Tag Archives: banks

Final Obama Budget…It’s $4 Trillion…It would raise taxes for the Rich and Wall Street..

Forget the last part…

THAT ain’t gonna happen….

Not with the Republicans in the majority in Congress and Democrats trying get control in Senate…

Tax increases ARE DOA…

The Presidents budget request like all of them is a jump off point in negotiations with Congress….

The budget looks to increase social programs and fund a robust Defense Department…

Bernie Sanders supporters will like the taxing part, but Obama knows that was just perception politics…


Donald Trump has called for increased taxes for the rich also in the past…But he may not choose to remember that…

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday sent his final annual budget proposal to a hostile Republican-led Congress, seeking $19 billion for a broad new cybersecurity initiative and rejecting the lame-duck label as he declared that his plan “is about looking forward.”

The budget for fiscal year 2017, which starts Oct. 1, would top $4 trillion, although only about one-quarter of that is the so-called discretionary spending for domestic and military programs that the president and Congress dicker over each year. The rest is for mandatory spending, chiefly interest on the federal debt and the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits that are expanding as the population ages.

The deficit would increase in this fiscal year to $616 billion from $503 billion last year, the budget projects, in part because of myriad tax cuts that Mr. Obama and Congress agreed in December to make permanent. That would make this year’s shortfall equal to 3.3 percent of the economy’s output, or gross domestic product, up from 2.5 percent. That exceeds the 3 percent threshold that economists consider sustainable for a growing economy.

In fiscal 2017 — which begins in October and is covered by Mr. Obama’s spending and tax proposals, including a $10-a-barrel fee on oil — the deficit would dip again for a couple years but then begin increasing again, mainly because of the costs for aging Americans’ retirement and health care. But the administration says annual deficits would remain below 3 percent of the gross domestic product through the decade to 2026.

While Mr. Obama has achieved little to restrain the growth of the entitlement programs that many consider unsustainable, deficits would not return to levels exceeding $1 trillion, and nearly 10 percent of gross domestic product, like the shortfall he inherited in 2009 in the depth of recession, his budget projects.


Very few banks will work with the Marijuana growing businesses….

Could that be because despite state laws in Colorado and Washington creating legal usage of the plant, its still ILLEGAL by Federal Laws?

While the President has told his Justice department to NOT counter these laws….

The plant growing is STILL against federal law and Obama’s request to look the other way could be changed at ANY time putting the banks in a bad place….

The White House has issued new guidelines if the banks want do business in this area, but those guidelines are VERY stringent and technical….

The Fed’s do NOT seem to be ready to take the basic laws against this off the books….

Marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado can’t succeed so long as banks are afraid to work with pot businesses. But a federal official, reports American Banker, is expected to announce a small breakthrough: 105 banks and credit unions are now working with the marijuana industry.

Jennifer Shasky Calvery, director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), will give the speech in Washington state in an attempt to allay remaining concerns that marijuana businesses can’t find legitimate banking options. Without the ability to store their money safely, pot shops, growers, and processors say they’re forced to carry thousands in cash and, as a result, more vulnerable to thieves.

The Obama administration filed a guidance in February assuring financial institutions that they will not be prosecuted if they work with marijuana businesses — as long as they meet certain guidelines. But the guidelines were so stringent that many banks and marijuana businesses, particularly in Colorado and Washington, argued most financial institutions would stay away….



A long piece in the Atlantic brings up the question Reparations for blacks and the racism they have experienced , and still do…..

A commission authorized by the Oklahoma legislature produced a report affirming that the riot, the knowledge of which had been suppressed for years, had happened. But the lawsuit ultimately failed, in 2004. Similar suits pushed against corporations such as Aetna (which insured slaves) and Lehman Brothers (whose co-founding partner owned them) also have thus far failed. These results are dispiriting, but the crime with which reparations activists charge the country implicates more than just a few towns or corporations. The crime indicts the American people themselves, at every level, and in nearly every configuration. A crime that implicates the entire American people deserves its hearing in the legislative body that represents them.

“High levels of segregation create a natural market for subprime lending,” Rugh and Massey write, “and cause riskier mortgages, and thus foreclosures, to accumulate disproportionately in racially segregated cities’ minority neighborhoods.”

Plunder in the past made plunder in the present efficient. The banks of America understood this. In 2005, Wells Fargo promoted a series of Wealth Building Strategies seminars. Dubbing itself “the nation’s leading originator of home loans to ethnic minority customers,” the bank enrolled black public figures in an ostensible effort to educate blacks on building “generational wealth.” But the “wealth building” seminars were a front for wealth theft. In 2010, the Justice Department filed a discrimination suit against Wells Fargo alleging that the bank had shunted blacks into predatory loans regardless of their creditworthiness. This was not magic or coincidence or misfortune. It was racism reifying itself. According to The New York Times, affidavits found loan officers referring to their black customers as “mud people” and to their subprime products as “ghetto loans.”

“We just went right after them,” Beth Jacobson, a former Wells Fargo loan officer, told The Times. “Wells Fargo mortgage had an emerging-markets unit that specifically targeted black churches because it figured church leaders had a lot of influence and could convince congregants to take out subprime loans.”

In 2011, Bank of America agreed to pay $355 million to settle charges of discrimination against its Countrywide unit. The following year, Wells Fargo settled its discrimination suit for more than $175 million. But the damage had been done. In 2009, half the properties in Baltimore whose owners had been granted loans by Wells Fargo between 2005 and 2008 were vacant; 71 percent of these properties were in predominantly black neighborhoods…..



From the author of the linked piece.

“Reparations—by which I mean the full acceptance of our collective biography and its consequences—is the price we must pay to see ourselves squarely.”

The Banks are NOT happy with the Republican Tax idea….

Rep. Dave Camp has sent out a blueprint for the GOP on possible tax reform…

The plan has tax INCREASES for Wall Street…..

That is from a Republican….

The pushback?

Fundraising dry up for now…..

Private equity and investment firms in New York are telling key Republican players in D.C. that commitments for big-dollar fundraising have been “canceled for the foreseeable future,” according to one GOP lobbyist with knowledge of the conversations.

Lobbyists for Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan and others are meeting privately with lawmakers to explain what the bank tax would cost and how it would function.

Big banks want to turn Republicans against the bank tax. The situation puts the party at risk of seeing a reliable source of campaign cash dry up right in the middle of a critical election year.

The tax proposal itself is not even expected to get a vote in the House, since it’s so unpopular among most Republicans. That Wall Street would react so ferociously to a dead-end bill is a reminder of how hard a powerful player is willing to fight to protect its interests in Washington.

Multiple GOP lawmakers and financial services lobbyists described the Wall Street backlash to POLITICO.


Capital One has the right to come check you at home….


No Shit….

Read the fine print Cap One people…..

You get the card they get to do what THEY want….Even the Feds can’t do THAT without a warrant….

Capital One needs to reconsider just how much personal access it provides to its customers — now that an oft-overlooked provision in their credit card contract is attracting unwanted attention.

The credit card issuer “may contact you in any manner we choose” including personal visits that could take place “at your home and at your place of employment.”

This creepy stipulation stirred concern among cardholders Monday after the Los Angeles Times reported about one man who was startled by it.

“Even the Internal Revenue Service cannot visit you at home without an arrest warrant,” Rick Rofman, 71, told the California paper.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Capital One’s famous slogan asks, ‘What’s in your wallet?’ But their credit card contract suggests they might have a few more questions.

Capital One’s contract also says, “We may modify or suppress caller ID and similar services and identify ourselves on these services in any manner we choose.”

Bank spokeswoman Pam Girardo said in an email that this language is not new to Capital One agreements. But it was just recently sent to a group of customers because of Capital One’s integration with HSBC.

“We are reviewing the language because we do not want to create any unnecessary insecurity among our customers, and apologize for the confusion,” she said…..


Banks shy away from state legal Marijuana Money….

Interesting piece in the New York Times today highlighting the fact that though several states have moved to legal pot sales for medical and now recreational purposes under tight regulations….

Banks, especially Federally chartered ones still are reluctant to handle money from those businesses since the sales of marijuana is STILL illegal under Federal law….Banks reason that at anytime a change in policy from the Government could make their handling of the large sums of money serious felony crimes no matter what state lawmakers deem legal in THEIR states….

The Times piece points to the cash money problems pot sellers have… One wonders if after this spotlight people might be lining up outside these stores to relieve the owners of their cash by force?

“Banking is the most urgent issue facing the legal cannabis industry today,” said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association in Washington, D.C. Saying legal marijuana sales in the United States could reach $3 billion this year, Mr. Smith added: “So much money floating around outside the banking system is not safe, and it is not in anyone’s interest. Federal law needs to be harmonized with state laws.”

The limitations have created unique burdens for legal marijuana business owners. They pay employees with envelopes of cash. They haul Chipotle and Nordstrom bags containing thousands of dollars in $10 and $20 bills to supermarkets to buy money orders. When they are able to open bank accounts — often under false pretenses — many have taken to storing money in Tupperware containers filled with air fresheners to mask the smell of marijuana.

The all-cash nature of the business has also created huge security concerns for business owners. Many have installed panic buttons for workers in the event of a robbery and have set up a constellation of security cameras at their facilities beyond what is required, as well as floor sensors to detect break-ins. In Colorado, Blue Line Protection Group was formed a few months ago, specializing in protecting dispensaries and facilities that grow marijuana, and in providing transportation security. The firm largely uses military veterans who have Special Operations experience.

Marijuana business owners have devised strategies to avoid the suspicions of bankers. A number of legal operations have opened accounts by establishing holding companies with names that obscure the nature of their business. Some owners simply use personal bank accounts. Others have relied on local bank managers willing to take chances and bring them on as clients, or even offer tips on how to choose nondescript company names.

But the financial institutions eventually shut down many of these accounts after managers conclude the businesses are too much of a risk. It is not unusual for a legitimate marijuana business to go through a half-dozen bank accounts in a few years. While they are active, however, these accounts may have informal restrictions placed on them — some self-imposed — so they do not draw the scrutiny of bankers who may file suspicious-activity reports or would be required to report deposits over $10,000 in cash…..


Banks are getting the Volcker Rule ……..

The new Rules and regulations will seek to hold CEO’s accountable for the proprietary trading done in their banks…..

U.S. banks that must comply with the proprietary-trading ban known as the Volcker rule are facing inconsistent future demands from the five agencies responsible for enforcing it.

Even before the final version is released next week, current and former regulators and bank lawyers predict an uneven approach on enforcement because of differences in style and jurisdiction between the three U.S. regulators that police banks and the two agencies that monitor markets. For many banks, how enforcement is handled could wind up being more important than the language in the 1,000-page text.

“How supervision and enforcement of the Volcker provisions are handled among the five agencies is one of the most important and potentially complicated practical aspects of implementation,” said Julie Williams, who was general counsel for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency before joining consulting firm Promontory Financial Group LLC. The rule could leave multiple regulators targeting the same activity in a single firm in different ways, she said.

The Volcker rule seeks to prevent banks from making bets with their own money and from holding large stakes in hedge funds and other potentially risky investments that could put their federally insured deposits at risk. The target dates for complying with the measure — which has taken more than three years to draft — will be set by the agencies when they adopt it on Dec. 10……


JP Morgan May Pay $13 Billion to clean up SOME of it’s ongoing legal woe’s….

They just agreed to pay Billion on another case…

And the $13 Billion isn’t gonna stop several states and Federal Criminal Investigation….

In addition, they will paying another $9.2 Billion to lawyers…..

All this because the bank HAS done some nefarious stuff and NOT given a shit about it….

And NOT been much worried about the Government Regulators…..

It’s time to pay up it seems….

Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chief and chairman, said the bank’s legal costs would be unpredictable in the coming quarters.

Jason Reed/ReutersJamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s chief and chairman, said the bank’s legal costs would be unpredictable in the coming quarters.

JPMorgan Chase and the Justice Department have reached a tentative $13 billion settlement over the bank’s questionable mortgage practices leading up to the financial crisis, a record penalty that would cap weeks of heated negotiating and underscore the extent of the bank’s legal woes, people briefed on the talks said on Saturday.

To resolve an array of federal and state investigations into the bank’s sale of troubled mortgage securities to investors, the bank would be expected to pay about $9 billion in fines, according to one of the people. JPMorgan, the nation’s largest bank, will also very likely provide about $4 billion in relief for struggling homeowners, another person briefed on the talks said.

The deal would represent something of a reckoning for Wall Street, whose outsize risk-taking in the mortgage business nearly toppled the economy in 2008. It might also provide a measure of catharsis to the investing public, which suffered billions of dollars in losses from buying bad mortgage securities.

It would also deal a reputational blow to JPMorgan, which emerged from the crisis relatively unscathed. Until this month, when the bank reported a quarterly loss tied to its varied legal expenses, the bank continued to earn money at a record pace.

The total $13 billion penalty would surpass other major Wall Street settlements. HSBC, for example, agreed to a $1.9 billion penalty last year over money laundering accusations.

The penalties also eclipse what the bank previously offered to pay. Until now, the bank was offering about $11 billion in total. And it refused to increase its offer unless the Justice Department dropped a parallel criminal investigation into the bank’s sale of troubled mortgage securities to investors.

But the bank, one of the people briefed on the talks said, tentatively backed down from that demand, a major victory for the government and one that allows the Justice Department to pursue its criminal investigation of JPMorgan…..


Chinese Banks and lots of Cheap Money for US to borrow?

While I did my workout this morning on the treadmill I watched the talking heads at CNBC ‘Squawk Box’ go on and on about the top Chinese banks and their HUGE growth…..

The people on the set kept mentioning that the ‘Big Four’ Chinese Banks assets dwarfed the ‘Big Four’ American banks and that American’s are gonna be ponying up to those Chinese Banks to borrow money soon , leaving American Banks high and dry….

When I went on line to look further at this all I got was that these same Chinese banks where have PROBLEMS being “significantly exposed”.….in other words some of their growth is shaky…

The whole thing got me begin making some questions and thoughts…

1) If US banks and Companies start lining up for Chinese credit would this mean that that

    foreign banks OWN a majority of US Capital assets?

2) Would the US Treasury or Commerce Department be able to stop this action due to National

    Security concerns above the need for company’s to make profits?

3) Does this worry about US Capital markets explain the hands off position of US Regulator’s on the

   American Banking system?

4) What would the banks do if the Chinese Banking system experciss a meltdown do to over


Elizabeth Warren: ‘So I just want to get this straight …’ Talk and Politics…..

…from mac @ Talk and Politics….

More of the Warren Show:

From dailykos:

Elizabeth Warren once again reminds us why we love her, pinning down government banking regulators on why they aren’t telling the public—or even the homeowners in question—more about illegal foreclosures. In what’s becoming a familiar scene, Warren first methodically asks the regulators what they do and don’t know and what they’re actually doing to hold banks accountable or at least let foreclosure victims do so, and then she flatly lays out the implications of what they’ve just told her, making clear how weak the current oversight system is.

U.S. Banks to Pay $8.5 Billion to Settle Foreclosure Missteps

…from Bloomberg…..

Ten of the largest U.S. mortgage servicers will pay a combined $8.5 billion under an agreement that will end case-by-case reviews of foreclosure-abuse claims stemming from a 2011 deal with regulators.

Companies including JPMorgan Chase & Co., (JPM) Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. (C) must provide $5.2 billion in mortgage assistance and $3.3 billion in direct payments to wronged borrowers, according to a settlement announced today by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve. They were among 14 servicers ordered to hire independent consultants to help clean up foreclosure practices amid claims that they improperly seized homes in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis….


Banks cut pay and benefits to empolyee’s to keep investors happy….

While we ALL complain about the banks screwing us….

It seems that they now have resorted to screwing their own employee’s to make their senior management and stockholders happy….

The 81-company Standard & Poor’s 500 Financial Index (S5FINL) is up 27 percent this year, its largest annual increase since 2003, led by a 104 percent gain in Bank of America Corp.The index beat the broader S&P 500 Index for the first time since 2006.

Shareholders, impatient for the industry to boost profit, were rewarded as Wall Street firms cut jobs and pay, and exited businesses. The shrinking unnerved employees, who watched the chiefs of two big banks lose their jobs and others contend with a drop in deal making and stock trading, stiffer regulations, trading losses, rating downgrades and scandals involving interest-rate manipulation and money laundering.

“There’s always grumbling on Wall Street, which is pathetic given how overpaid we all are, but there is a level of angst this year that is just unprecedented,” Gordon Dean, who left a 26-year career at Morgan Stanley (MS) to co-found a San Francisco boutique advisory firm this year, said in a telephone interview. “It’s just a profound sadness and dissatisfaction.”

Shareholders and bondholders who saw compensation costs at the nine largest global investment banks outpace the gain in revenue from 2004 to 2008 are witnessing a shift: Executives are more focused on investors than rainmakers.

Job Cuts

The nine banks — Deutsche Bank AG (DBK)Barclays (BARC) Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Bank of America,Citigroup (C) Inc., UBS (UBSN) AG, Credit Suisse (CSGN)Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Morgan Stanley — announced more than 30,000 job cuts in the first nine months of the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg…..


10 Ways To Strike Back At The Bankers…The Oligarch Kings….

by  @ The Oligarch Kings



yeah right…

The recent appalling concerns with the banking system world-wide what with Irish Bankers facing the courts, British and American Banks fixing the rates of money and perhaps oil, gold and corn, Royal Bank unable to run a computer system because they retired all their staff and trusted to off-shoring,  has led many to fear that these institutions are beyond any form of control.  Observers look on aghast at the wreckage of good solid banks steered onto the rocks by greed and utter foolishness.  The regulators stand by stupididly and politicians can only wring their hands and hope for the best.  There is a palpable sense of despair that nothing we the poor bloody infantry can do will bring them to heel.

Indeed we may well feel that we have hired a plumber to fix a simple drip in the kitchen tap only to return after work to find the house in ruins, and the plumber standing with his hand out looking for further payment whilst admitting that he was never trained for the job and had made the only guy in the team who knew what he was doing redundant last week.

Would you pay this numptie?  Would you continue to use his services?  Of course not, and it’s just the same with the banks.

Ah, but I hear you cry it’s all too difficult, the mortgage is bound up with the account the salary goes into, and the house insurance is tied in, and they would make it difficult what with the overdraft etc, etc, and then there is all that sodding paperwork and they will only make things difficult.  God it would be easier to divorce the wife.  Of course it’s just this kind of thinking that the Banksters are counting on.  That and the idea they put out that moving your account would be tantamount to a run on the banks and somehow inherently unpatriotic or even worse socialist .

Well it’s not. Not even slightly, but it is us the customers rather than the hopeless spoilt children we elect, (and who are bought entire by the banking system) that will have to bring the smack of good management to the boards of the banks.  There is plenty that you can do to make the banks feel your wrath, behave ethically and give you the customer something akin to decent service and you can do it this week and at no real effort or pain to yourselves either.

  1.  The Main Account.  This is the personal one that your salary goes into.  At the very least write to the manager of your local Banco Diablo and ask for assurances that they will be ensuring 100% they will not lose control of their IT, launder funding for criminals or pay their executives lottery win sums each year for poor results, and make it clear that your account with them is under review and that a watching brief is in place.  The reply, doubtless assuring you all is in control, might prove interesting when used in a future debacle….


Your Government at work…Federal Consumer Bureau gets Cap One for $210 Mil

Mitt Romney at other GOPer’s are running around pounding the table for LESS Government and right for rich people and businesses to ‘do their own thing’

While the President’s Consumer Bureau just got Capital One to agree to pay $210 MILLION for pressuring people to buy stuff they didn’t need with Cap One credit cards….

$210 MILLION ….

I’m sure there is going to be MORE money coming back to the Treasury and consumer as YOUR government disregards Mitt Romney’s crys for less government

And goes after BIG companies that may have been ripping us off….

Less Government?

Yea Right!?….


In its first public enforcement action, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced it is fining Capital One Bank for pressuring and misleading two million customers into buying additional products when they opened their credit card accounts.

The bank will refund roughly $140 million to customers and pay an additional $25 million penalty to the CFPB for using deceptive marketing tactics, the government’s consumer watchdog said Wednesday.

Capital One (COFFortune 500) will also pay the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency a $35 million penalty and refund an additional $10 million to customers for failing to put progams in place that would prevent unfair and deceptive practices in place and for unfair billing practices. The two actions combined bring the bank’s total payout to $210 million.

The CFPB said that Capital One, one of the nation’s largest credit card lenders, pressured and misled consumers into paying for “add-on products” like payment protection and credit monitoring when they activated their credit cards….


Greek Bank Run?…The Oligarch Kings…

by   @ The Oligarch Kings

Berlin 1933 Athens 2012? 

It is being reported by the Wall Street Journal, CNBC etc, that the money held by individuals and small businesses in Greece is starting to haemorrhage from Greek Banks.  This is both hardly a surprise, indeed it is a very rational act by sensible people, and far from being an act of the panicked moment.

It’s been happening slowly for a while.  Greek bank holdings of your average person’s money have fallen by a third since 2010, to 165 billion Euros, which is 70 billion Euros down since the crash. On Monday 700 million Euros (about $898 million) was withdrawn.  The withdrawals continue.

Why?  If the election on 17th June means Greece is to come out of the Euro and default, any new Government will impose an instant “Bank Holiday” freezing all accounts.  The savings of your average Demetrius in the street would be instantly trapped in the bank so he could not get his hands on it before being his hard earned cash is immediately converted from useful Euros, to New Drachmas by the Government.  Then the ordinary man’s life savings will promptly be devalued by, oh say, 40% to make the country competitive.  People will be beggared.

So, wise Greeks are prudently shifting significant chunks of their savings to banks elsewhere, like say Germany or Switzerland.  At first it was your upper middle class doing this, the Doctors and professionals who it is claimed didn’t pay their taxes anyway, as well as the more financially astute.  Now it’s the turn of pensioners and the ordinary guy in the Taverna to shunt money out of Greek Banks.  Greeks are voting with their feet and sticking the valuable Euros under the bed where the government and the Germans cannot get them.  Just like Granny did.

Clever, more savvy Greeks may choose to max out every credit card they hold for cash and hold on, to see what happens.

So far it’s rather civilised, more a gentle stroll out of the Bank than a run.  Will that continue?

All of which takes money out of the banking system, meaning the Banks in turn cannot make money available to businesses or each other and indeed this could unbalance some weaker banks terminally, precipitating the very collapse everyone hopes will never come.