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https://plus.google.com/117964763373122840249 Paul Reynolds : Via +Wayne Johnson "Since the ten intense months of debates that preceded the passage of the Federal...
Via +Wayne Johnson 
     "Since the ten intense months of debates that preceded the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, has there been a better time to consider the structural design of the Federal Reserve System and its various components? We sit ready to commemorate the Fed’s centennial, which provides a worthwhile (if somewhat arbitrary) moment of reflection. In the coming months, President Obama will make just the second nomination of a new Fed Chair in the last thirty-five years. And the Fed’s own extraordinary market interventions during 2007-2010 and its innovations in monetary policy from 2008 to the present have opened it up to praise and criticism from across the political spectrum. We are truly on the cusp of the Federal Reserve moment.
Much of the focus will be on policy—that is, whether the Fed should have, for example, brokered the JP Morgan Chase/Bear Stearns merger, allowed Lehman Brothers to fail, kept interest rates so low during the early 2000s, initiated various rounds of quantitative easing, etc. This essay will instead address the Fed’s structure, and specifically, whether that structure comports with the requirements of the US Constitution.
I argue that the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy arm, the Federal Open Market Committee, is, under a straightforward application of recent Supreme Court doctrine, unconstitutionally designed. I also argue that that constitutional defect is essentially cosmetic and, in any event, incapable of receiving a review on the merits because of doctrines of justiciability, one of which was invented to avoid this very question. And I will argue that the lack of judicial participation in resolving this constitutional question is an unmitigated good: issues of central bank design are best left to the Congress. Doing otherwise could send the judiciary into areas where it largely lacks institutional competence. And it also allows the merger of policy and institutional design, spheres best left separate in constitutional adjudication.
Constitutional Arguments for Another Time
The claim that the “Federal Reserve” is “unconstitutional” actually entails a broad family of arguments. I can imagine four mostly distinct, sometimes overlapping lines of argument, although there may of course be others. First, the Fed is unconstitutional because it pursues bad policy. That is, “unconstitutional” and “pursues bad policy” are treated as synonyms: when the Fed pursues good policy, it is constitutional; when it pursues bad policy, it is unconstitutional. Second, the Fed is unconstitutional because our federal government is one of enumerated powers, and nowhere does the Constitution permit the modern practice of monetary policy. This is an existential challenge: accepting this argument necessarily means the abolition of the Federal Reserve. Third, the government may be able to pursue monetary policy, but must do so squarely within the Madisonian tripartite framework of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. This is not an existential challenge per se, but would require the Federal Reserve to lose its vaunted “independence”—as that term is conventionally used—and be subject to the direct control of the executive branch, subject to legislative design. And fourth, central banking fits within the constitutional framework, and an independent Fed does too, but specific features of the Federal Reserve violate specific constitutional principles or provisions as the Supreme Court has construed them. In that sense, the Fed itself is not unconstitutional so much as, for example, the participation of private citizens on the Federal Open Market Committee is constitutionally impermissible.
Because of space concerns, this will attempt only a partial analysis of the last line of argument. Beyond the next few paragraphs, it will all but ignore the rest, for different reasons. The first can be summarily dismissed as the cable news constitutional critique of the Federal Reserve. In the popular imagination, the terms “unconstitutional” and “bad policy” are frequently synonyms. This is a common but regrettable affront to law, language, and democratic deliberation. I do not dismiss the policy concerns, of course: debate about the role of the Fed in the face of financial, fiscal, and monetary crises is important, even essential. But if the inquiry is truly a constitutional one, the policy arguments must remain, to the fullest extent possible, distinct.
The second line of argument is squarely constitutional, but—despite its interest to those libertarians who ascribe to the views of Ron Paul or Murray Rothbard—the argument requires too much history and too little law to be tractable. By too much history, I mean that the incompatibility of central banking with American government finds its roots in the classic battles of Alexander Hamilton versus Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson versus Nicholas Biddle. There have been few political fights as consequential as these to our history. As the eminent 19th century financial historian Albert Bolles put it, “When the smoke of the contest [over government banks] had cleared away, two political parties might be seen, whose opposition, though varying much in conviction, power, and earnestness, has never ceased.” Although coalitions continue to shift, the same sentiment is present in conflicts over fiscal, financial, and monetary issues generally. To make sense, then, of this intellectual and political movement in the context of American government requires more space than I have here. And by too little law, I mean that the existential challenges to central banking—including the basis for a fiat currency that developed gradually through the Fed’s first half century—are too inconsistent with long-settled doctrines of constitutional law to be anything but a constitutional do-over. That, again, is not to say that there isn’t much that is interesting within this space, but it requires more context and less connection to the present state of constitutional law to justify engagement.
The third argument—that the Fed is simply too independent to fit within the constitutional structure—is an important one. I’ve written at length on the question of the Fed’s independence. I won’t belabor those arguments here, except to say that I find the concept of “Fed independence” to be virtually meaningless without further specification as to audience (from whom is the Fed independent?) and mechanism (how is that independence regulated?). The usual focus in administrative law—on independence from the President, regulated by the President’s ability vel non to remove an agency’s officers—is woefully inadequate to explain the phenomenon of Fed independence as it has evolved over the last century. The Fed’s independence is both more and less than it seems under that narrow view. And economists’ views of central bank independence are only slightly better: the focus there is also on independence from government, regulated by law. There is a dearth of emphasis on extra-legal mechanisms of independence and non-independence from other audiences, including private banks, internal employees, international central bankers, and others. There is an argument to be made that the Fed’s independence in varying ways does not comport with constitutional principles or provisions, but that argument must specify both audience and mechanism, and explain why that specific relationship matters.
That leaves the last argument, which is really a subset of the third. We can rephrase it as a question: Does the specific institutional design of the Federal Reserve System in its current form pass constitutional muster? I argue that it does not: under current Supreme Court doctrine, the presence of non-removable Reserve Bank presidents on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) renders the FOMC unconstitutional.
The Unconstitutionality of the FOMC
To understand the constitutional argument I’m making, a bit of factual and legal development is necessary. (Again, for further development of related themes, see the article linked above.) Congress created the FOMC, the Federal Reserve System’s monetary policy committee, in 1933 to centralize what had been the quasi-independent monetary policies of the twelve Reserve Banks, themselves created under the original Federal Reserve Act of 1913. Two years later, in the Banking Act of 1935, Congress refashioned the FOMC to include all seven members of the newly created Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (which replaced the original 1913 Federal Reserve Board). The rest of the FOMC included five of the twelve Reserve Bank presidents on a rotating basis. After 1942, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York became a permanent member of the FOMC. By convention, he is also Vice Chair of the Committee. The Committee meets six times per year to announce its outlook on the world and national economy and its decisions regarding various features of monetary policy. I won’t go into detail about the policy levers the Fed pulls; others have presented useful introductions to those levers and the operations generally. See especially Axilrod and the Fed’s own somewhat dated overview.
The presence of the Reserve Banks on the FOMC creates two constitutional debilities. First, the President does not appoint, and the Senate does not confirm, the Banks’ presidents. (Note that while the statute does not require that the Reserve Bank representative be the president, the president is in practice almost always the Bank’s representative.) They are appointed by two-thirds of the directors of each bank. 12 U.S.C. § 341. The directors, in turn, are appointed through a somewhat convoluted statutory process that gives consideration to bankers, selected by bankers; non-bankers, selected by bankers; and non-bankers, selected by the Board of Governors. 12 U.S.C. § 302. The President never formally indicates any preference for their appointment to their posts at the Reserve Banks, and their role within the FOMC is determined by statute. Does this participation violate the Appointments Clause of the Constitution and its requirement of Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation?
Second, the President’s removal authority with respect to the FOMC is circuitous. First, the President has no authority to remove members of the FOMC qua members of the FOMC, just as he has no power to appoint members of that Committee. He appoints and the Senate confirms the seven members of the Board of Governors, who are statutorily members of the FOMC, but also function independently of the FOMC for matters regarding systemic risk regulation, bank supervision, and all else within the Fed’s bailiwick. But put that curiosity to the side, and assume the President’s relationship to the Governors as Governors is identical to his relationship to the Governors qua FOMC members. For Board members in that comprehensive role, the President can remove his appointees “for cause” only. 12 U.S.C. § 242.
So far so good. But what of removal of the Reserve Bank presidents on the FOMC? This is harder. The presidents are removable at the pleasure of the Reserve Bank directors. 12 U.S.C. § 341. Removal of all of those directors is possible, but only after “the cause of such removal” is “forthwith communicated in writing by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to the removed officer or director and to said bank.” 12 U.S.C. 248(f). While there is some ambiguity as to whether this writing “the cause” of such removal is equivalent to “for cause” removal, I think the inclusion of the term “cause” is sufficient to trigger that presumption, especially when utter silence as to removal in other contexts has been deemed sufficient to create the same for-cause presumption. To summarize: the FOMC consists of twelve members. Congress has made it possible for the President to remove seven of those members in their role as Fed Governors “for cause” only. The remaining five (who are themselves partially rotating targets) are subject to a three-level chain of removal: (at will) by the Reserve Bank directors who are removable (for cause) by the Board of Governors who are removable (for cause) by the President. And so, finally, to the question: does this removability matryoshka—unique among the federal regulatory agencies—violate the separation of powers? Let’s take these two constitutional questions in turn. The Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Art. II, § 2, cl. 2, requires “Officers of the United States” to be appointed by the President with the Senate’s advice and consent. But there is an exception for “inferior Officers,” whose appointment Congress may vest “in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.” Id. The first constitutional question, then, for the Appointments Clause is whether the members of the FOMC are principal or inferior officers.
This is a hard and, as we will see, largely irrelevant question.* A key precedent is Edmond v. United States, which held that “[w]hether one is an ‘inferior’ officer depends on whether he has a superior.” 520 U.S. 651, 662-63 (1997). Moreover, “‘inferior officers’ are officers whose work is directed and supervised at some level” by officers appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
I would think the Reserve Bank president on the FOMC could not qualify as an inferior officer by the Edmond standard. The Board of Governors certainly supervises the Reserve Banks in every other respect. 12 U.S.C. § 301. In their roles as Reserve Bank presidents, the inferior officer designation therefore seems apt. But as members of the FOMC, Reserve Bank presidents’ votes count the same as those of their would-be superiors, the President-appointed, Senate-confirmed Board Governors. As we shall see, though, this question of principal versus inferior officers matters not at all once the unconstitutionality of the removability of the Reserve Bank presidents is acknowledged and remedied.
The second constitutional question involves the strange path the President must take in removing Reserve Bank members of the FOMC. Here, the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Free Enterprise Fund v. PCAOB, 130 S. Ct. 3138 (2010), makes it nearly incontrovertible that the FOMC’s structure as to removability is unconstitutional.
Under Free Enterprise Fund, Congress cannot design a system in which the President can remove the head of an agency or department only “for cause,” and the agency head can in turn remove her subordinate only “for cause.” Previously, the Court had upheld a single-layer restriction on the removability of an agency head, in Humphrey’s Executor v. United States, and the restriction on a subordinate employee where the agency head serves at the President’s pleasure, in Morrison v. Olson. Free Enterprise Fund confronted the combination of those two protections: an agency head (presumed, interestingly, since the statute there was silent) removable for cause (here, the Commissioners of the Securities Exchange Commission) who can remove other officers only for cause (here, members of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board). The Court held that “such multilevel protection from removal is contrary to Article II’s vesting of the executive power in the President,” and found the provisions that had established the second layer of for-cause protection unconstitutional. Free Enterprise Fund, 130 S. Ct. at 3147.
Stating the holding in Free Enterprise Fund reveals the constitutional defect of the FOMC. The President cannot remove members of the FOMC without reaching through two explicit for-cause removal restrictions, on top of a third layer of at-will removability. Granted, the relationships between the three layers in the FOMC and the two in the SEC-PCAOB are different, but not in ways that would matter constitutionally. Neither is it a defense to say that the President appoints the majority of the FOMC, and is thus protected from seeing his preferred monetary policies hijacked by those with whom he disagrees. It’s simply not the case that Board members always outnumber the Reserve Bank Presidents on the Committee—for a week during the peak of the financial crisis, the FOMC consisted only of nine individuals: four members of the Board of Governors and five Reserve Bank Presidents.
In my view, then, the short answer is yes: the Federal Reserve, as currently designed, is unconstitutional.
The Cosmetic, Irrelevant, and Nonjusticiable Unconstitutionality of the FOMC
Don’t expect markets to roil or anti-Fed litigation to score any major successes at the announcement of the FOMC’s unconstitutionality. It only matters if Congress wants it to matter, for two reasons. First, this is a constitutional defect that is virtually cosmetic. In Free Enterprise Fund, the Court found a constitutional defect in the inability of the President to remove members of the PCAOB, and eliminated that restriction by judicial fiat. The PCAOB continues to operate just as it had done; its members are appointed just as they had been; and there is no evidence anywhere (that I am aware of) that the PCAOB’s enforcement behavior has changed a bit since the case was decided in 2010. The only difference is that the Court rendered the members of the PCAOB removable by the Commissioners of the SEC. That removal has not, to my knowledge, yet occurred.
If the FOMC removability issue were ever litigated to conclusion—which it won’t be—the result is likely to be the same. See, for example, Intercollegiate Broad. Syst., Inc. v. Copyright Royalty Bd., 684 F.3d 1332, 1334 (D.C. Cir. 2012), which found a similar institutional defect and followed the Free Enterprise Fund Court in judicially reconstructing the relevant statute. The members of the FOMC not appointed by the President would be rendered removable at will by the Board of Governors, just as the Governors supervise the Reserve Banks in every other aspect of the Fed’s wide regulatory berth. And, also following Free Enterprise Fund, that removability will immediately render them Appointments Clause-approved inferior officers. See Free Enterprise Fund, 130 S. Ct. at 3162.
Some defenders of the present configuration may say that such a change would have a chilling effect on the FOMC conversations or votes. Would Jeffrey Lacker or Richard Fischer or Thomas Hoenig dissent, as they have done, if the Board could remove them for any reason at all?
It’s impossible of course to speak with certainty to the counterfactual, but I would think the level of control that already exists over the selection of the Reserve Bank presidents, and the public outcry that would result from the exercise of that legal authority, would be all the protection that people like Larcker, Fischer, and Hoenig would need. Formal protection against removability isn’t necessary to make a removal decision controversial: just ask George W. Bush and Alberto Gonzalez (see the at-will service of U.S. Attorneys) or Richard Nixon and Robert Bork (see the at-will service of Special Watergate Prosecutor Archibald Cox). The summary firing of at-will employees of the executive led to the ouster of an Attorney General and, in part, the resignation of a President. This reality speaks, in part, to the almost-comical reductionism of agency independence jurisprudence, which, as in Free Enterprise Fund, equates the phenomenon of agency independence with the agency head’s removability status (at-will heads are not independent; for-cause heads are independent). As I and many others have argued, this formalistic equivalence exists only in the corridors of the U.S. and Federal Reporters.
Cosmetic or not, this question will never be litigated to the merits, absent a seismic shift in standing jurisprudence. There is a reason that no court has ever evaluated the institutional design of the FOMC, arguably the most powerful of federal agencies, for constitutional defect. In the 1970s and 1980s, a series of petitioners—first private citizens, then a member of the House of Representatives, and finally Senators—challenged the structure of the FOMC on the Appointments Clause basis. And in each case, the DC Circuit—the initial appellate forum for most litigation on this issue–refused to reach the merits. See Melcher v. FOMC, 836 F.2d 561 (D.C. Cir. 1989); Committee for Monetary Reform v. Board of Governors, 766 F.2d 538 (D.C. Cir. 1985); Riegle v. FOMC, 656 F.2d 873 (D.C. Cir.) (1981); Reuss v. Balles, 584 F.2d 461 (D.C. Cir.) (1978).
Eventually, the Circuit deemed a petitioner to have standing—Senator Riegle—by virtue of his inability to advise and consent on the appointment of the members of the FOMC. But where the Circuit gave with one hand, it took with the other, deciding that “[t]he most satisfactory means of translating our separation-of-powers concerns into principled decision-making is through a doctrine of circumscribed equitable discretion.” The Supreme Court, in its subsequent treatment of legislative standing in Raines v. Byrd, 521 U.S. 811 (1997), has mostly embraced a similar conclusion regarding legislators’ ability to challenge statutes’ constitutionality. Thus, the courts are unlikely to take up the challenge to the constitutionality of the FOMC. Any hope of redressing this (minor) constitutional defect is in the Congress.
And that is exactly where it belongs. Earlier, I stated that, in the context of administrative law, the identity of policy and constitutional criticisms is an affront to language, law, and democracy. But institutional design and policy are inseparable in the legislative context. What an agency should do—policy—and how the agency should do it—structure/process—are deeply connected issues that deserve the full attention of an active citizenry. I look forward to that debate and earnestly hope that litigants and judges, at least in those capacities, do not.
 
*A hard and much more relevant threshold question is whether the FOMC is exercising federal policy at all, a prerequisite under Appointments Clause jurisprudence. It is certainly the case that the government has not always had a monopoly on the circulation of currency, for example. I will assume, though, that the FOMC directs federal policy because of the sheer magnitude of the quantities of money at play. While private consortia may exercise some kinds of functions currently in the hands of central banks, I will save for another day the question whether a private party or parties could do so on the stage occupied by the Fed today. For now, I will say only that I am intrigued by but skeptical of this argument."

Source: http://www.libertylawsite.org/liberty-forum/is-the-federal-reserve-constitutional/
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https://plus.google.com/105567543052105694755 Siegfried Grabs : For the three months to March 31, 2014: the following American banks reported sales and profit as follows...
For the three months to March 31, 2014: the following American banks reported sales and profit as follows:  J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. had sales of $25,119,000,000 and profit of $5,274,000,000; Wells Fargo & Co. had sales of $21,622,000,000 and profit of $5,607,000,000; Citigroup Inc. had sales of $23,715,000,000 and profit of $3,943,000,000; Bank of America Corp. had sales of $25,416,000,000 and a loss of $514,000,000; Capital One Financial Corp. had sales of $5,773,000,000 and a profit of $1,136,000,000; U.S. Bancorp had sales of $5,130,000,000 and profit of $1,331,000,000; and PNC Financial Services Group Inc. had sales of $3,992,000,000 and a profit of $992,000,000.      There are many more banks in the U.S. but these are the largest ones.
4 hours ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/107313583436438041355 Adecco USA : Adecco, in partnership with JP Morgan Chase, is #hiring 300 mail clerks for temporary assignments in...
Adecco, in partnership with JP Morgan Chase, is #hiring 300 mail clerks for temporary assignments in Louisville, KY. The pay is between $9.50-$10.50/hour, with 3 shifts available. For more information and to apply: http://adec.co/1kCHNVq
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https://plus.google.com/102919297041813942298 Ron Shtigliz : In his most recent annual letter to shareholders, the chairman and chief executive officer of J.P. Morgan...
In his most recent annual letter to shareholders, the chairman and chief executive officer of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM -0.76%   made the argument that cumbersome regulation was making it difficult to provide credit to a large part of the population.

Dimon wrote : “Nearly 40% of all Americans have FICO scores below 660. Many of the new capital rules make it prohibitively more expensive to lend to this segment.”

The problem here isn’t that Dimon is wrong. He’s probably right. New banking regulations are almost certainly making it more expensive to provide credit to everyone, rich or poor. So Dimon isn’t being disingenuous.

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Get real about your retirement health-care costs
But he is telling a half truth. The reality is that banks are far more predatory than any regulation aimed at keeping the financial system safe, no matter how dysfunctional those new government rules are.

Here are five ways banks hurt middle- and low-income Americans without any help from regulators. In many of these cases, it’s regulators who have prevented the abuses from being even worse.

Credit card fees: The slipperiest slippery slope of consumer credit must be the credit card. You get an offer in the mail with a “teaser” rate of 0% interest for six or 12 months, and you start charging. Why not? Of course, credit cards provide tremendous temptation for consumers who may be making ends meet, but just barely. When the promotional period ends, the interest rates and fees begin to mount. The current rate is 13.02% for a fixed-rate card, 15.61% for a variable-rate card.

Now consider that the bank can currently borrow money from the Federal Reserve at 0.75%. That means the bank is making the difference, less service costs, in profit. Moreover, consumers can get whacked if they miss or are late on payments. There is a $25 service fee, and the credit card issuer can raise your rate to 29.99%. Today the average credit card balance is $8,220, or about 15% of the median annual household income .

Foreclosures: Between 2007 and 2011, more than 4 million Americans lost their homes to foreclosure. Forget, for a moment, that the banks engaged in allegedly fraudulent behavior in pursuing these cases (“robosigning,” and lack of disclosure, to name a few). Banks generally lose in foreclosure cases. One congressional study put the average loss at $78,000 per foreclosure, or about 30% of the loan.

But the costs to mortgage borrowers is far worse . They lose hard-earned equity in the home. The foreclosure is the most damaging item that can appear on a credit report, short of bankruptcy, and it remains there for seven years. Borrowers are effectively blacklisted during that time from qualifying for another mortgage. The Internal Revenue Service views a foreclosure as an unpaid debt, making it a tax liability for borrowers too. And, of course, borrowers lose their home.

Payday lending: Banks in general have been reining in their own payday-lending operations. But they continue to finance those companies and, in some cases, support them through payroll deductions on direct deposits, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Payday loans prey on the poor, who get caught in a vicious cycle of high-interest — the mean annual percentage rate on the loans is 322% — that builds. Two-thirds of payday borrowers took out more than seven loans, and were indebted more than 40% of the year, the CFPB said. The dependency on those loans isn’t surprising given that those who use payday loans generally earn less than $30,000 a year and 18% get some part of their income from public assistance.

“The high cost of the loan or advance may itself contribute to the chronic difficulty such consumers face in retiring the debt,” the CFPB concluded.

Overdraft fees: Americans paid more than $16 billion in overdraft fees in 2011 and the average overdraft fee was $35 on an overdraft of just $20, according to the Center for Responsible Lending. Two-thirds of those penalty fees are paid by account holders charged more than six fees per year, the center said, adding that banks have shown a pattern of manipulating transactions to inflict the most damage on customers. For instance, posting debits before deposits that arrive on the same day.

And the banks tend to show no mercy when times get tough. In 2008, as job losses and foreclosures mounted amid the Great Recession, Americans lost more than $23 billion in overdraft fees, according to a 2009 report by the center. That was up 35% from the previous year and two years before any new sweeping bank regulations appeared on the scene.

Bankruptcy: Talk about great timing, in 2005, two years before the financial crisis hit, banks lobbied and received an overhaul of the personal bankruptcy code. Under the new law, those filing from personal bankruptcy would no longer be able to wipe the slate clean. They would be required to repay at least a portion of their debts, including credit cards. Also, the law made it much easier to force debtors into Chapter 13 — which requires that debts mostly be restructured, not erased.

It should also be noted that J.P. Morgan has come under fire for the way it has handled even these very legal practices. It’s been sued for “misleading statements” in pursuit of credit card repayments (even after a $389 million settlement for similar alleged practices). It was part of an industry-wide settlement (J.P. Morgan paid $6.8 billion) stemming from foreclosure practices. The bank has tried to shed ties with payday lenders.
Those practices raise fair questions about who’s really making financial lives harder for low- and middle-income Americans: regulators or the banks themselves?
5 ways banks hurt the poor David Weidner's Writing on the Wall

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https://plus.google.com/109268202373060885173 Trade Binary Options : Earnings season for the nation’s largest banks has been a mixed bag, with a weak quarter and stock slide...
Earnings season for the nation’s largest banks has been a mixed bag, with a weak quarter and stock slide for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM +0.47% , a solid start to the year for Wells Fargo & Co. WFC +0.41% , and a pleasant surprise for the cheaply valued Citigroup Inc. C +0.44% .
5 undiscovered banks prove that smaller is better

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https://plus.google.com/111468599311849360649 Stock Fanatic : SINGAPORE DAYBOOK: Keppel Corp. Earns, GLP, Singapore Air 2014-04-15 21:42:42.781 GMT By Khalid Qayum...
SINGAPORE DAYBOOK: Keppel Corp. Earns, GLP, Singapore Air
2014-04-15 21:42:42.781 GMT


By Khalid Qayum
   April 16 (Bloomberg) -- Global Logistic Properties (GLP SP)
signed new lease agreements totaling 96,000 sqm with existing
customers including Yunda Express, Gooday Logistics and Best
Logistics, according to exchange filing.

   WHAT TO WATCH:
* Singapore Air (SIA SP) reports passenger load factor in
  March 75% vs 79.3%; passengers carried 1.5m vs 1.57m
* Keppel Tele & Trans (KPTT SP) 1Q net S$15.4m vs S$15m
* Qian Hu Ltd. (QIAN SP) 1Q net S$115,000 vs S$62,000
* Keppel Land (KPLD SP) 1Q net S$87.7m vs S$96.6m


   MARKETS:
* S&P 500 up 0.7% to 1,842.98
* Stoxx Europe 600 down 1.0% to 326.58
* MSCI Asia Pacific down 0.1% to 137.22
* Straits Times Index rose 1% to 3,246.32


   EARNINGS:
* Keppel Corp. (KEP SP)


   BTV:
* 07:10am: Wells Capital CIO Kirk Hartman
* 07:40am: Credit Agricole Sr Economist Dariusz Kowalczyk
* 08:10am: IG Chief Market Strategist Chris Weston
* 08:40am: Moscow City Dept for External Economic and
  International Relations Deputy Head Anatoly Valetov
* 09:10am: Invast Secs Chief Market Analyst Peter Esho
* 09:40am:  Geo Securities CEO Francis Lun
* 10:10am: Nomura Chief China Economist Zhiwei Zhang
* 11:10am: JP Morgan Chase Vice Chairman A-P Jing Ulrich
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https://plus.google.com/106074712294334986874 Steve Killebrew : 'Active financing' exemption for some businesses to cost taxpayers $9 billion By Dan Eggen Washington...
'Active financing' exemption for some businesses to cost taxpayers $9 billion
By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer 
Thursday, December 23, 2010; 12:00 AM

This article was published ON 12-23-2010 !!

Amid all the goodies for ethanol producers, NASCAR racetracks and the like, the tax-cut compromise legislation approved by Congress this month also includes a little-noticed sop for Wall Street banks and major multinationals.
And it only costs U.S. taxpayers $9 billion.
Under the provision, financial services firms and manufacturers can defer U.S. taxes on overseas income from a type of financial transaction known as "active financing." Boosters say the two-year exemption helps level the playing field with foreign competitors by ensuring that U.S. corporations aren't taxed twice.
Major business groups and financial companies consider the exemption a key lobbying priority in Congress, which has regularly extended it on a temporary basis for more than a decade. Those lobbying in favor of the policy include dozens of the largest U.S. companies, from General Electric to J.P. Morgan Chase to Caterpillar, records show.
The Active Financing Working Group, a coalition of companies and trade associations focused on the issue, has paid $540,000 in lobbying fees to Elmendorf Strategies since last year, according to Senate disclosure forms.
The exemption ensures "that U.S.-based financial services [businesses] are able to continue to operate competitively and provide the funds needed for investment and economic growth," the working group wrote in a letter to the Treasury Department.

Direct all communications to these people:

Dick Cheney (R), Joe Biden (D), and Nancy Pelosi (D)

Senate Majority: Democratic Party

House Majority: Democratic Party

The One Hundred Eleventh United States Congress was the meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government from January 3, 2009, until January 3, 2011. It began during the last two weeks of the George W. Bush administration, with the remainder spanning the first two years of Barack Obama's presidency. It was composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The apportionment of seats in the House was based on the 2000 U.S. Census. In the November 4, 2008 elections, the Democratic Party increased its majorities in both chambers, giving President Obama a Democratic majority in the legislature for the first two years of his presidency. A new delegate seat was created for the Northern Mariana Islands.[5] This Congress has been considered one of the most "productive" Congresses in history in terms of legislation being passed since Lyndon Johnson's era of the "Great Society" (in the 89th Congress).[6][7][8][9]
'Active financing' exemption for some businesses to cost taxpayers $9 billion

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https://plus.google.com/100556352810155350830 Tim Elkins : Morning must-read: Goldman Sachs' former managing director reveals why America was so much more economically...
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https://plus.google.com/111511994348337575533 Deepak Pershad : In this issue -JP Morgan Chase eliminates 3,000 mortgage jobs in Q1 2014..
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Financial Services Marketing
The latest news from financial services marketing!
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https://plus.google.com/101856370453804035881 Herbert Edgard Alamo : Herbert Edgard Alamo is a Realtor CalBRE 01922905. Currently working for Century 21 Realty Masters. ...
Herbert Edgard Alamo is a Realtor CalBRE 01922905. Currently working for Century 21 Realty Masters. Educational background includes (B.A. Sociology / M.B.A. Management). I have years of experience in the areas of mortgage banking, consumer banking and real estate industry concentrating in Southern California (Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, I.E). My work history includes making a difference in companies such as Lending Tree.com, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, Nordstrom, Ingram Micro and now with Century 21 Realty Masters. Raised in Orange County and now reside in Los Angeles, I have a strong knowledge in theses markets. I am bilingual English/Spanish fluent speaker.
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https://plus.google.com/114529371273443966439 H George Tavakoli : Swiss Bankers, BIS & The House Of Rockefeller Three years ago Rudolf M. Elmer, former head of the Cayman...
Swiss Bankers, BIS & The House Of Rockefeller

Three years ago Rudolf M. Elmer, former head of the Cayman Islands office of the prominent Swiss bank Julius Baer, announced that he had handed over to Wikileaks information on 2,000 prominent individuals and companies that he says engaged in tax evasion and other criminal activity. Elmer described those exposed as “pillars of society”.

(Excerpted from Chapter 18: The International Bankers: Big Oil & Their Bankers…)

The utilization of Eurodollar offshore bank accounts by the super-rich costs cash-strapped governments around the world trillions of dollars in annual revenue. In 1963 the Eurodollar market was worth around $148 million. By 1982 it was worth $2 trillion, while the US M-1 money supply stood at $442 billion.

In 1950 US corporations footed 26% of the total US tax bill. By 1990 they were covering only 9%, contributing to massive budget deficits and the current $14 trillion US debt. In 2009 corporate leviathans such as Bank of America, General Electric and Exxon Mobil paid no US federal taxes. Exxon’s net profit for that year was over $45 billion. It utilized subsidiaries in the British Crown-controlled Bahamas, Bermuda and Cayman Islands to dodge the IRS.

These opaque offshore Eurodollar markets also launder Saudi petrodollars, CIA drug money and Mossad arms profits. Illicit funds come out squeaky clean on the balance sheets of the global mega-banks. Secretive Swiss banks play a key role. The most powerful is the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

BIS was established in Basel, Switzerland in 1930. It is the most powerful bank in the world, a global central bank for the Eight Families who control the private central banks of nearly every nation. The first President of BIS was Rockefeller banker Gates McGarrah- an official at Chase Manhattan and the Federal Reserve. McGarrah is the grandfather of former CIA director Richard Helms. The Rockefellers and Morgans- had close ties to the City of London. Author David Icke asserts in Children of the Matrix that the Rockefellers and Morgans were just American “gofers” for the European Rothschilds.

BIS is owned by the Federal Reserve, Bank of England, Bank of Italy, Bank of Canada, Swiss National Bank, Nederlandsche Bank, Bundesbank and Bank of France. Historian Carroll Quigley says BIS was part of a plan, “to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole…to be controlled in a feudalistic fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert by secret agreements.”

The US government had a historical distrust of BIS, lobbying unsuccessfully for its demise at the 1944 post-WWII Bretton Woods Conference. Instead the Eight Families’ power was exacerbated, with the Bretton Woods creation of the IMF and the World Bank. The US Federal Reserve only took shares in BIS in September 1994. BIS holds at least 10% of monetary reserves for at least 80 of the world’s central banks, the IMF and other multilateral institutions. It serves as financial agent for international agreements, collects information on the global economy and serves as lender of last resort to prevent global financial collapse.

BIS promotes an agenda of monopoly capitalist fascism. It gave a bridge loan to Hungary in the 1990’s to ensure privatization of that country’s economy. It served as conduit for Illuminati funding of Adolf Hitler- led by the Warburg’s J. Henry Schroeder and Mendelsohn Bank of Amsterdam. Many researchers assert that BIS is at the nadir of global drug money laundering.

It is no coincidence that BIS is headquartered in Switzerland, favorite hiding place for the wealth of the global aristocracy and headquarters for both the P-2 Freemason Alpina Lodge and Nazi International.

Bretton Woods was a boon to the Eight Families. The IMF and World Bank were central to this “new world order”. In 1944 the first World Bank bonds were floated by Morgan Stanley and First Boston. The French Lazard family became more involved in House of Morgan interests. Lazard Freres- France’s biggest investment bank- is owned by the Lazard and David-Weill families- old Genoese banking scions represented by Michelle Davive. A recent Chairman and CEO of Citigroup was Sanford Weill.

In 1968 Morgan Guaranty launched Euro-Clear, a Brussels-based bank clearing system for Eurodollar securities. It was the first such automated endeavor. Some took to calling Euro-Clear “The Beast”. Brussels serves as headquarters for the new European Central Bank and for NATO. In 1973 Morgan officials met secretly in Bermuda to illegally resurrect the old House of Morgan, twenty years before the Glass Steagal Act was repealed. Morgan and the Rockefellers provided the financial backing for Merrill Lynch, boosting it into the Big 5 of US investment banking. Merrill is now part of Bank of America.

John D. Rockefeller employed his oil wealth in acquiring Equitable Trust, which had gobbled up several large banks and corporations by the 1920’s. The Great Depression helped consolidate Rockefeller’s power. His Chase Bank merged with Kuhn Loeb’s Manhattan Bank to form Chase Manhattan, cementing a long-time family relationship.

The Kuhn-Loebs and Rothschilds financed Rockefeller’s quest to become king of the oil patch. National City Bank of Cleveland provided John D. with the money needed to embark upon his monopolization of the US oil industry. The bank was identified in Congressional hearings as being one of three Rothschild-owned banks in the US during the 1870’s, when Rockefeller first incorporated as Standard Oil of Ohio.

One Rockefeller Standard Oil partner was Edward Harkness, whose family came to control Chemical Bank. Another was James Stillman, whose family came to control Manufacturers Hanover Trust. Both banks are now part of JP Morgan Chase. Two of James Stillman’s daughters married two of William Rockefeller’s sons. These two families control Citigroup.

In the insurance business, the Rockefellers control Metropolitan Life, Equitable Life, Prudential and New York Life. Rockefeller banks control 25% of all assets of the 50 largest US commercial banks and 30% of all assets of the 50 largest insurance companies. Insurance companies- the first in the US was launched by Freemasons through their Woodman’s of America- play a key role in the Bermuda drug money shuffle.

As their oil wealth amassed the family moved into downstream investments, buying companies which manufactured oil-based products. For example, according to Nexus New Times magazine, the Rockefellers control 40% of the global pharmaceutical industry.

Other companies under Rockefeller control include Exxon Mobil, Chevron Texaco, BP Amoco, Marathon Oil, Freeport McMoRan, Quaker Oats, ASARCO, United, Delta, Northwest, ITT, International Harvester, Xerox, Boeing, Westinghouse, Hewlett-Packard, Honeywell, International Paper, Pfizer, Motorola, Monsanto, Union Carbide and General Foods.

The Rockefeller Foundation has close financial ties to both Ford and Carnegie Foundations. Other family philanthropic endeavors include Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, General Education Board, Rockefeller University and the University of Chicago- which churns out a steady stream of far-right economists such as Milton Friedman, who serve as apologists for international capital.

The family owns 30 Rockefeller Plaza, where the national Christmas tree is lighted every year, and Rockefeller Center. David Rockefeller was instrumental in the construction of the World Trade Center towers. The main Rockefeller family home is a hulking complex in upstate New York known as Pocantico Hills. They also own a 32-room 5th Avenue duplex in Manhattan, a mansion in Washington, DC, Monte Sacro Ranch in Venezuela, coffee plantations in Ecuador, several farms in Brazil, an estate at Seal Harbor, Maine and resorts in the Caribbean, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

The Dulles and Rockefeller families are cousins. Allen Dulles created the CIA, assisted the Nazis, covered up the Kennedy hit from his Warren Commission perch and struck a deal with the Muslim Brotherhood to create mind-controlled assassins. Brother John Foster Dulles presided over the phony Goldman Sachs trusts before the 1929 stock market crash and helped his brother overthrow leftist governments in Iran and Guatemala. Both were Skull & Bones, CFR members and 33rd Degree Masons.

The Rockefellers were instrumental in forming the depopulation-oriented Club of Rome at their family estate in Bellagio, Italy. Their Pocantico Hills estate gave birth to the Trilateral Commission. The family is a major funder of the eugenics movement which spawned Hitler, human cloning and the current DNA obsession in US scientific circles. John Rockefeller Jr. headed the Population Council until his death.

His namesake son is a Senator from West Virginia. Brother Winthrop Rockefeller was Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas and is the most powerful man in that state. In an October 1975 interview with Playboy magazine, Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller- who was also Governor of New York- articulated his family’s patronizing worldview, “I am a great believer in planning- economic, social, political, military, total world planning.”

But of all the Rockefeller brothers, it is Trilateral Commission (TC) founder and Chase Manhattan Chairman David who has spearheaded the family’s fascist agenda on a global scale. He defended the Shah of Iran, the South African apartheid regime and the Chilean Pinochet junta. He was the biggest financier of the CFR, the TC and (during the Vietnam War) the Committee for an Effective and Durable Peace in Asia- a contract bonanza for war profiteers.

Nixon asked him to be Secretary of Treasury, but Rockefeller declined the job, knowing his power was much greater at the helm of the Chase. According to writer Gary Allen, in 1973, “David Rockefeller met with twenty-seven heads of state, including the rulers of Russia and Red China.” Following the 1975 Nugan Hand/CIA coup against nationalist Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, British Crown-appointed successor Malcolm Fraser sped to the US, where he met with President Gerald Ford only after conferring with David Rockefeller.

The documents which Mr. Elmer turned over to Wikileaks will shed some light on certain “pillars of society”. But don’t be surprised if the really big fish swim away with the bait.

http://deanhenderson.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/swiss-bankers-bis-the-house-of-rockefeller/

Dean Henderson is the author of five books: Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Das Kartell der Federal Reserve, Stickin’ it to the Matrix & The Federal Reserve Cartel. You can subscribe free to his weekly Left Hook column @ www.deanhenderson.wordpress.com
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https://plus.google.com/116769968903733934100 Brad Lauritzen : Also, criticism grows for FHA fees All eyes will be on earnings this week, most notably Citigroup for...
Also, criticism grows for FHA fees
All eyes will be on earnings this week, most notably Citigroup for the mortgage finance sector. The bank is reporting first thing Monday morning.

Expectations are low, considering the bank didn't pass recent stress tests and peers JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo failed to impress last week.

Therefore, should Citi beat expectations, all is not lost according to Selerity Research:

"A positive earnings report could see the stock bounce back up to its 200-day MA at $50.16. Conversely, anything negative that pushes the stock below $46 has limited support and increases speculation of a decline back closer to $25 where the stock has found support over the last few years. 

"Given the precarious technical picture, the stock could get a nice relief bounce if earnings come in at the $1.30 high end of analysts' expectations."

On the bright side of the mortgage market, lending at smaller originators is actually growing. But, not at rates large enough to replace the abymssal numbers at the big banks.

John Mason on Seeking Alpha writes that new data for small banks reflect the slow January and February period, impacted by the weather, but residential real estate loans jumped up by over $14 billion in March.

"It is not entirely clear whether or not these increases reflect new construction or the refinancing of existing mortgages or new financing on foreclosed properties," Mason adds.

The Federal Housing Administration last week responded to claims that its mortgage insurance rates are driving buyers away.

Speaking at a conference of the Mortgage Banker’s Association, FHA Commissioner Carol Galante told the crowd that the premium increases were necessary to fund the agency’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, and that FHA is not planning to reduce its rates.

But she acknowledged that the increases may have reached a “tipping point” that could drive buyers away.

The FHA is not backing down, though it's drawing some criticism for a perceived harsh approach to expanding homeownership. In an op-ed in Forbes, Mark Greene levied the harshest criticism yet:

"As I said previously, this is an under-the-radar tax on low-to-moderate income consumers, and it is absent implementation resistance because it is so well disguised as to be undetectable. This is not a headline grabbing tax increase and there is no mechanism for reporting it on a paystub or a tax return. 

It is a quiet, tacit, mandatory add-on for all FHA mortgage consumers, measured in basis points and virtually invisible to the naked eye.

It is so well hidden as to eliminate any risk of push-back from those affected, it is an incremental cost incurred by those who have no other choice because they are part of a captive audience. The financial burden for HUD’s inability to manage the FHA marketplace is now shouldered by those mortgage consumers who can least afford it."

A Pennsylvania bank submitted the highest bid for First Mariner Bank, a deal that still requires approval from a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge and would end a plan by local investors seeking to acquire one of Baltimore's largest independent banks, writes Ryan Sharrow in the Baltimore Business Journal.

National Penn Bancshares agrees to pay $19.1 million for First Mariner, according to court filings. If approved, National Penn Banchares said it would merge First Mariner into National Penn Bank.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has not closed a bank since February 28.
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