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Keyword: banks

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  • Mountain West Banks Closing in Great Falls [ Montana ]

    07/21/2014 10:10:30 AM PDT · by george76 · 2 replies
    kfbb ^ | Jul 17, 2014 | Joe Biega,
    Following a merger between Mountain West Bank and First Interstate Bank, several Mountain West locations will be closing across the state ... While the merger of the two well known Montana banks is still pending, Interstate Bank has announced a list of banks that will be closing or relocating
  • Why Is Fed Considering Paying Banks Not To Lend To Main Street

    07/21/2014 5:39:12 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 35 replies
    IBD ^ | 07/21/2014 | Mike Cosgrove
    The Federal Reserve created a monster $4.3 trillion balance sheet, up by $3 trillion from 2008, through quantitative easing. QE ends this fall. Now the Fed is trying to figure out what to do with this monster. Their thinking seems to be that they can maintain control over it by paying banks more money to not make loans. So let's get this right. Households and businesses are attempting to borrow money from banks. But the Federal Reserve may eventually pay banks $100 billion per year not to lend to Main Street. Politicians will have a field day with that. The...
  • Holding Company Of Portugal's 2nd Largest Bank Just Filed For Bankruptcy Protection

    07/18/2014 12:41:10 PM PDT · by Former Proud Canadian · 10 replies
    Zerohedge ^ | July 18, 2014 | Tyler Durden
    Following this morning's farce of huge investor demand and then Bank of Portugal's Costa 'hoping' for demand from investors willing to pile more money on losing money into Espirito Santo, it appears things have escalated rapidly... *ESPIRITO SANTO INTERNATIONAL SAYS IT CAN'T MEET OBLIGATIONS *ES INTERNATIONAL APPLIES FOR `CONTROLLED MANAGEMENT' REGIME *ES INTERNATIONAL APPLIES FOR REGIME UNDER LUXEMBOURG LAW The "controlled management" application is the equivalent of declaring a breakup or controlled bankruptcy process (as we explained here). ESI is the ultimate HoldCo in the Banco Espirito Santo family.
  • Congress needs to choke off Operation Choke Point

    07/16/2014 5:16:02 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 8 replies
    The Hill ^ | July 14, 2014 | William M. Isaac, former FDIC Chairman
    From small businesses on Main Street to the halls of Congress and the state legislatures, concern is mounting over Operation Choke Point, a coordinated effort among the Department of Justice (DOJ) and bank regulators to cut off banking services for a variety of legal, state-regulated businesses. This week alone, there are three congressional hearings on Operation Choke Point, hearings which will hopefully bring an end this misguided operation. Operation Choke Point is one of the most dangerous programs I have experienced in my 45 years of service as a bank regulator, bank attorney and consultant, and bank board member. Operating...
  • Chase Bank Has Pattern of Partisanship on LGBT Issues

    07/11/2014 12:49:25 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 7 replies
    Breitbart's Big Government ^ | July 10, 2014 | Austin Ruse
    The recent exposé of the employee survey that asked probing questions about employee support for the “LGBT community” has focused attention on something that the typical depositor might not be aware of, and that is the massive time and attention JP Morgan Chase lavishes on the LGBT issue. Four years ago JP Morgan Chase told a local businessman that he had to remove a Christmas tree he donated to the lobby of a branch bank in Southlake, Texas. The reason given was that some found the Christmas decoration offensive. The order to remove was not made locally. It came from...
  • Immigrants From Latin America and Africa Squeezed as Banks Curtail International Money Transfers

    07/07/2014 12:03:56 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 3 replies
    New York Times ^ | July 6, 2014 | By MICHAEL CORKERY
    As government regulators crack down on the financing of terrorists and drug traffickers, many big banks are abandoning the business of transferring money from the United States to other countries, moves that are expected to reverse years of declines in the cost of immigrants sending money home to their families. While Mexico may be most affected — nearly half of the $51.1 billion in remittances sent from the United States in 2012 ended up in that country — the banks’ broad retreat over the last year is affecting other countries in Latin America and parts of Africa as well. The...
  • Bank Analysts Say Stocks Are In 'Euphoric' Territory And We're Screwed When The Recession Hits

    06/30/2014 5:24:17 AM PDT · by blam · 22 replies
    BI ^ | 6-30-2014 | Jim Edwards
    Jim EdwardsJune 30, 2014  The Bank for International Settlements — the Swiss-based financial institution that acts as a counterparty to national central banks — has declared that stock markets are currently in a "euphoric" state and has urged central banks globally to begin tightening interest rate policies now while economies are growing rather than wait for another recession, when it will be too late. Those are scary words, coming from a set of economists whose job it is to monitor how capable central banks are of responding to economic conditions with flexible monetary policy. The subtext (and not-so-subtext) of...
  • DOJ Intimidates Banks to drop Ammunition Suppliers, Firearm Sales, Coin Dealers

    05/28/2014 5:07:39 AM PDT · by marktwain · 30 replies
    Gun Watch ^ | 27 May, 2014 | Dean Weingarten
    Here is a list of businesses claimed to have been targeted with operation "Choke Point".   The administration characterization of "high risk" seems to  translate into "Those I do not like."  These  "High Risk" merchant categories are listed on an fdic.gov site: Ammunition SalesCable Box De-scramblersCoin DealersCredit Card SchemesCredit Repair ServicesDating ServicesDebt Consolidation ScamsDrug ParaphernaliaEscort ServicesFirearms SalesFireworks SalesGet Rich ProductsGovernment GrantsHome-Based CharitiesLife-Time Guarantees Life-Time MembershipsLottery SalesMailing Lists/Personal InfoMoney Transfer Networks On-line GamblingPayDay LoansPharmaceutical SalesPonzi SchemesPornographyPyramid-Type SalesRacist MaterialsSurveillance EquipmentTelemarketingTobacco SalesTravel Clubs  Some of these companies/activities will be offensive to some.  Others will be astonished that they are included on a...
  • Justice Department secretly stifling 'objectionable' businesses: House committee

    05/29/2014 11:18:29 AM PDT · by PoloSec · 14 replies
    Washington Examiner ^ | May 29 2014 | Susan Ferrechio
    The House Committee on Oversight and Government reform has compiled a scathing report on the Department of Justice's “Operation Choke Point” program that critics believe is aimed at “targeting industries deemed objectionable” by the Obama administration. The report, released Thursday by panel chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., accuses the Justice Department of abusing its authority by going after the payday lending industry and other merchants and working to put them out of business. According to the report, the Justice Department “secretly” discouraged banks from conducting business with groups deemed to be “high risk,” for triggering a federal investigation. Sign Up for...
  • Art World in Review (Fine ART -the bankers' new toilet)

    05/28/2014 5:37:17 PM PDT · by Yollopoliuhqui · 3 replies
    Art World in Review ^ | May 28, 2014 | Peter Dobey
    It is a rare occurrence for conversations about contemporary art to happen outside of the insular circles of the art world. Contemporary art, by and large, exists as a bubble. So it should come as no great surprise that other “bubbles” are the only thing that may collide with contemporary art. Like, for instance, the elite insider world of high finance that purchases much contemporary art at auction. Last week, one such collision came to light when Credit Suisse was criminally convicted for assisting tax evasion and further revealed what more and more people realize: art can be quite the...
  • “Operation Choke Point”

    05/25/2014 10:22:14 AM PDT · by Rusty0604 · 6 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 05/24/2014 | Todd Zywicki
    The general outline is the DOJ and bank regulators are putting the screws to banks and other third-party payment processors to refuse banking services to companies and industries that are deemed to pose a “reputation risk” to the bank. Most controversially, the list of dubious industries is populated by enterprises that are entirely, or at least generally, legal. The ability to destroy legal industries through secret actions to deprive them of banking services has obvious political consequences. For example, it was reported last week that firearms shops are alleging that Operation Choke Point is being used to pressure banks into...
  • How to make sure we never, ever, ever bail out Wall Street again: Let the banks fail!

    05/18/2014 6:43:28 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 29 replies
    The Week ^ | 05/18/2014 | James Pethokoukis
    It's easy: Let the banks fail and give the money to American taxpayers instead Are you still angry that Washington forced Main Street to bail out Wall Street during the Great Recession? Timothy Geithner can live with that. In his new book, Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises, the former Obama Treasury secretary insists government needed to stop the panic by whatever means necessary. During a five-alarm inferno, the thinking goes, it's smarter to focus on extinguishing the blaze than punishing the arsonists. And to Geithner, dissenters are misguided purveyors of "Old Testament vengeance" and "moral hazard fundamentalists." Geithner is...
  • Where Have You Gone, George Bailey? The Federal Gov. is Killing Small Banks on Main Street.

    05/14/2014 12:30:34 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 13 replies
    National Review ^ | 05/14/2014 | Lee Habeeb and Mike Leven
    He is America’s most iconic banker. Okay. He isn’t a real banker, but we all know and love him; he’s George Bailey from the quintessential Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life. Bailey, the local banker from Bedford Falls, N.Y., confronts slumlord and all-around bad guy Henry Potter for control of his father’s bank, Bailey Building and Loan. Potter tries to bribe Bailey, then tries to steal the bank from the young idealist and businessman. It was a movie, and it was the 1940s, so the good guy won. George Bailey got the bank and the girl, and the bad...
  • Porn Stars: Attorney General Eric Holder May Have Closed Your Bank Accounts (plus guns & ammunition)

    05/01/2014 10:51:50 AM PDT · by jazusamo · 44 replies
    PJ Media ^ | May 1, 2014 | Bryan Preston
    Porn stars say that JP Morgan Chase bank has been quietly closing their bank accounts. The skin flick starlets, including Penthouse Pet Teagan Presley, “Cougarland” actress Veronica Avluv and “White House Orgy” actress Layton Benton, are using Twitter to bash the bank over a recent rash of account closure notices. Presley, whose real name is Ashley Erickson, said her April 16 letter gave no reason for her termination. The bank also is closing her husband’s personal account and their two business accounts, including one for their studio Skinworxxx, she said. “I’m just upset and still in shock it’s even happening....
  • Too Big to Fail?

    05/01/2014 7:52:42 AM PDT · by Academiadotorg · 5 replies
    Accuracy in Academia ^ | April 30, 2014 | Spencer Irvine
    At the Heritage Foundation, professors Charles Calomiris and Mark Flannery provided insights on the ramifications of the U.S. government’s bank bailouts after the 2007 financial crisis. Calomiris is the Henry Kaufman Professor of Financial Institutions at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and Flannery is the BankAmerica Eminent Scholar in Finance at the University of Florida. The major issue with Dodd-Frank, said Calomiris, was how none of these problems were adequately fixed. Regarding the promise to liquidate and not bail banks out, Calomiris said, “Unfortunately, and I think now there’s a clear consensus across the board in terms of economists...
  • Guess Who Makes More Than Bankers: Their Regulators

    04/22/2014 7:22:47 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 2 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | 04/22/2014 | PAUL KUPIEC
    Long before George Bailey wrestled with Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life," the public decried the pay of top executives in large financial institutions. Overpaid bank executives are the villains in regulatory morality tales and feed distorted public perceptions about bankers' pay. It is true that the very top bank executives make more in a year than most of us make in a lifetime, but compensation of this magnitude is rare. Most banks in this country are small businesses and pay employees modest salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual salary of a bank employee...
  • All the Presidents' Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power

    04/14/2014 8:05:08 AM PDT · by Yollopoliuhqui · 12 replies
    Amazon ^ | recent | Nomi Prins
    Who rules America? All the Presidents’ Bankers is a groundbreaking narrative of how an elite group of men transformed the American economy and government, dictated foreign and domestic policy, and shaped world history. Culled from original presidential archival documents, All the Presidents’ Bankers delivers an explosive account of the hundred-year interdependence between the White House and Wall Street that transcends a simple analysis of money driving politics—or greed driving bankers. Prins ushers us into the intimate world of exclusive clubs, vacation spots, and Ivy League universities that binds presidents and financiers. She unravels the multi-generational blood, intermarriage, and protégé relationships...
  • The end of Windows XP support could hurt ATM's

    04/07/2014 8:16:48 PM PDT · by smokingfrog · 53 replies
    8 News Now ^ | 4-7-14 | Scott Daniels
    One in every three computers users could be in major trouble Tuesday, and they won't be getting any help. Microsoft is dropping its support of its operating system Windows XP. This means there will be no security updates to fend off hackers. The news gets worse. According to a CNN-Money report, 95 percent of all ATM's use Windows XP, which ATM's can be a prime target for hackers. Banking giant JP Morgan bought a one-year extension of service so Chase Banks could still run Windows XP in their ATM's and still be covered. All of the big banks should be...
  • St. Louis Fed Research Director: Bitcoin Could Be A Good Threat To Central Banks

    04/07/2014 7:28:18 AM PDT · by Errant · 8 replies
    Business Inisider ^ | 6 April 2014 | Rob Wile
    Last week, St. Louis Fed Director of Research David Andolfatto released a presentation on Bitcoin, becoming one of the most prominent central bank officials to study the cryptocurrency. We caught up with Andolfatto to ask him about why he put this deck together, where he thinks Bitcoin is going, and whether he personally has anything invested in it. Business Insider: What was the genesis for this presentation? David Andolfatto: Its genesis was a blog post I'd started, addressing arguments that gold bugs frequently put forth, that gold is superior money. Of course, Bitcoin was in the news — I read...
  • Banks Play Ball with Government to Hand Over Your Assets

    04/06/2014 11:31:58 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 38 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | April 6, 2014 | Bruce Bialosky
    Four years ago, I wrote a column about how the state of California had passed a law to make retailers turn over any unused gift cards to the State after a set period. The law did not consider any effects on the retailer; just the fact that California was grubbing for new revenue flows and once greedy politicians see a target they can devise any rationale for why the money or new tax should be placed into their coffers. The column also explored how the State was taking money from unclaimed bank assets as if it were another revenue...
  • Bitcoin Tipping Point & Mass Adoption

    03/25/2014 7:10:48 AM PDT · by Errant · 12 replies
    Bitcorati.com ^ | 23 March 2014 | Drew Carey
    The Bitcoin Tipping Point is coming and it will be the Big Bang of disruption in financial services, money and payments as we know them! I often think about the “tipping-point” in Bitcoin’s journey to mass adoption and regularly as myself several questions. When will it be noticeable and what will trigger it? Has it already begun or if not, how far away are we? How do you define or measure “mass adoption” of Bitcoin? A bitcoin meme of Morpheus and Neo posted online recently got me thinking again about how Bitcoin’s true exit most likely itself. Once a significant...
  • Criminal Actions by Obama; Two Wrongs Make a Right

    03/24/2014 9:57:54 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 5 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | March 24, 2014 | Mike Shedlock
    To President Obama, two wrongs make a right. Also, might makes right. Suppose a neighbor steals your cat. Would it be morally just to punch a different neighbor (or the neighbor's kid) in the face to retaliate? If you are president Obama, the answer is yes. Please consider How Obama Crippled a Russian Bank with a Stroke of a Pen. On Thursday, President Obama sent a message to Russian president Vladimir Putin about strength. Specifically, economic strength. The message was this: Whenever I decide to, I can pick up a pen, and kill a significant financial institution in your country....
  • Russian companies withdraw billions from west, say Moscow bankers

    03/14/2014 2:58:26 PM PDT · by SkyPilot · 10 replies
    Financial Times ^ | 14 March 14 | Patrick Jenkins and Daniel Schäfer in London and Courtney Weaver and Jack Farchy in Moscow
    Russian companies are pulling billions out of western banks, fearful that any US sanctions over the Crimean crisis could lead to an asset freeze, according to bankers in Moscow. Sberbank and VTB, Russia’s giant partly state-owned banks, as well as industrial companies, such as energy group Lukoil, are among those repatriating cash from western lenders with operations in the US. VTB has also cancelled a planned US investor summit next month, according to bankers. The flight comes as last-ditch diplomatic talks between Russia’s foreign minister and the US secretary of state to resolve the tensions in Ukraine ended without an...
  • U.S. regulator sues 16 banks for rigging key interest rate

    03/14/2014 12:31:57 PM PDT · by gooblah · 14 replies
    Reuters ^ | Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:26pm EDT | By Nate Raymond
    (Reuters) - The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation sued 16 of the world's largest banks on Friday, accusing them of colluding to suppress interest rates. The lawsuit, filed in the federal district court in New York, was the latest to accuse financial institutions of conspiring to manipulate Libor, or the London Interbank Offered Rate. The FDIC said the defendants' conduct caused substantial losses to 38 banks that the U.S. regulator had taken into receivership since 2008, including Washington Mutual Bank and IndyMac Bank.
  • Wells Fargo cuts 700 mortgage jobs

    02/27/2014 5:50:54 AM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 16 replies
    The Minneapolis/St Paul Star Tribune ^ | February 27, 2014 | Jennifer Bjorhus
    Wells Fargo cuts 700 employees, including 203 in the Twin Cities, as demand for mortgages declines.Wells Fargo & Co. said Wednesday that it is cutting 700 employees, including 203 in the Twin Cities, as demand for mortgages continues to shrink. The San Francisco-based bank said it notified affected employees Wednesday, and that almost all of them work at the Wells Fargo Home Mortgage campus in south Minneapolis. Some work elsewhere in the Twin Cities. The cuts follow scattered layoffs in the Twin Cities in January in which Wells Fargo laid off fewer than 30 mortgage-related workers. “We currently expect mortgage...
  • Bank Run Full Frontal: Ukrainians Withdrew 7% Of All Deposits In Two Days

    02/26/2014 8:39:10 AM PST · by Svartalfiar · 11 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 02/25/2014 12:33 -0500 | "Tyler Durden"
    Well that escalated quickly. It seems the ouster of Yanukovych, heralded by so many in the West as a positive, has done nothing to quell the fear of further economic collapse in Ukraine: *UKRAINIANS WITHDREW AS MUCH AS 7% OF DEPOSITS FEB. 18-20: KUBIV *DEPOSIT WITHDRAWALS STILL HIGH IN THE EAST, KUBIV SAYS This is around a 30 billion Hyrvnia loss (over $3 billion) in just 2 days for the banks and the new central bank chief is considering "stabilizing loans" to help banks deal with the liquidity crisis (though Ukraine's reserves stand at a mere $15 billion). Reserves are...
  • Since 2000, There Are 29 Percent More Big Banks and 24 Percent Fewer Small Banks

    02/25/2014 12:43:29 PM PST · by grundle · 8 replies
    National Review ^ | February 25, 2014 | Veronique de Rugy
    My colleagues Hester Peirce and Robert Greene have put together a series of charts showing the recent concentration of the U.S. banking system — small banks are disappearing and large banks are growing in number. Here is one of their charts that shows the changes: Repeated waves of bank regulation — most recently Dodd-Frank — can be particularly burdensome for small banks. Peirce and Green explain: Regulatory compliance can be a particular challenge for small banks with limited compliance expertise. Regulatory expenses absorb a larger percentage of small banks’ budgets than of their larger counterparts’ budgets. Although correlation is not...
  • Federal guidance on pot business leaves banks wary

    02/15/2014 1:48:31 PM PST · by steve86 · 18 replies
    Seattle PI / Associated Press ^ | 2/15/2014 | GENE JOHNSON
    SEATTLE (AP) — For marijuana dispensaries around the country, the days of doing business in cash — driving around with bill-stuffed envelopes to pay the rent, or showing up at a state revenue office with $20,000 in paper bags for the tax man — can't end soon enough.
  • The US Is Now Encouraging Banks To Do Business With Licensed Pot Dealers

    02/14/2014 7:44:37 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 5 replies
    Reuters via Business Insider ^ | 02/14/2014 | DAVID INGRAM AND JASON LANGE, REUTERS
    The Obama administration on Friday issued new law-enforcement guidelines aimed at encouraging banks to start doing business with state-licensed marijuana suppliers, like those in Colorado, even though such enterprises remain illegal under federal law. Administration officials said the policy shift seeks to address problems faced by newly licensed recreational marijuana retailers in Colorado, and medical cannabis dispensaries in other states, that must operate on a cash-only basis, without access to financial services or credit. It remained to be seen whether many banks would feel sufficiently assured by the new policy, which the Justice and Treasury departments outlined in writing to...
  • Treasury Will Allow Banks to Take Weed Money

    02/14/2014 5:51:25 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 18 replies
    The Atlantic Wire ^ | February 14, 2014 | Allie Jones
    As promised, the Obama administration has now officially spoken on the matter of banks and pot dispensaries. According to a memo from the Justice Department, the Treasury will allow banks to accept accounts from marijuana shops. This announcement is meant to encourage banks to do business with legal state dealers, despite the fact that selling marijuana is still illegal under federal law. It's unclear whether banks will take this encouragement to heart. As Ryan J. Reilly at The Huffington Post explains, "The DOJ memo falls short of expressly protecting banks that work with state-compliant marijuana businesses from prosecution. It states...
  • 9 die in fire destroying Argentine bank archives

    02/05/2014 3:40:31 PM PST · by dynachrome · 40 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 2-25-14 | AP
    Nine first-responders were killed and seven others injured as they battled a fire of unknown origin that destroyed an archive of corporate and banking industry documents in Argentina’s capital on Wednesday. The fire at the Iron Mountain warehouse took hours to control and at least half of the sprawling building was ruined despite the efforts of at least 10 squads of firefighters.
  • Is Anyone Really Surprised That The System Is On The Brink Again?

    02/05/2014 5:32:42 AM PST · by blam · 27 replies
    Is Anyone Really Surprised That The System Is On The Brink Again? Phoenix Capital ResearchZero Hedge 02/04/2014 15:07 -0500 We find it truly extraordinary that anyone is surprised the financial system is under duress again. After all, what have the Central Banks accomplished in the last five years? 1) Did they clear out the bad debts that caused the 2008 collapse? NOPE 2) Did they implement structural reforms to insure another 2008 didn’t happen? NOPE 3) Did they punish fraud or corruption in any way to insure that the system was clean? NOPE So what did they do? They cut...
  • Celente Warns Of Coming Riots: “The Collapse Is Engulfing The World”

    01/31/2014 4:24:17 PM PST · by Kartographer · 78 replies
    SHTF Plan ^ | 1/31/14 | Mac Slavo
    Celente isn’t suggesting that a massive collapse is going to happen in the future. He says we’re already in it – and it’s taking hold right before our eyes across the entirety of the globe:
  • Why This Harvard Economist Is Pulling All His Money From Bank Of America

    01/31/2014 5:00:19 PM PST · by Kartographer · 65 replies
    Zerohedge ^ | 1/31/14 | Tyler Durden
    From Terry Burnham, former Harvard economics professor, author of “Mean Genes” and “Mean Markets and Lizard Brains,” provocative poster on this page and long-time critic of the Federal Reserve, argues that the Fed’s efforts to strengthen America’s banks have perversely weakened them. First posted in PBS. Is your money safe at the bank? An economist says ‘no’ and withdraws his Last week I had over $1,000,000 in a checking account at Bank of America. Next week, I will have $10,000.
  • European Banks Boycott Israeli Banks Because of 'Settlements'

    02/01/2014 6:57:41 PM PST · by Nachum · 18 replies
    inn ^ | 2/1/14 | Elad Benari
    Two of the largest banks in northern Europe have announced they will boycott Israeli banks because they operate in “occupied territories”, the Walla! Hebrew-language news website reported on Saturday. The two banks in question are the Swedish Nordea Bank, which is the largest bank in Scandinavia, and the Norwegian Danske Bank, which is the largest bank in Denmark. Danske Bank, which serves five ​​million customers in Denmark and Northern Europe , publishes on its website a list of companies which are boycotted for legal and ethical reasons. Two weeks ago the list was updated and, according to Walla!, for the...
  • Thanks to Government, Banks Now Treat You Like Crap and Spy on You

    01/29/2014 8:08:45 AM PST · by Kaslin · 16 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | January 29, 2014 | Daniel J. Mitchell
    People are getting increasingly agitated about being spied on by government. The snoops at the National Security Agency have gotten the most attention, and those bureaucrats are in the challenging position of trying to justify massive invasions of our privacy when they can’t show any evidence that this voyeurism has stopped a single terrorist attack. And let’s not forget that some politicians and bureaucrats want to track our driving habits with GPS devices. Their immediate goal is taxing us (gee, what a surprise), but does anyone doubt that the next step would be a database of our movements? But the...
  • China Halts Bank Cash Transfers

    01/26/2014 2:56:28 PM PST · by Errant · 54 replies
    Forbes ^ | 26 January 2014 | Gordon G. Chang
    The People’s Bank of China , the central bank, has just ordered commercial banks to halt cash transfers. ---Clip--- In short, there will be a three-day suspension of domestic renminbi transfers. There will also be a suspension, spanning nine calendar days, of conversions of renminbi to foreign currency. The specific reason given—“system maintenance” at the central bank—is preposterous. It is not credible that during the highest usage period in the year—the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday beginning January 31—the central bank would schedule an upgrade and shut down cash transfers. A better explanation is that the country’s banking system is...
  • Bank Run Fears: Customers Being Forced to Provide Evidence For Why They Need Cash

    01/25/2014 4:29:20 PM PST · by Kartographer · 98 replies
    SHTF Plan ^ | 1/25/14 | Mac Slavo
    HSBC is imposing restrictions on large cash withdrawals raising a number of red flags. The BBC reports that some HSBC customers have been prevented from withdrawing large amounts of cash because they could not provide evidence of why they wanted it. HSBC admitted it has not informed customers of the change in policy, which was implemented in November for their own good: “We ask our customers about the purpose of large cash withdrawals when they are unusual… the reason being we have an obligation to protect our customers, and to minimise the opportunity for financial crime.” As one customer responded:...
  • Dimon Disses Bitcoin, and Bitcoiners Diss Back

    01/24/2014 7:42:26 AM PST · by Errant · 21 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | 24 January 2014 | Paul Vigna
    Jamie Dimon isn’t very impressed by bitcoin. Bitcoiners, in turn, don’t appear terribly impressed by Jamie Dimon. The virtual currency, which a year ago at this time was known only by a small band of enthusiastic libertarians, techies, and alleged drug traffickers, has gotten so much larger in the intervening time that it gets talked about at the big Capitalismpalooza called the World Economic Forum at Davos. That in itself is interesting. But J.P. Morgan'sJPM -1.35% Jamie Dimon and U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew were both asked their opinions and both talked it down, and both harped on its use...
  • German Gold Manipulation Blowback Escalates: Deutsche Bank Exits Gold Price Fixing

    01/17/2014 8:04:49 AM PST · by Errant · 34 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 17 January, 2014 | Tyler Durden
    Germany's blowback against gold manipulation is accelerating. Following yesterday's report that Bafin took a hard line against precious metals manipulation, after its president Eike Koenig said possible manipulation of precious metals "is worse than the Libor-rigging scandal", today the response has trickled down to Germany and Europe's largest bank, Deutsche Bank, which announced that it would withdraw from the appropriately named gold and silver price "fixing", as European regulators investigate suspected manipulation of precious metals prices by banks. As a reminder, Deutsche is one of five banks involved in the twice-daily gold fix for global price setting and said it...
  • Wells Fargo, America's Largest Bank By Market Cap, Pushing To Offer Bitcoin Services

    01/15/2014 7:15:24 AM PST · by Errant · 11 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 14 January, 2014 | Tyler Durden
    Earlier we pointed out that mortgage origination at Wells Fargo - the bank's bread and butter - is crashing at an unprecedented pace, and as per the conference call, Q1 isn't looking any better. Naturally, it stood to reason that the bank would seek alternative business and product lines to supplant the declining revenue it used to generate when it would originate some $100 billion in mortgages every quarter, now half that number. However, not even in our wildest dreams did we predict just what this "alternative" product would be. Because, as the FT reports, Wells Fargo, the largest US...
  • Big U.S. custody banks mining Big Data need more engineers

    01/06/2014 11:56:38 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 4 replies
    Reuters ^ | December 10, 2013 | Tim McLaughlin
    The world's two largest custody banks, BNY Mellon Corp and State Street Corp, are loading up on engineers to crunch mountains of data into juicy chunks of information that they can use to win more customers and generate more fees. The shift in hiring strategy comes as the cost of computing power, data storage and bandwidth plunges, giving the U.S. banks more opportunities to capitalize on information about customers that include the world's largest hedge, mutual and pension funds. "At State Street this year, we've hired more engineers than MBAs," said John Klinck, the bank's head of global strategy and...
  • Washington & Wall Street: Too Big to Fail and the Detroit Bankruptcy

    12/30/2013 2:49:03 PM PST · by george76 · 9 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 27 Dec 2013 | Christopher Whalen
    the bogey man known as “systemic risk” to gain advantage over the other creditors . ... In order for the OTC casino to work, the derivatives contracts had to be given special priority in bankruptcy. Speculative derivative instruments such as credit default swaps (CDS), which caused the failure and government bailout of American International Group, could never exist in significant size were in not for the safe harbor from bankruptcy for derivatives created by Congress in the 1980s and 1990s. Members of Congress from both parties were paid very well for their treachery. ... The intellectual author of the “systemic...
  • Target holiday cyber breach hits 40 million payment cards

    12/18/2013 7:38:18 PM PST · by afraidfortherepublic · 35 replies
    Payment card data was stolen from an unknown number of Target Corp customers starting on the busy Black Friday weekend in a major breach at the U.S. retailer, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Secret Service is investigating, according to a spokesman for the agency, which safeguards the nation's payment systems. Target officials did not respond to requests for comment. Investigators believe the data was obtained via software installed on machines that customers use to swipe magnetic strips on their cards when paying for merchandise at Target stores, according to the person who was not authorized to...
  • Too Big To Fail Banks Are Taking Over As Number Of U.S. Banks Falls To All-Time Record Low

    12/07/2013 10:37:20 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 21 replies
    TEC ^ | 12/06/2013 | Michael Snyder
    <p>The too big to fail banks have a larger share of the U.S. banking industry than they have ever had before. So if having banks that were too big to fail was a "problem" back in 2008, what is it today? As you will read about below, the total number of banks in the United States has fallen to a brand new all-time record low and that means that the health of the too big to fail banks is now more critical to our economy than ever. In 1985, there were more than 18,000 banks in the United States. Today, there are only 6,891 left, and that number continues to drop every single year. That means that more than 10,000 U.S. banks have gone out of existence since 1985. Meanwhile, the too big to fail banks just keep on getting even bigger. In fact, the six largest banks in the United States (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley) have collectively gotten 37 percent larger over the past five years. If even one of those banks collapses, it would be absolutely crippling to the U.S. economy. If several of them were to collapse at the same time, it could potentially plunge us into an economic depression unlike anything that this nation has ever seen before.</p>
  • Bitcoin Mania Bubble Bursts, China Triggers Price Crash Start, ...

    12/05/2013 8:17:24 AM PST · by Errant · 66 replies
    Market Oracle, UK ^ | 5 December, 2013 | Nadeem Walayat
    The bitcoin bubble appears to have burst as a stepped series of price crashes are underway with the price currently standing at 1074 down form 1240 barely a day earlier. A clue to its future direction can be discerned from the unfolding technical price patterns, that just as I wrote wrote in the run up to the peak of the Bitcoin bubble with the price converging on USD 1250 that the market was primed to crash and all it was waiting for was any even marginally negative news to act as trigger for increasing waves of market panics as GREED...
  • Noam Chomsky: America hates its poor

    12/02/2013 11:47:57 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 44 replies
    Salon ^ | December 1, 2013 | Chris Steele
    An article that recently came out in Rolling Stone, titled “Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail,” by Matt Taibbi, asserts that the government is afraid to prosecute powerful bankers, such as those running HSBC. Taibbi says that there’s “an arrestable class and an unarrestable class.” What is your view on the current state of class war in the U.S.? Well, there’s always a class war going on. The United States, to an unusual extent, is a business-run society, more so than others. The business classes are very class-conscious—they’re constantly fighting a bitter class war to improve their power and diminish...
  • Hands Off: Will the Feds Keep You From Your Money in Another Crisis?

    12/01/2013 7:34:16 AM PST · by Kaslin · 86 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | December 1, 2013 | Austin Hill
    Are U.S. federal government policy makers planning for an economic meltdown? Fiscal and financial news isn’t a particularly sexy topic for broad audiences, even under normal circumstances. And over the Thanksgiving national holiday weekend, about the only news people care to consume are football scores. But as we enjoyed turkey dinners, shopping, and hopefully some quality time with friends and family – and even in the recent days leading up to the holiday weekend – some major policy ideas and changes have emerged that could keep you away from your personal finances in the face of another meltdown. Americans...
  • US banks warn Fed interest cut could force them to charge depositors

    11/25/2013 3:35:11 AM PST · by markomalley · 28 replies
    Financial Times ^ | 11/25/2013 | Tom Braithwaite, Stephen Foley and Robin Harding
    Leading US banks have warned that they could start charging companies and consumers for deposits if the US Federal Reserve cuts the interest it pays on bank reserves. Depositors already have to cope with near-zero interest rates, but paying just to leave money in the bank would be highly unusual and unwelcome for companies and households. The warning by bank executives highlights the dangers of one strategy the Fed could use to offset an eventual “tapering” of the $85bn a month in asset purchases that have fuelled global financial markets for the last year.
  • Banks Warn Fed They May Have To Start Charging Depositors

    11/24/2013 8:57:51 PM PST · by blam · 17 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 11-24-2013 | Tyler Durden
    Banks Warn Fed They May Have To Start Charging Depositors Tyler Durden 11/24/2013 15:24 -0500 The Fed's Catch 22 just got catchier. While most attention in the recently released FOMC minutes fell on the return of the taper as a possibility even as soon as December (making the November payrolls report the most important ever, ever, until the next one at least), a less discussed issue was the Fed's comment that it would consider lowering the Interest on Excess Reserves to zero as a means to offset the implied tightening that would result from the reduction in the monthly flow...