Wells Fargo

Dave Collum's 2016 Year In Review - "And Then Things Got Really Weird..."

"Markets don’t have a purpose any more - they just reflect whatever central planners want them to. Why wouldn’t it lead to the biggest collapse? My strategy doesn’t require that I’m right about the likelihood of that scenario. Logic dictates to me that it’s inevitable..."

Credit Suisse Settles With DOJ For $5.3 Billion; Will Pay $2.5 Billion Civil Penalty

Credit Suisse agreed to pay $5.28 billion to resolve a U.S. investigation into its business in mortgage-backed securities as officials work through a backlog of crisis-era bank cases. The Swiss lender will pay a $2.48 billion civil penalty and $2.8 billion in relief for homeowners and communities hit by the collapse in home prices, it said in a statement Friday.

Italy Proves That Banks Are Not The Risk-Free Fantasy We're Told To Believe

We’ve been programmed to sign over our life’s savings to a complete stranger simply because the government says it’s OK. That same government has lied to us about everything else imaginable, ranging from the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction to whether or not he had “sexual relations with that woman.” Yet this government-sanctioned trust is routinely abused.

2016 Year-End Bull/Bear Debate

As we head into 2017, trying to predict the markets is often quite pointless. The risk for investors is “willful blindness” that builds when complacency reaches extremes. It is worth remembering that the bullish mantra we hear today is much the same as it was in both 1999 and 2007. We don’t need to remind you what happened next.

Mass Deception

The point in highlighting these examples is to remind you that people’s opinions, especially those with a vested interest in a certain outcome, may not always be trustworthy. We simply urge you to examine the facts and data before blindly relying on others.

2016 Year In Review

We started this year with the economy deteriorating and finished it with the second interest rate increase in ten years. There were a lot of ups and downs along the way, but ultimately 2016 was defined by three key story-lines:  1) Brexit 2) The Presidential Election 3) Fed Policy. The first two events were votes that shocked the world. The stock market’s reaction to each was arguably even more shocking. 

Freddie Mac Issues Warning As Mortgage Rates Soar

Blink, and you missed your chance to refi. And according to nationalized mortgage giant Freddie Mac, it's only going to get worse: "if rates continue their upward trend, expect mortgage activity to be significantly subdued in 2017."

Bankers To Fed: Stop Riding The Asset Bubble And Raise Rates Already

"If rate normalization happens in a steady and more predictable approach, the economy can incorporate this change in rates and psychology and make investment decisions based on the best allocation of capital to productive sources versus riding the asset bubble being generated by the easy-money policies around the globe."

Frontrunning: December 14

  • Countdown to first Fed hike in a year under way, but focus shifting to 2017 (Reuters)
  • What to Expect From the Fed: Decision-Day Guide (BBG)
  • Investors Expect Fed Rate Rise, Seek Clues on Next Step (WSJ)
  • What ceasefire? Aleppo evacuation delayed (Reuters); Aleppo Fighting Resumes Hours After Cease-Fire Deal (WSJ)
  • Too big to fail: China maps out its Trump strategy (Reuters)

Frontrunning: December 13

  • Trump Picks Exxon Chief for State Amid Concerns (Reuters)
  • Buoyant Markets Pose New Challenge for the Fed (WSJ)
  • Tweeter-in-Chief Trump Faces Test After Yellen’s Rate Decision (BBG)
  • Trump Dissing Daily Intelligence Briefing Worsens Rift With CIA (BBG)
  • SWIFT confirms new cyber thefts, hacking tactics (Reuters)

Trump's Bait And Switch?

Within the political-financial establishment, the more things change, the more, it seems, they stay the same. As Trump moves ahead with his cabinet picks, several of them already stand out in a Mellon-esque fashion for their staggering wealth, their legal entanglements, and the policies they seem ready to support that sound like eerie throwbacks to the age of Harding.

Wells Fargo General Counsel Postpones Retirement "In Light Of Recent Events"

Having claimed the job of CEO John Stumpf, the Wells Fargo cross-selling fiasco continues to reverberate within the org chart of the scandal-ridden bank. Reuters reports that James Strother, the general counsel of Wells Fargo, who had originally planned to retire at year-end, will be forced to stay on indefinitely in the position to deal with fallout from the bank's sales scandal, according to a bank spokesman.