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In case you weren’t paying attention: Just as George W. Bush’s disaster of an administration was coming to an end the effects of his policies combined with a horrible deal pushed on Bill Clinton by a Republican congress to balance the budget caused the greatest economic collapse since the great depression. From the first signs of the housing bubble bursting in 2007 to the market crash of October 2008, we watched as financial institutions failed to cover their horrible bets hedged with credit swaps from other horrible bets, sending the global economy into a tailspin. It wasn’t until March of 2009 that the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a rock bottom of 6459 points, a 54 percent loss from the day of the crash, that the economy began its slow but steady recovery.
In the meantime, 401Ks were decimated. Homes purchased for $200K were worth half of that seemingly overnight The ability to pay back the loan was already suspect, as banks used the deregulation and repeal of imperative portions of Glas-Steagall to loan money to anyone applying for credit, with those debts sold for debt that was leveraged with debt and so on — until the pile collapsed in on itself. Builders who borrowed $100K to build a small spec-house were issued millions of dollars instead to build entire neighborhoods, some of which are still empty or incomplete to this day. The actual cash value of American real estate plummeted, killing a massive chunk of working and middle-class construction and service jobs.
All of that because the first big bank to fail didn’t have a sufficient plan to secure its debts if it needed to wind back, tighten credit and use protections in place to stay the course and weather the storm. This time, there would be none of that. This time, the people who held the country’s economy hostage without even knowing it were the same ones who lost their jobs and found themselves standing there with their arms outstretched wondering what the hell just happened.
For years we suffered. Our newly elected president got to preside over an economy handed to him in ruins. People who lost everything had to grit their teeth while congress handed the big banks the money to loosen the credit that had come to a halt and provide the upper class and one-percenters with the lavish lifestyles they’d grown accustomed to. One would imagine that with a track record like that, the big banks would update their plan B; the drop back nine and punt with a solid strategy to cover their investments and hedge their losses should things start to tumble.
According to a letter sent by the Fed and the FDIC, the agency that secures deposits with federal funds, the nation’s largest bank, JPMorgan Chase, is far from the goal of being able to save itself without another catastrophic incident. An independent blog run by a former Wall Street operative and a professional publisher called Wall Street on Parade analyzed the letter and found the contents extremely disturbing:
At the top of page 11, the Federal regulators reveal that they have “identified a deficiency” in JPMorgan’s wind-down plan which if not properly addressed could “pose serious adverse effects to the financial stability of the United States.” Why didn’t JPMorgan’s Board of Directors or its legions of lawyers catch this?
It’s important to parse the phrasing of that sentence. The Federal regulators didn’t say JPMorgan could pose a threat to its shareholders or Wall Street or the markets. It said the potential threat was to “the financial stability of the United States.”
That’s frightening. JPMorgan is worth more $2 trillion. With $51 trillion in notional amounts of derivatives, it’s total value as a leveraged asset. That means that without stop-gaps in place to catch a fall, a collapse of a single bank could potentially cost more than a quarter of the value of the entire US economy. Sound familiar? What happens next is a domino effect, as JPMorgan ranks number one in “risk of contagion” to other institutions. In other words, 2008-2009 all over again far too soon for the country to put on the brakes and stop the inevitable recession and possibly depression that will follow.
This is NOT a joke or an episode of Alex Jones. This is the Federal Reserve telling the kingpin that a ball is spinning in its direction and the best thing it can hope for is a seven-ten split; something for some innocent people to hold onto. Why hasn’t the mainstream media picked up on this? Bernie Sanders is supposed to be the watchdog making sure big banks don’t destroy what the people have managed to rebuild. Hillary Clinton is supposed to be all about reform, applauding Dodd-Frank and reporting that she’s personally scolded Wall Street for its nefarious activity. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, well, they’re idiots. Where is CNN, ABC, and NBC? Not even the doom and gloom seekers of Fox News can remove themselves from Donald Trump’s rear-end long enough to make note that even though they ruined countless lives less than a decade ago, big banks aren’t taking measures to stop it from happening again.
Bad things are happening downtown. Somebody really should say something.