citigroup

Wall Street bankers are exploiting Citizens United to grow more powerful than ever. That’s why Bernie Sanders is fighting to BREAK UP the big banks and restore power to the American people.

Urge Congress to pass Bernie’s bill to break up the big banks

http://act.endcitizensunited.org/page/s/too-big-to-fail

How to Punish Bank Felons

What exactly does it mean for a big Wall Street bank to plead guilty to a serious crime? Right now, practically nothing.

But it will if California’s Santa Cruz County has any say.  

First, some background.

Five giant banks – including Wall Street behemoths JPMorgan Chase and Citicorp – recently pleaded guilty to criminal felony charges that they rigged the world’s foreign-currency market for their own profit.

This wasn’t a small heist. We’re talking hundreds of billions of dollars worth of transactions every day.

The banks altered currency prices long enough for the banks to make winning bets before the prices snapped back to what they should have been.  

Attorney General Loretta Lynch called it a “brazen display of collusion” that harmed “countless consumers, investors and institutions around the globe — from pension funds to major corporations, and including the banks’ own customers.”

The penalty? The banks have agreed to pay $5.5 billion. That may sound like a big chunk of change, but for a giant bank it’s the cost of doing business. In fact, the banks are likely to deduct the fines from their taxes as business costs.

The banks sound contrite. After all, they can’t have the public believe they’re outright crooks.

It’s “an embarrassment to our firm, and stands in stark contrast to Citi’s values,“ says Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat.

Values? Citigroup’s main value is to make as much money as possible. Corbat himself raked in $13 million last year.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon calls it "a great disappointment to us,” and says “we demand and expect better of our people.”

Expect better? If recent history is any guide – think of the bank’s notorious “London Whale” a few years ago, and, before that, the wild bets leading to the 2008 bailout – JPMorgan expects exactly this kind of behavior from its people.

Which helped Dimon rake in $20 million last year, as well as a $7.4 million cash bonus.

When real people plead guilty to felonies, they go to jail. But big banks aren’t people despite what the five Republican appointees to the Supreme Court say.

The executives who run these banks aren’t going to jail, either. Apologists say it’s not fair to jail bank executives because they don’t know what their rogue traders are up to.

Yet ex-convicts often suffer consequences beyond jail terms.  

In many states they lose their right to vote. They can’t run for office or otherwise participate in the political process.

So why not take away the right of these convicted banks to participate in the political process, at least for some years? That would stop JPMorgan’s Dimon from lobbying Congress to roll back the Dodd-Frank act, as he’s been doing almost non-stop.  

Why not also take away their right to pour money into politics? Wall Street banks have been among the biggest contributors to political campaigns. If they’re convicted of a felony, they should be barred from making any political contributions for at least ten years.

Real ex-convicts also have difficulty finding jobs. That’s because, rightly or wrongly, many people don’t want to hire them.  

A strong case can be made that employers shouldn’t pay attention to criminal convictions of real people who need a fresh start, especially a job.

But giant banks that have committed felonies are something different. Why shouldn’t depositors and investors consider their past convictions?

Which brings us to Santa Cruz County.

The county’s board of supervisors just voted not to do business for five years with any of the five banks felons.

The county won’t use the banks’ investment services or buy their commercial paper, and will pull its money out of the banks to the extent it can.

“We have a sacred obligation to protect the public’s tax dollars and these banks can’t be trusted. Santa Cruz County should not be involved with those who rigged the world’s biggest financial markets,” says supervisor Ryan Coonerty.

The banks will hardly notice. Santa Cruz County’s portfolio is valued at about $650 million. 

But what if every county, city, and state in America followed Santa Cruz County’s example, and held the big banks accountable for their felonies?

What if all of us taxpayers said, in effect, we’re not going to hire these convicted felons to handle our public finances? We don’t trust them. 

That would hit these banks directly. They’d lose our business. Which might even cause them to clean up their acts.

There’s hope. Supervisor Coonerty says he’ll be contacting other local jurisdictions across the country, urging them to do what Santa Cruz County is doing.  

Can you believe this shit?

As far as I know, this is the 21st “apparent suicide” by yet another financier/banker. This latest death is Shawn D. Miller who, in 2011, was promoted by Citigroup to an executive position as managing director of environmental and social risk management.

Here are a few more from 2014:

1 – William Broeksmit, 58-year-old former senior executive at Deutsche Bank AG, was found dead in his home after an apparent suicide in South Kensington in central London, on January 26th.

2- Karl Slym, 51 year old Tata Motors managing director Karl Slym, was found dead on the fourth floor of the Shangri-La hotel in Bangkok on January 27th.

3 – Gabriel Magee, a 39-year-old JP Morgan employee, died after falling from the roof of the JP Morgan European headquarters in London on January 27th.

4 – Mike Dueker, 50-year-old chief economist of a US investment bank was found dead close to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State.

5 – Richard Talley, the 57 year old founder of American Title Services in Centennial, Colorado, was found dead earlier this month after apparently shooting himself with a nail gun.

6 -Tim Dickenson, a U.K.-based communications director at Swiss Re AG, also died last month, however the circumstances surrounding his death are still unknown.

7 – Ryan Henry Crane, a 37 year old executive at JP Morgan died in an alleged suicide just a few weeks ago.  No details have been released about his death aside from this small obituary announcement at the Stamford Daily Voice.

8 - Li Junjie, 33-year-old banker in Hong Kong jumped from the JP Morgan HQ in Hong Kong this week.

9 - James Stuart Jr, Former National Bank of Commerce CEO dies suddenly in Arizona with no explanation.

10 – Autumn Radtke, the 28 year old, American chief executive of Singapore-based virtual currency company First Meta, died mysteriously of an apparent suicide.

11 - Edmund (Eddie) Reilly, 47, a trader at Midtown’s Vertical Group, jumped in front of an LIRR train at 6 a.m. near the Syosset train station.

12 - Kenneth Bellando, 28, a JP Morgan investment banker was found dead on March 12th after reportedly jumping from the roof of his apartment.

13 – Joseph Giampapa, 56, a JP Morgan bankruptcy attorney was killed when his bike was struck by a minivan.  The killer allegedly confessed but no charges were filed.

14 — Juergen Frick, the CEO Bank Frick & Co. AG, was shot dead in the underground garage

15 — Jan Peter Schmittmann, the former CEO of Dutch bank ABN Amro as well as his wife and one of his daughters were all found dead at home.

16 — Benedict Philippens, 37-year-old Director at BNP Paribas Fortis was murdered alongside his wife and a 9 year old nephew in a premeditated and orchestrated drive-by shooting.

17 — Lydia of the Bred-Banque Populaire has committed suicide, Tuesday, April 22 in the morning at the headquarters of the bank. On her arrival at headquarters, quai de la Rapee, in the 12th arrondissement of Paris.

18 — Alita Knott, 47, and her husband Julian Knott, 45, were found dead inside their Log Road home early Sunday morning, law enforcement officials said. Julian was executive director of JP Morgan’s Global Network Operations Center in Whippany

19 — Nicholas Valtz, a managing director in cross-asset sales at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) in New York, was found dead 7/20/14 by family members who went searching for him after he didn’t return from a kiteboarding outing.

20 — Thierry Leyne, the French-Israeli entrepreneur who last year started an investment firm with former International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has died. Leyne died yesterday in Tel Aviv, according to his assistant at the firm, who asked not to be identified. Le Figaro newspaper reported that he committed suicide.

Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch Received $6 Trillion Backdoor Bailout from Fed

Senator Elizabeth Warren put her finger on the pulse of the growing public outrage over how the Federal Reserve conducts much of its operations in secret and appears to frequently succumb to the desires of Wall Street to the detriment of the public interest. Warren addressed the secret loans that the Fed made to Wall Street during the financial crisis as follows:

“During the financial crisis, Congress bailed out the big banks with hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money; and that’s a lot of money. But the biggest money for the biggest banks was never voted on by Congress. Instead, between 2007 and 2009, the Fed provided over $13 trillion in emergency lending to just a handful of large financial institutions. That’s nearly 20 times the amount authorized in the TARP bailout.

“Now, let’s be clear, those Fed loans were a bailout too. Nearly all the money went to too-big-to-fail institutions. For example, in one emergency lending program, the Fed put out $9 trillion and over two-thirds of the money went to just three institutions: Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

“Those loans were made available at rock bottom interest rates – in many cases under 1 percent. And the loans could be continuously rolled over so they were effectively available for an average of about two years.”>>

Citigroup literally wrote part of the spending bill that eases up on banks

As Mother Jones reports, at the very end of the negotiation process of the bill — which must pass in order to fund government operations in 2016 — members of Congress slipped in language that was written “almost entirely” by Citigroup lobbyists to allow big banks to engage in more risky trading with taxpayer-backed money.

As you can see, the language in the bill is almost exactly the same as a draft written by Citigroup’s lobbyists.

I think what we should probably do is go and split up investment banking from (consumer) banking. Have banks be deposit-takers; have banks make commercial loans and real estate loans; and have banks do something that’s not gonna risk the taxpayer dollars, that’s not gonna be too big to fail.
— 

Former Citigroup chairman and CEO SANFORD WEILL, appearing on CNBC to suggest that banks should separate their investment and consumer businesses altogether to help prevent a repeat of Wall Street’s financial collapse.

Everyone’s surprised, since Weill and his ilk gave us “too big to fail” in the first place.  And, as Jon Stewart pointed out on tonight’s Daily Show, it started with the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act – which mandated separation of commercial and investment banks – in 1999… a repeal Weill pushed for.

Sigh.

The Significance of Citigroup's Shareholder Revolt

The shareholders of Wall Street giant Citigroup are out to prove that corporate democracy isn’t an oxymoron. They’ve said no to the exorbitant $15 million pay package of Citi’s CEO Vikram Pandit, as well as to the giant pay packages of Citi’s four other top executives.

The vote, at Citigroup’s annual meeting in Dallas Tuesday, isn’t binding on Citigroup. But it’s a warning shot across the bow of every corporate boardroom in America.

Shareholders aren’t happy about executive pay.

And why should they be? CEO pay at large publicly-held corporations is now typically 300 times the pay of the average American worker. It was 40 times average worker pay in the 1960s and has steadily crept upward since then as corporations have morphed into “winner-take-all” contraptions that reward their top executives with boundless beneficence and perks while slicing the jobs, wages, and benefits of almost everyone else.

Meanwhile, too many of these same corporations have failed to deliver for their shareholders. Citigroup, for example, has had the worst stock performance among all large banks for the last decade but ranked among the highest in executive pay. 

The real news here is new-found activism among institutional investors – especially the managers of pension funds and mutual funds. They’re the ones who fired the warning shot Tuesday.

Institutional investors are catching on to a truth they should have understood years ago: When executive pay goes through the roof, there’s less money left for everyone else who owns shares of the company.

For too long, most fund managers played the game passively and obediently. Some have been too cozy with top corporate management, forgetting their fiduciary duty to their own investors. How else do you explain the abject failure of fund managers to police Wall Street as it careened toward the abyss in 2008? Or to adequately oversee executives, such as the Enron criminals, who were looting their companies in the years before 2002?

The new Dodd-Frank law, much of which is being eviscerated by Wall Street’s lawyers and lobbyists, at least requires that public companies give shareholders a say on pay. As a practical matter, this gives institutional investors the chance to speak clearly and openly about the scandal of unbridled executive compensation. 

Two key questions for the future: Will institutional investors keep the pressure on? And will CEOs and boards of directors get the message? 

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Elizabeth Warren: 'I Am Not Running For President'

Elizabeth Warren: ‘I Am Not Running For President’

There are two ways you can take this announcement. You can be full of sadness and uncertainty, or with a great sense of relief. Some want her as President (with Bernie Sanders as a running mate), and some want her to stay in the Senate, where she can keep a watchful eye on the Tea Party Republican and her own shell-shocked caucus.  Whatever you want her to do, Elizabeth Warren has made it clear…

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A federal judge in New York on Monday threw out a settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Citigroup over a 2007 mortgage derivatives deal, saying that the S.E.C.’s policy of settling cases by allowing a company to neither admit nor deny the agency’s allegations did not satisfy the law.

The judge, Jed S. Rakoff of United States District Court in Manhattan, ruled that the S.E.C.’s $285 million settlement, announced last month, is “neither fair, nor reasonable, nor adequate, nor in the public interest” because it does not provide the court with evidence on which to judge the settlement.

The ruling could throw the S.E.C.’s enforcement efforts into chaos, because a majority of the fraud cases and other actions that the agency brings against Wall Street firms are settled out of court, most often with a condition that the defendant does not admit that it violated the law while also promising not to deny it.

That condition gives a company or individual an advantage in subsequent civil litigation for damages, because cases in which no facts are established cannot be used in evidence in other cases, like shareholder lawsuits seeking recovery of losses or damages.

The S.E.C.’s policy — “hallowed by history, but not by reason,” Judge Rakoff wrote — creates substantial potential for abuse, the judge said, because “it asks the court to employ its power and assert its authority when it does not know the facts.”

The S.E.C. did not respond immediately to a request for comment on the judge’s decision, which was released Monday morning. A Citigroup spokesman said the company was studying the decision and had no immediate comment.

— 

The New York Times, “Judge Blocks Citigroup Settlement With S.E.C.”

“…the S.E.C.’s policy of settling cases by allowing a company to neither admit nor deny the agency’s allegations did not satisfy the law.”

Fucking A.

Citi fails National Mortgage Settlement loan modification metric

Citi [C] failed one of the new metrics used by the National Mortgage Settlement and the Monitoring Committee regarding loan modifications. Bank of America, Chase, Green Tree and Wells Fargopassed all the metrics tested in the second half of 2014. “I am pleased to see that the servicers are adhering to the NMS’s servicing rules, which aim to give borrowers better experiences,” said Joseph Smith,…

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Bernie Sanders Proposes A Bill To Break Up The 'Too Big To Exist' Banks

Bernie Sanders Proposes A Bill To Break Up The ‘Too Big To Exist’ Banks

Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate for the 2016 United States presidential election and firebrand populist, is taking another swing at “too big to fail” by proposing a bill to break up the big banks. In short, the bill would give the Treasury Secretary a year to break up institutions that were bailed out in financial crisis in 2008 and 2009.

Seeing as though Congress is currently controlled by…

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dealbook.nytimes.com
Citigroup Shareholders Reject Executive Pay Plan as Obscene.

In a stinging rebuke, Citigroup shareholders rebuffed on Tuesday the bank’s $15 million pay package for its chief executive, Vikram S. Pandit, marking the first time that stock owners have united in opposition to outsized compensation at a financial giant.

The shareholder vote, which comes amid a rising national debate over income inequality, suggests that anger over pay for chief executives has spread from Occupy Wall Street to wealthy institutional investors like pension fund and mutual fund managers. About 55 percent of the shareholders voting were against the plan, which laid out compensation for the bank’s five top executives, including Mr. Pandit.

Read the complete article at http://madworldnews.com/anti-bank-democrat-senator/

Anti-Bank Democrat Senator PISSED After What Banks Just Did To Her

Senator Elizabeth Warren has made a name for herself among the left for her extreme economic views that paint a picture of banks terrorizing Americans. Like most other liberals, she failed to realize that there’s consequences for her actions, and now she’s upset that the very banks she loves to d…

politicalgates.blogspot.com
The Citigroup Plutonomy Memos: Two bombshell documents that Citigroup's lawyers try to suppress, describing in detail the rule of the first 1% ~ Politicalgates

“Are they real?” That’s the question people usually ask when they hear for the first time of the “Citigroup Plutonomy Memos.” The sad truth is: Yes, they are real, and instead of being discussed on mainstream media outlets all over America and beyond, Citigroup was surprisingly successful so far in suppressing these memos, using their lawyers to issue takedown-notices whenever these memos were being made available for download on the internet.
So what are we talking about? In 2005 and 2006, several analysts at Citigroup took a very, very close look at the economic inequalities within the USA and other countries and wrote two memos which were addressed to their very wealthy customers. If there is one group of people who need to know the truth about what is really going on within the society and the economy, minus the propaganda, then it’s businesspeople who have a lot of money to invest, and who want to invest wisely.
So Citigroup did their duty and published two explosive memos, which should have become mainstream news, but eventually did not. The first memo is dated October 16, 2005 (35 pages) and is titled:“Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances.”