Tag Archives: Wells Fargo

Pam Martens ~ Document: JPMorgan Chase Bets $10.4 Billion On The Early Death Of Workers

WallStreetOnParade  March 24 2014

JPMorganBuilding_BankerSuicideFamilies of young JPMorgan Chase workers who have experienced tragic deaths over the past four months, have been kept in the dark on many details, including the fact that the bank most likely held a life insurance policy on their loved one – payable to itself. Banks in the U.S., as well as other corporations, are allowed to make multi-billion dollar wagers that their profits from life insurance policies on employees will outstrip the cost of paying premiums and other fees. Early deaths help those wagers pay off.

According to the December 31, 2013 financial filing known as the Call Report that JPMorgan made with Federal regulators, it has tied up $10.4 billion in illiquid, long term bets on the death of a large segment of its employees.

The program is known among regulators as Bank Owned Life Insurance or BOLI. Federal regulators specifically exempted BOLI in passing the final version of the Volcker Rule in December of last year which disallowed most proprietary trading or betting for the house. Regulators stated in the rule that “Rather, these accounts permit the banking entity to effectively hedge and cover costs of providing benefits to employees through insurance policies related to key employees.” We have italicized the word “key” because regulators know very well from financial filings that the country’s mega banks are not just insuring key employees but a broad-base of their employees.

Just four of the largest U.S. banks, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup hold over $53 billion in investments in BOLI according to 2013 year-end Call Reports. Death benefits from life insurance is purchased at a multiple to the amount of the investments, meaning that $53 billion is easily enough to buy $1 million life insurance policies on 159,000 employees, and potentially a great deal more. Industry experts estimate that the total face amount of life insurance held by all banks in the U.S. on their employees now exceeds half a trillion dollars.

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Where Are We Now?

Shift Frequency Highlights September 15-21 2013

The Syrian war is on hold, at least for now. Assad has shrewdly requested that if Syria must turn over its chemical weapons and permit international inspections then Israel should do likewise concerning its nuclear arsenal. Israel has never signed a nuclear nonproliferation agreement, and continues to claim it has no nuclear arsenal.  Of course, Israel having no nukes is as believable as Assad inviting UN inspectors to Syria just in time for them to see him kill his citizens with sarin gas.

In other news America’s “too big to fail” criminal banking establishment and its private (mostly foreign-owned) Federal Reserve are desperate for war in the Middle East. The fate of the petrodollar hangs perilously close to demise, a demise assured if the Chinese and Russians gain access to Iran’s oil fields via Syrian ports.

Oh The Tangled Webs We Weave

Now that Syria’s bogged down, Senator Lindsay Graham (R, S.C.) has decided to go for broke and introduce legislation to declare war on Iran. Hmm, I wonder why? Could Graham’s eagerness to pursue Israeli policy possibly be linked to NSA spying and the fact NSA shares all its gathered intelligence with Israel? It’s fairly easy to deduce that blackmail, in addition to bribes, is what makes Congress oh so malleable in the hands of AIPAC policymakers.

The Dept of Homeland Insecurity has been busily buying up huge stores of water, food, ammunition, and health supplies for use in FEMA District 3 (Region 3 includes Washington DC, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia). What does the American government know that it isn’t bothering to share with the American people?

Monsanto is feeling a bit rejected right now, hence its latest successful lobbying effort in Congress. “Tucked into the GOP’s latest bid to gut the Affordable Care Act, the House passed a three-month extension on Friday of the Farmer Assurance Provision rider that circumvents judicial authority regarding the sale and planting of genetically modified crops.”  One has to ask if GMOs are so good for humanity why is Monsanto so concerned about getting sued?

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Pam Martens ~ JPMorgan Gobbles Lion’s Share From Federal Home Loan Banks – A Program Meant To Aid Small Housing Lenders

WallStreetOnParade  September 18 2013

On June 24 of this year, Senator Elizabeth Warren was incensed. She wrote to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the federal regulator of the Federal Home Loan Banks as well as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Warren had just learned that Sallie Mae, a Fortune 500 company engaged in making private student loans, had obtained an $8.5 billion line of credit from a Federal Home Loan Bank. Sallie Mae had been borrowing on its line of credit at 0.23 percent, then making student loans at 25-40 times that rate according to Warren.

Warren reminded the federal regulator that “Congress established the Federal Home Loan Bank System to serve as a reliable source of funding to local banks and other community lenders that offer families home mortgages.” Warren cited a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau showing that significant levels of student debt pose a barrier to Americans trying to buy their first homes.

With housing stalling and mortgage credit still tight for many borrowers, Wall Street On Parade decided to delve into the financial filings of each of the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks and see who else might be getting a windfall from a program set up to help local lenders compete with the big boys. According to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, the system’s mission is as follows: “By supporting community-based financial institutions, the Federal Home Loan Bank System helps to strengthen communities. The System directly benefits consumers by helping to ensure competition in the housing-finance market.” Got that – competition.

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Michael Snyder ~ They Actually Expect Us To Have Faith In These Financial Markets After This Week?

EconomicCollapse  August 23 2013

What in the world is happening to our financial markets?  Trading on the Nasdaq was halted on Thursday for more than 3 hours, and the only formal explanation that we got was that it was a “technical issue”.  On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs made thousands of “erroneous trades” that are now being canceled.  If those trades had not been canceled, it could have cost Goldman “hundreds of millions of dollars” according to the Wall Street Journal.  How nice for them that they get a “do over”.  When Knight Capital made a similar “trading error”, they were not so fortunate.  Our financial system has become completely and totally dependent on computers, and that means that it is extremely vulnerable.  After what we have witnessed this week, how can they actually expect us to have faith in these financial markets?  And what happens if these “technical issues” get even worse?

The stoppage on the Nasdaq on Thursday was unprecedented.  Trading in literally thousands of stocks and options was halted.  Big names like Apple, Netflix, Intel and Facebook were affected.

As of right now, officials are not telling us what caused the “technical issue”, but there are rumblings that hacking was involved.

And the Nasdaq would hardly be the first exchange to be hacked.  In fact, according to NBC News, about half of all the security exchanges around the world were hacked last year.

USA Today is suggesting that a group of Iranian hackers known as “Cyber Fighters of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam” may be responsible for what happened to the Nasdaq.  Apparently they have been quite active since last September… Continue reading

Pam Martens ~ Schneiderman To Sue Big Banks

Wall Street On Parade May 7 2013

Monitor Has Known For Months That Banks Are Flagrantly Violating Mortgage Settlement

Yesterday, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said his office would bring suit against Bank of America and Wells Fargo for “flagrant” violations of last year’s National Mortgage Settlement – a deal signed onto by 49 state attorneys general which promised to reform the shady mortgage servicing practices of five of the largest mortgage lenders in the U.S.

The question that arises is why the Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement had not already brought a lawsuit in Federal Court to stop the violations.

During his press conference yesterday announcing the lawsuit, Schneiderman said his office has logged 210 complaints against Wells Fargo for violations of the settlement and 129 involving Bank of America. Those figures, however, are dwarfed by the findings of Joseph A. Smith, Jr., the man put in charge of monitoring the settlement and bringing enforcement actions to the Federal District Court in Washington, D.C. when serial violations occur. In his February 13, 2013 report, Smith reported receiving 5,763 complaints from consumers from May 2012 through February 1, 2013 and 600 complaints from advocates such as legal aid attorneys.

Even more troubling, the pace of complaints had skyrocketed by 34 percent, rising from an average of 550 per month to 830 complaints per month more recently.

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Matt Taibbi ~ While Wronged Homeowners Got $300 Apiece In Foreclosure Settlement, Consultants Who Helped Protect Banks Got $2 Billion

Rolling Stone April 26 2013

The obscene greed-and-arrogance stories emanating from Wall Street are piling up so fast, it’s getting hard to keep up. This one is from last week, but I missed it – it’s about the foreclosure/robo-signing settlement that was concluded earlier this year.

The upshot of this story is that in advance of that notorious settlement, the government ordered banks to hire “independent” consultants to examine their loan files to see just exactly how corrupt they were.

Now it comes out that not only were these consultants not so independent, not only did they very likely skew the numbers seriously in favor of the banks, and not only were these few consultants paid over $2 billion (over 20 percent of the entire settlement amount) while the average homeowner only received $300 in the deal – in addition to all of that, it appears that federal regulators will not turn over the evidence of impropriety they discovered during these reviews to homeowners who may want to sue the banks.

In other words, the government not only ordered the banks to hire consultants who may have gamed the foreclosure settlement in favor of the banks, but the regulators themselves are hiding the information from the public in order to shield the banks from further lawsuits.

Secrets and Lies of the Bailout

To recap: in the foreclosure deal, 13 banks agreed to pay a total of $9.3 billion to settle their liability in a number of areas, including robo-signing, which is just a euphemism for mass-perjury – robo-signing is the practice of having low-level bank employees sign documents attesting to full knowledge of case files in court foreclosure actions, when in fact they were signing hundreds of files per day, often having no idea whether the paperwork was correct or not.

It was done across the industry and turned housing cases across America into nightmares of jumbled and/or forged paperwork, in which even people who did not deserve to be thrown out of their homes were uprooted thanks to systematic errors by faceless bureaucrats who cut legal corners purely to save money.

All the major banks were guilty on a mass scale, but they worked with federal regulators like the Fed and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to secure this wide-ranging, industry-saving settlement, which not only covered the robosigning epidemic but a host of other bad or illegal practices, like the wrongful denial of modifications and the improper levying of (often hidden) fees.

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Michael Snyder ~ 11 Economic Crashes That Are Happening Right Now

Economic Collapse blog April 12 2013

The stock market is not crashing yet, but there are lots of other market crashes happening in the financial world right now.  Just like we saw back in 2008, it is taking stocks a little bit of extra time to catch up with economic reality.  But almost everywhere else you look, there are signs that a financial avalanche has begun.  Bitcoins are crashing, gold and silver are plunging, the price of oil and the overall demand for energy continue to decline, markets all over Europe are collapsing and consumer confidence in the United States just had the biggest miss relative to expectations that has ever been recorded.  In many ways, all of this is extremely reminiscent of 2008.  Other than the Bitcoin collapse, almost everything else that is happening now also happened back then.   So does that mean that a horrible stock market crash is coming as well?  Without a doubt, one is coming at some point.  The only question is whether it will be sooner or later.  Meanwhile, there are a whole lot of other economic crashes that deserve out attention at the moment.

The following are 11 economic crashes that are happening RIGHT NOW…

#1 Bitcoins

As I write this, the price of Bitcoins has fallen more than 70 percent from where it was on Wednesday.  This is one of the reasons why I have never recommended Bitcoins to anyone.  Yes, alternative currencies are a good thing, but there are a lot of big problems with Bitcoins.  Why would anyone want to invest in a currency that could lose 70 percent of its purchasing power in just two days?  Why would anyone want to invest in a currency where a single person can arbitrarily decide to suspend trading in that currency at any time?

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Matt Taibbi ~ More Secrets And Lies Of The Bailout

Reader Supported News | January 9 2013

matt_taibbi3Opinion ~ I have a feature in the new issue of Rolling Stone called “Secrets and Lies of the Bailout,” which focuses in large part on the seemingly intentional policy of deception in the government’s rescue of the financial sector. The government didn’t just bail out Wall Street with money: It also lied on Wall Street’s behalf, calling unhealthy banks healthy, and helping banks cover up just how much aid they were getting in secret.

Proponents of the bailouts will say that whatever the government did, it worked. The economy didn’t collapse as it appeared it might in late 2008, and the stock markets are puffed up all over again, as financial companies in particular are back making huge profits.

But in the course of researching the magazine piece, we discovered definite victims of the myriad deceptions that became a baked-in feature of the bailouts. One of those victims was a southern investment broker who lost lots of his own money, lost money for family members who’d invested with him, and (maybe worst of all) lost plenty of his clients’ money, when he made investment decisions based on what turned out to be incomplete information.

If this particular broker had known exactly how far the bailouts reached, neither he nor his clients would ever have lost so much. But during the crisis it was decided, by people deemed more important than small-town investment advisers and their clients, that the full story of the bailouts didn’t need to be told.

As a result, George Hartzman and his clients got creamed. In recent years we’ve heard a lot about how the bailouts saved the world. This is the other side of the story.

George Hartzman is easy to like. The easygoing North Carolinian has every salesman’s ability to grab you from the first moment with humor and charm, but what makes him a little bit of a different kind of cat – and I suspect some of this change developed after he joined the growing population of financial crisis-era whistleblowers, dismissed from a Wells Fargo brokerage after making complaints about what he felt were bailout-related abuses – is that the humor is often self-directed. He loves to tell stories about all the goofy, sometimes-dicey sales jobs he’s taken over the years, and the hard work he put in to get really good at each and every one of them.

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Richard Clark ~ Are Banksters & The Fed Becoming The Fourth Branch Of Our Government?

OEN | December 1 2012

Despite its pathetic propaganda encouraging us to practice doublethink, the Federal Reserve freely admits that it is privately owned, is a monopoly empowered by Congress, and that it operates independently from — above? — Congress and the president. Yet it pays its private undisclosed shareholders/owners huge dividends . . that it extracts from U.S. taxpayers!

Who receives dividends from owning shares of the private Federal Reserve? Charts created by the House Banking Committee Staff Report of August, 1976 reveal the following people and companies own shares in the Federal Reserve: Rothschilds, J.P. Morgan, the Warburgs banks, Kuhn, Loeb & Company, Jacob Schiff, William Rockefeller, David Rockefeller/Chase Bank, and many others.

Looting America

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