraid that this will be remembered as the final trigger toward a radical change on how our financial system work. This won't happen overnight but be sure that the system you will be living in in 5 years will be RADICALLY different than today's. While the "Occupy Wall Street" movement remains marginal, be sure that it will grow exponentially if politicians make the bad choices. It will grow so much that it might ultimately dictate the political (regulator) agenda. Far fetched? Probably but we have done some far fetched prediction in the past 10 years and they have come to pass to why not try our luck once more. How could politicians and regulators screw it once more? Simply by not letting the losses fall upon those who made the wrong bets. Did they learn from the 2008-2009 mistake? We don't think so and so there is a very high probability that they will screw it again (we apologize for the choice of word but this is really what they are doing, they are paving the way for a whole generation toward insecurity, poverty and despair)."
There are few things more cringe-inducing than a government-subsidized bank CEO spouting self-serving, entitlement-laden idiocy to the world just because he and his bank might be subject to some extra constraints. That hasn’t stopped JPM Chase CEO Jamie Dimon from acting like a spoiled, sociopathic brat while characterizing proposed Basel III capital requirements and regulations as ‘anti-American’ at every opportunity. They are not ‘anti-American’ but globally risk-mitigating in a time of widespread economic Depression, a point lost in the haze of Dimon’s megalomania....Here’s what’s really anti-American – big banks receiving extreme federal assistance while the rest of the country is crushed, loan refinancing and other foreclosure reducing negotiations are anemic, and both private and public sectors can’t finance enough job growth to alter our horrific unemployment or poverty situation.
You Know Those Bombastic Warnings I Gave About Banks Being The New Tobacco Industry? Well, You Might As Well Light Your StogiesSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 09/02/2011 08:23 -0500
This time, an "I told 'ya so" simply will not suffice. The amount of pressure the big banks will come under will reverbrate around the globe, yet many in the sell side are still recommending big bank "buys"!!!
It was just a matter of time before wholesale debt-forgiveness became the primary source of wealth in the US. The time is now. The NYT reports that "big banks are going to borrowers who are not even in default and cutting their debt or easing the mortgage terms, sometimes with no questions asked. Two of the nation’s biggest lenders, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, are quietly modifying loans for tens of thousands of borrowers who have not asked for help but whom the banks deem to be at special risk." To be deemed in "special risk" one needs to simply have an Option ARM mortgage, and be underwater, even if still current on mortgage payments. End result: an up to 50% cut in the actual mortgage obligation. To wit: "Ms. Giosmas, who lives in Miami, was not in default on her $300,000 loan. She did not understand why she would receive this gift — although she wasted no time in taking it. Before Chase shaved $150,000 off her mortgage, Ms. Giosmas owed much more on her place than it was worth. It was a fate she shared with a quarter of all homeowners with mortgages across the nation. Being underwater, as it is called, can prevent these owners from moving and taking new jobs, and places the households at greater risk of foreclosure." Whether this is a strategic step by the banks who wish to avoid tens if not hundreds of billions in fraudclosure and putback related legal costs, charges and reserves is for now unclear, although all signs point to yes. Next up: everyone in America stops paying their mortgage, or demands a 50% haircut on existing debt, now that the example has been made. And in the meantime, banks will somehow continue to keep the mortgages, which they have now cut by up to half, at par on their books following some brand new, thoroughly senseless announcement by the FASB which says banks can mark anything to whatever price they chose in perpetuity. Because otherwise, the TBTF lenders will suddenly find themselves in a massive deficiency on their Tier 1 capital, also known as completely insolvent.
The Fourth Turnings that centered upon an external threat ended with a glorious High. The Civil War Fourth Turning resolution felt more like defeat, with the country exhausted, bitter and angry. All indications are this Fourth Turning will be mainly an internal struggle between the ruling class of bankers, business elites, and politicians and the downtrodden middle class. The lying, cheating, fraud, theft and other wrongs committed by those in power will need to be atoned for. The generational dynamics in place will drive the reactions of the country moving forward. We have been badly led. A vast swath of the populace has lived beyond their means. The existing system is unsustainable. The Boomer generation does not want to yield on their perceived entitlements. The Millenial generation will be saddled with un-payable debts. Generation X is caught in the middle of this generational struggle. The huge imbalances in our society have built up over decades like flood waters behind a weakening levee. When the levee breaks the existing order will be swept away in the raging torrent that will follow.
There's a reason yesterday's announcement that JPM Chase would 'settle' for a fine of $156.3 million, while neither admitting nor denying any wrong-doing, thereby forking over the whopping equivalent of a normal person's weekly grocery budget, pisses people off. Because it's a marginal fleabite on the teflon hand of the nation's second largest bank in terms of punitive pain, and absolutely meaningless in altering the grand scheme of toxic securities creation or complex financial institution business as usual.
Amid the usual meandering propaganda, Tim Geithner finally catches up to Zero Hedge from February 2010: "The three largest U.S. banks account for 32 percent of total banking assets in the United States, in comparison to 46 percent for the three largest in Japan, 58 percent in Canada, 63 percent in the UK, 65 percent in France, 70 percent in Germany, 71 percent in Italy, and 76 percent in Switzerland. And total banking assets are 461 percent of GDP in the UK, 178 percent in Germany, and 820 percent in Switzerland." Supposedly this is intended to indicate just how much less concentrated the US banking system is compared to other nations: "Some argue that the U.S. financial system is too concentrated, which could promote systemic risks. But the U.S. banking system today is less concentrated than that of any other major economy. And
total banking assets in the United States today are only about the size
of U.S. GDP – much lower than in other developed economies." So just because the entire system is broken beyond repair, it makes sense to tout that the US is broken just a little bit less than everyone else? Also, where is the mention of the fact that the bulk of these balance sheets are chock full of toxic US securitized detritus and that without the US selling its worthless crap around the world, we would not be in the predicament we are in now. In the meantime, here is what Zero Hedge presented in February of last year...