Posts Tagged ‘banking’

Why Banks Fail

January 18, 2017

Former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King explains why and how banks fail.

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Congress: Taxpayers Will Cover Citigroup’s Bad Bets

December 15, 2014

Congress: Taxpayers Will Cover Citigroup's Bad Bets

Unregulated derivatives trading crashed the U.S. economy back in 2008, and two years later Congress passed laws to prevent that from happening again. But Citigroup just wrote derivatives deregulation into the $1.1 trillion federal funding bill, and Congress passed it. Now Citi can blow people’s savings on bad exotic derivatives bets, and taxpayers will likely cover the losses.

Here’s what Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) had to say about that:

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JPMorgan Chase: Banking as Betting

May 15, 2012

JPMorgan Chase: Banking as Betting

JPMorgan Chase & Co. had an awkward moment recently when it bet its hedges instead of hedging its bets. This resulted in a $2 Billion loss, some management changes, and loss of CEO Jamie Dimon’s ability to lobby against Wall Street reform with a straight face.

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Goldie for President!

November 29, 2011

Goldie for President!

“Goldman Sachs, the global investment bank and financial services firm, announced Friday morning that it is running for president of the United States.”

“… the conglomerate will forgo donations altogether and instead finance the campaign with a portion of the $10 billion in taxpayer-funded bailout money the investment bank received in 2009. “

— “Goldman Sachs announces presidential run,” K.M. Breay, Salon

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Citibank CEO to Protesters: ‘Call Me, Dudes!’

October 17, 2011

Citibank CEO to Protesters: 'Call, Me, Dudes!'

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit said he would be happy to talk with Occupy Wall Street protesters, calling their motives “completely understandable.” “Trust has been broken between financial institutions and the citizens of the U.S., and that is Wall Street’s job, to reach out to Main Street and rebuild that trust,” said the chief of the third largest U.S. bank. He made the remarks as he mingled with plain working folks at a breakfast organized by Fortune magazine. If you can’t make it to Mr. Pandit’s executive suite, Gawker obligingly provides his mobile phone number (646-512-4269) and suggests a few questions. Can’t get through? Try Mr. Pandit’s office phone (212-793-1201) or email him (vikram.pandit@citi.com).

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Banker Quotes Karl Marx

September 14, 2011

Banker Quotes Karl Marx

“Policy makers struggling to understand the barrage of financial panics, protests and other ills afflicting the world would do well to study the works of a long-dead economist: Karl Marx.”

“The wily philosopher’s analysis of capitalism had a lot of flaws, but today’s global economy bears some uncanny resemblances to the conditions he foresaw.”

“As he wrote in ‘Das Kapital,’ companies’ pursuit of profits and productivity would naturally lead them to need fewer and fewer workers, creating an ‘industrial reserve army’ of the poor and unemployed: ‘Accumulation of wealth at one pole is, therefore, at the same time accumulation of misery.’

The process he describes is visible throughout the developed world, particularly in the U.S. Companies’ efforts to cut costs and avoid hiring have boosted U.S. corporate profits as a share of total economic output to the highest level in more than six decades, while the unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent and real wages are stagnant.

U.S. income inequality, meanwhile, is by some measures close to its highest level since the 1920s. Before 2008, the income disparity was obscured by factors such as easy credit, which allowed poor households to enjoy a more affluent lifestyle. Now the problem is coming home to roost.”

Who wrote that? The Senior Economic Adviser at UBS, the Swiss bank. Read it all:

“Give Karl Marx a Chance to Save the World Economy,” George Magnus, Bloomberg

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Wall Street’s Bailout Bonuses

July 23, 2010

 Wall Street's Bailout Bonuses

Kenneth Feinberg, Special Master on Compensation Reform, cited 17 financial firms for “ill-advised” excessive payments to their executives while taxpayers were bailing their companies out with TARP funds. He called this “bad judgement.” Total of the bonuses and other executive payouts: $1.6 billion.

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Wanted: Icelandic Banker

May 14, 2010

Wanted: Icelandic Banker

Interpol wants Sigurdur Einarsson, former chairman of Iceland’s failed Kaupthing bank. Iceland has already arrested the bank’s former CEO, Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson.

Mr. Einarsson, accused of counterfeiting, forgery and fraud, is said to be in London. The real Interpol wanted notice is here. There’s no reward but, if you find the guy, grateful Icelandic authorities will probably treat you to a glass or two of Brennivin.

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SEC Asks Banks About Accounting Dodge

April 14, 2010

SEC Asks Banks About Accounting Dodge

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sent a letter to a score of bank CFOs asking if they used the same maneuver as Lehman Brothers to cook the books during quarterly reporting periods. In the trick, called Repo 105, a  bank uses a short-term contract (a Repurchase Agreement) to exchanges assets for cash, agreeing to buy them back later at 105 percent of their value, but the firm reports the resulting cash as if it were a straight sale. This gives the temporary illusion of bank soundness and profitability.

More:

“SEC: Did others use Lehman accounting gimmick?” AP via Salon.

“SEC to Banks: Who Else Used Repo 105?” Marian Wang, ProPublica.

“Do other firms use Lehman’s accounting ‘drug’?” Alistair Barr, MarketWatch.

 

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Economics Quote of the Day

April 28, 2009

Economics Quote of the Day

“Wall Street is no longer, in any real sense, part of the private sector. It’s a ward of the state, every bit as dependent on government aid as recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a k a ‘welfare.’ “

“In 2008, overpaid bankers taking big risks with other people’s money brought the world economy to its knees. The last thing we need is to give them a chance to do it all over again. “

 — Paul Krugman, professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University and winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics, in the New York Times.

 

Image (Corporate Socialism, after B. Lebedev) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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