Wall Street Gets Bitcoin Fever – Wedbush Securities to Accept BTC for Research

In what is probably the single most important positive headline since Overstock’s announcement that it would accept Bitcoin, Wedbush Securities has just announced it has become the first U.S institutional brokerage to accept bitcoin as payment for its research coverage. They will be partnering with Coinbase.

So while JP Morgan has its head up its ass writing idiotic reports bashing BTC, the smaller players are making moves.

Read Coinbase’s press release here.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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Has Chase Begun a Covert War on Bitcoin?

The past several days have seen considerable weakness in the price of bitcoin. The selling was sparked by the revelation that the Chinese government had essentially instructed its financial system to avoid it. Then yesterday it was revealed that China had banned third-party payment companies from doing business with bitcoin exchanges. As far as price is concerned, I have stated repeatedly via Twitter that I think the China news caps the upside in the near-term (baring other material news of course) and that we are in a new range of $650-$1050 per BTC. At roughly $700 where we are now, I think at least 75% of the “China premium” is now out of the price. This sets up a solid risk/reward profile. However, there is one thing in the U.S. that people should be aware of and represents some headline risk if true.

Recently, a friend of mine noted that Chase has threatened to shutdown his business account due to his use of Coinbase (remember Coinbase recently received the largest VC investment in Bitcoin to-date). Apparently, the problem hasn’t been when money moves out of U.S. banking deposits and into the Bitcoin ecosystem, but rather when the currency is converted back to dollars and then deposited back into the Chase accounts. With this already being in my mind, I read the following Reddit post this morning:

Hi everyone,

A few weeks ago, I posted that Chase decided to terminate my account, and they never notified me as to why they would do this. However, I believed it to be Bitcoin-related.

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Video of the Day: Interview with Matt Taibbi About JP Morgan and the CNBC “Presstitutes”

The top definition of presstitute according to Urban Dictionary is:

1. presstitute
A member of the media who will alter their story and reporting based on financial interests or other ties with usually partisan individuals or groups.

It has become abundantly clear in recent years that the mainstream media can not be identified as anything other that a collective of mediocre, corporate/government ass-kissing presstitutes. Different media outlets cater to different special interests, but the end result is all the same. MSNBC for example is essentially a straight up PR outlet for the Democratic Party, while Fox News represents the neo-con arm of the Republican Party and the military-industrial complex generally. CNBC has a special position in the presstitute media hierarchy. They basically defend Wall Street at all costs. The station represents the most important media gatekeeper for the financial oligarch, crony class.The following video is an interview on the daily political talk show Majority Report, hosted by Sam Seder. In this episode, he discusses with Matt Taibbi the recent appearance of Salon’s Alex Pareene on CNBC in which Maria Bartiromo unabashedly presstitutes herself out for Jaime Dimon and JP Morgan in an utterly embarrassing manner.The clip is a little over 16 minutes, but well worth your time. Sam Seder is pretty hilarious and his rapport with Taibbi is excellent.

So here’s my question for Maria. If all that matters is the bottom line “ex-legal problems” then why did the Feds raid the Silk Road rather than allow them to “settle without admitting guilt?” After all they were a “cash generating machine” too. Take that one on Money Honey.

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American Dependency: A Food Stamp Micro-Doc

My friend Dan at Future Money Trends has just put together a fantastic micro-documentary on the rise of our food stamp nation and the far reaching consequences to society. From the art of selling excess food stamp dollars at the end of each month, to JP Morgan profiting from the program as a line of business, this video covers it all. I’ve written about food stamps on several occasions, and have highlighted how they are merely a way to boost corporate profits at the taxpayers expense. More corporate welfare and crony capitalism. My three most popular articles on food stamps are below:

McDonald’s Math: You Can’t Survive Working for Us

Where Food Stamps Go to Die

AMAZING. The USDA Has Partnered with the Mexican Government to Encourage Food Stamp Participation 

Now check out the video.

GATA Meets CNBC: Host Calls Gold Market a “Matrix”

First off, fantastic job by Chris Powell in this interview.  The host cracked me up when he describes the gold market as “almost like the matrix.”  My favorite line from Chris is when he says “the banks are bigger than the government.”  Those two lines sum up a lot of what’s wrong with the world today.

Of course, this video was aired when Americans were fast asleep.


TBTF Banks Enter Payday Loan Business with 500% Interest Rates

If you thought the TBTF banks couldn’t stoop any lower, think again.  If this doesn’t prove without a shadow of a doubt that the more you coddle and bailout the big banks, the more brazen, criminal and out of control they become.  I guess entering the slumlord business and running the food stamp program just wasn’t good enough. In their latest scheme, we find that JP Morgan (of course), Bank of America and Wells Fargo (Uncle Warren’s pet) are at the center of what can only be called a global loan-sharking business that prays on destitute American citizens.  Basically, the way the scam works is payday lenders set up shop overseas in locations such as Granada, Belize or the Isle of Man in order to avoid various state laws against payday loans.  The key link in the chain are the TBTF crony banks who process the loans and facilitate the interest charges, which can be well over 500%.  So what’s in it for the banks?  Huge fees of course.  Absolutely disgusting, but par for the course for these guys.  From the New York Times:

Major banks have quickly become behind-the-scenes allies of Internet-based payday lenders that offer short-term loans with interest rates sometimes exceeding 500 percent.

With 15 states banning payday loans, a growing number of the lenders have set up online operations in more hospitable states or far-flung locales like Belize, Malta and the West Indies to more easily evade statewide caps on interest rates.

While the banks, which include giants like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, do not make the loans, they are a critical link for the lenders, enabling the lenders to withdraw payments automatically from borrowers’ bank accounts, even in states where the loans are banned entirely. In some cases, the banks allow lenders to tap checking accounts even after the customers have begged them to stop the withdrawals.

For the banks, it can be a lucrative partnership. At first blush, processing automatic withdrawals hardly seems like a source of profit. But many customers are already on shaky financial footing. The withdrawals often set off a cascade of fees from problems like overdrafts.

Some state and federal authorities say the banks’ role in enabling the lenders has frustrated government efforts to shield people from predatory loans — an issue that gained urgency after reckless mortgage lending helped precipitate the 2008 financial crisis.

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Big American Banks Particularly Enjoy Ripping off Active Duty U.S. Soldiers

The following article from the Houston Press titled “Country Club Sopranos” is the most comprehensive rundown I have seen of all the various frauds committed by large banks since we bailed them out.  What I find particularly infuriating is that the banks seem to really like ripping off members of the armed forces.  Veterans pay close attention.  The biggest threat to America does not reside outside our borders, but from within.  This is a very powerful article and I think could be quite effective in waking up some sheeple so please pass it along.  Here are some of my favorite passages:

But despite a colossal civil-rights fraud perpetrated against 30,000 customers, the settlement amounted to just .011 percent of the San Francisco bank’s annual income. It was like forcing a $30,000-a-year working stiff to pay a $240 fine.

These were just the opening salvos of the assault. Bank of America was caught illegally foreclosing on the homes of active-duty soldiers.

But not a single boss went to jail. Some firms settled for just a fraction of what they’d stolen. Most have never admitted wrongdoing. And in the ethics-optional land known as Wall Street, many saw their stock prices rise.

“Unquestionably, that’s true,” says Notre Dame law professor G. Robert Blakey, whose career prosecuting organized crime runs all the way back to the Kennedy administration. “I was looking at stuff on Mulberry Street, and the real theft was on Wall Street…All of the people who ran the scams have their big houses and their airplanes, and they’re laughing — they got away with it.”

“My biggest mistake in life was that I committed my crimes in the 1980s,” he says. “If I committed them today, I wouldn’t even get house arrest. I’d just hire a good lawyer and pay a fine and I’d be free.”

It began the year before, when Dimon’s bank paid a $27 million settlement for systematically screwing 6,000 active-duty soldiers. JP Morgan was caught overcharging on interest rates and illegally foreclosing on the soldiers’ homes. (The bank did not respond to interview requests.)

But when he appointed Eric Holder attorney general, it was like making John Dillinger’s lawyer head of the FBI bank-robbery unit.  Holder, a former Wall Street defense attorney, would ramp up big-dollar settlements. But criminal charges quietly sputtered to a trickle.

“Retired criminal” Sam Antar, who now trains the IRS and FBI how to bust corporate looters: “It’s almost like stealing a billion dollars with a pencil is not as bad. You have a lesser chance of going to jail than if you mug somebody on the streets of New York.”

So bad has the leniency become that the feds are allowing bankers to keep much of what they steal. Ask Morgan Stanley.

In August, it settled with the Justice Department over its role in fixing New York City’s electricity rates. The bank played middleman in a deal between two energy providers, KeySpan and Astoria Generating, which then colluded to withhold electricity from the market, artificially driving up prices and costing consumers an estimated $300 million.

Morgan Stanley was paid $21 million for arranging the scheme. But the ever-generous Holder let the bank settle for $4.8 million.

It marked a stunning new low in federal prosecutions, akin to forcing a bank robber to return just $2,500 after stealing $10,000. With no jail time, of course.

Morgan Stanley offers little defense for its actions. “We will decline comment,” says spokeswoman Mary Claire Delaney. But New York state senator Michael Gianaris will happily fill that silence.

“It’s a good business deal for Morgan Stanley,” he says. “They could break the law and get away with almost $17 million in profits for it, so why not do it again? If they get caught — and that’s a big if — they still get 70 percent of the profits.”

Peter Vallone Jr., a Queens councilman and former prosecutor, has never seen such tender handling of criminals.

I was a prosecutor for six years, and I’ve never seen someone being fined less than they made.”

In less than two years, Bank of America had chalked up six major fraud cases. But there was no talk of three strikes. No indictments for racketeering. Not one executive charged with a crime.

Now here is my favorite one:

A month later, ING paid a $619 million settlement for violating international sanctions and anti-terrorist laws. It spent a decade providing “state sponsors of terror and other sanctioned entities with access to the U.S. financial system,” Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco said at the time.

So the American people have sacrificed the Bill of Rights and all civil liberties to fight the phony “war on terror,” yet banks pay a settlement for aiding “terrorists.”  What do you think would happen to you if you were caught doing that?  A cell in Guantanamo? A drone missile to the head?

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Mike

 

Tim Pawlenty to Head U.S. Bank Lobbying Group

We always ultimately see where their loyalty lies when it comes to these guys.  Can’t win the Presidency?  No problem!  Become a whore for the banksters that blew up the economy and now continue to parasitically suck the lifeblood out of it each and every day.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again, there is almost no form of life at the moment lower that a United States politician.

From Reuters:
(Reuters) – Former Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty will become the head of the Financial Services Roundtable, a U.S. bank lobbying group that represents JP Morgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co, among other financial companies, the group said on Thursday.

As the industry’s top lobbyist, he will play a major role in the industry’s efforts to make new Dodd-Frank rules, which Congress passed in 2010 in response to the 2007-2009 financial crisis, more favorable for Wall Street as regulators implement the law.

Is it time to watch American Idol or football yet?

Full Reuters article here.

Mike

JP Morgan Spews “Cashless Society” Propaganda in TV Ad

Look how cutesy JP Morgan is in their ad talking up the benefits of a cashless society, which is one of the key goals of TPTB.  Why is the war on cash a key goal?  Well if all your wealth is digital and they don’t like you…sorry we don’t know how your account got deleted sir.  Perhaps you shouldn’t have spoken out against the government.  Meanwhile, let’s not forget JP Morgan was right there in the middle of the MF Global missing funds and now seems to be there with PFG Best as well.  It’s true yet no one wants to talk about it.  See this Huffington Post piece.  Two words: Gold & Silver.

 

Vatican Money Laundering Scandal Grows…JP Morgan is Involved of Course

At the center of the growing Vatican money-laundering scandal is Gotti Tedeschi, who fell afoul of powerful players within the Church for seemingly investigating financial crimes too closely upon becoming head of the Vatican Bank.  This is an incredible story that is sure to only grow in scope, and of course America’s number one criminal organization, JP Morgan, finds itself squarely in the middle of it all.  This is a lengthy but must read article…

Key Quotes:
The pope had apparently tasked the financial executive with making the Vatican bank more transparent. But by approaching his task with perhaps an excess of zeal Gotti Tedeschi upset powerful forces within the Roman Curia, the Vatican’s administrative and judicial apparatus. Several high-ranking officials within the Curia viewed the bank, officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), as something akin to a trust company for clandestine monetary transactions that is not only used by the Church, but allegedly also by the mafia as well as corrupt politicians and companies. In one of the seized Gotti Tedeschi memos, he wrote: “I’ve seen things in the Vatican that scare me.”

A role in the effort was played by a bank in Benedict’s home country: Germany. In 2009, the same year that Gotti Tedeschi took over as president of the IOR, the bank set up an account with the Milan-based branch of the American bank JPMorgan Chase.  From that point on, millions started flowing on an almost daily basis from JPMorgan’s Milan office to the one in Frankfurt, where the IOR also had a JPMorgan account.

The transfers via JP Morgan would likely have remained unnoticed if the IOR hadn’t involved another Italian bank two years earlier in two cases. The attention of Italian financial regulators had been attracted by curious transactions the Vatican bank had made via Credito Artigiano. In 2010, a total of €23 million had been transferred from several accounts at that bank, but without listing the account holders or purposes of the transfers. Of that, €20 million was reportedly supposed to make its way to the Vatican’s JPMorgan account in Frankfurt, while the remaining €3 million was destined for an account at another bank in Rome.

Read the full article here.