Saturday, May 19, 2012

All things being equal , I see the potential for mucho market turbulence this week and the banksters will egg it on to get further QE from the Fed , BOE and ECB

"Dear Angela, Dear Francois, Dear Mario" - From Citi, With No Love At All

Central Banks Citigroup European Central BankEuropean Union Eurozone fixed Germany Greeceheadlines Italy Sovereign Debt Vigilantes Willem Buiter
The big banks are getting restless. Nowhere is this more evident than in the latest just released letter from Citi's European Credit Strategy, literally a letter to Europe's trio of leading politicians, which follows hot on the heels of yet another recent Citigroup missive from Willem Buiter, which was largely ignored in the noise, yet which made it all too clear that when all else fails, it is the Chairman'ssworn duty to paradrop money. Because if anyone, it is the banks that know that if things aren't fixed (they aren't), it is up to the central banks to do something to prevent the vigilantes from forcing the politicians hands, as they did in the summer and fall of 2011 (which will not provide a long-term fix, but at least allow bankers to hope that the next collapse won't take place before bonus season). As Citi says, "Until the gravity of the situation is made clear, until the self-reinforcing mechanisms that already seem to be in motion are understood, we don't see how the solutions, the answers, and the certainty that market craves can be brought to the table." Which simply means that things are about to get much, much worse as it will be up to the markets to bring the world to the edge of collapse once again, just so Europe, with the help of the Fed of course, once again is forced to get over the political bickering and prop up risk assets, in yet another iteration of "this time it's different", even though it isn't. Sure enough: "Our impression is that markets will need to act as the proverbial 'attack dog', forcing the issue on the political agenda. We can't escape the sense that it is probably politically easier to let the markets run loose for the time being to make it apparent that further intervention is needed. But 1000bp on Crossover is much closer than you imagine." In other words, Citi just gave the green light for the bottom to fall from the market just so Europe's increasingly impotent political elite doessomething, anything. Look for many more banks to sign off on the same letter.

Jim Rickards On JP Morgan's Trading (Gambling) Loss - The Hypocrisy of Plutocrats

JPMorgan, the nation's largest bank, receives an explicit federal subsidy (deposit insurance) and a much larger implicit federal subsidy. It's improper for the megabank to use these subsidies to speculate in derivatives. And yet it can do so with hardly any serious regulatory consequences.

Financial institutions such as JPMorgan love to buy derivatives because they are opaque, create fictional income that leads to real bonuses and when (not if) they suffer losses so large that they would cause the bank to fail, they will be bailed out.

The Dodd-Frank Act's Volcker Rule was designed to solve the problem.

However, JPMorgan led the effort to gut the Volcker Rule and the provision that requires transparency. JPMorgan is the world's largest proprietary purchaser of financial derivatives -- precisely what the Volcker Rule sought to end. The bank claims that it does not engage in proprietary trading and that it purchases derivatives solely to hedge. That claim is an example of what Stephen Colbert meant when he invented the term: "truthiness."

William K. Black

What the spokesmodels deftly avoid is the discussion that JPM is not a privately financed hedge fund, but a government supported entity using insured deposits, subsidized funds, and the protection of the Federal Reserve as a bank holding company.

Why was it that the investment banks like Goldman suddenly wanted to become bank holding companies during the financial crisis? Oh yeah, that.

If these jokers want to gamble fine. But Jamie Dimon's mentor Sandy Weil led a lobbying effort that spent hundreds of millions to overturn Glass-Steagall, and now JPM is leading the fight aginst the Volcker Rule.

People don't mind if you bet and lose. They do mind if you cheat and win, and they mind it even more if you keep the money when you win, but you charge it to the public trust when you lose. And that is exactly the game that Wall Street led by JPM is playing right now. And these people know better.

Here is an antidote to the faux market histrionics on CNBC and Bloomberg TV. Investigating JP Morgan Chase - Simon Johnson
and also Bill Moyers Interviews Simon Johnson on JPM and the Next Financial Crisis