Thousands of people nationwide pledged to leave their big banks in exchange for credit unions. It was all part of a grass roots movement called “Bank Transfer Day.” The movement encouraged people to make the move on Saturday in protest of high fees at banks. “Local credit unions have a proven track record of investing in their local communities by giving loans with low interest rates too small to medium sized businesses. These loans enable businesses to expand their companies and hire additional employees,” said Bank Transfer Day organizer Kristen Christian.
An English translation of the Vatican Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace paper “Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority” released October 24, 2011.
As protests against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters’ worst fears. An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy. The study’s assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable. The idea that a few bankers control a large chunk of the global economy might not seem like news to New York’s Occupy Wall Street movement and protesters elsewhere. But the study, by a trio of complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, is the first to go beyond ideology to empirically identify such a network of power. It combines the mathematics long used to model natural systems with comprehensive corporate data to map ownership among the world’s transnational corporations (TNCs).
On the third Wednesday of every month, the nine members of an elite Wall Street society gather in Midtown Manhattan. The men share a common goal: to protect the interests of big banks in the vast market for derivatives, one of the most profitable — and controversial — fields in finance. They also share a common secret: The details of their meetings, even their identities, have been strictly confidential. Drawn from giants like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the bankers form a powerful committee that helps oversee trading in derivatives, instruments which, like insurance, are used to hedge risk. In theory, this group exists to safeguard the integrity of the multitrillion-dollar market. In practice, it also defends the dominance of the big banks.
In the United States, the federal antitrust laws generally apply to commercial banking and investment banking products and services in the same manner as to other economic sectors. Similarly, the Horizontal Merger Guidelines1 (Guidelines) of the U.S. Department of Justice (Department) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission apply to the analysis of mergers across sectors. Premerger notifications relating to non-bank mergers in the financial sector are filed pursuant to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act2 and are analyzed under the Guidelines.
The idea of secret banking cabals that control the country and global economy are a given among conspiracy theorists who stockpile ammo, bottled water and peanut butter. After this week’s congressional hearing into the bailout ofAmerican International Group Inc., you have to wonder if those folks are crazy after all. Wednesday’s hearing described a secretive group deploying billions of dollars to favored banks, operating with little oversight by the public or elected officials.
Deutsche Bank has made a non-binding offer to take a capital stake in private bank Sal. Oppenheim, Germany’s biggest bank said on Wednesday. A financial source familiar with the talks said Deutsche was considering a stake below 50 percent in Sal. Oppenheim, which is active in both investment banking and wealth management but which recorded a 117 million euro ($168.4 million) net loss in 2008, its first loss since the World War Two.
By itself, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) is a huge program at $700 billion. As discussed in SIGTARP’s April Quarterly Report, the total financial exposure of TARP and TARP-related programs may reach approximately $3 trillion. Although large in its own right, TARP is only a part of the combined efforts of the Federal Government to address the financial crisis.
Maiden Lane LLC is a limited liability company established by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York following the collapse of Bear Stearns. The company was incorporated on April 29, 2008 in the state of Delaware under the authority of section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act. A 2009 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York describes the company as a “special purpose vehicle” which was created for the purpose of facilitating “the merger of the Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.”
As of March 27, 2009, Treasury had disbursed $303.4 billion of the $700 billion in TARP funds. Most of the funds (about $199 billion) went to purchase preferred shares of 532 financial institutions under the Capital Purchase Program (CPP)—Treasury’s primary vehicle under TARP for stabilizing financial markets. Treasury has continued to take significant steps to address all of the recommendations from our December 2008 and January 2009 reports. In particular, Treasury has recently expanded the scope of the monthly CPP surveys of the largest institutions to include all institutions participating in the program, which is intended to provide Treasury with information necessary to begin to track the effectiveness of the program. Treasury also continued to make progress in several other areas, including requiring firms participating in certain new programs to show how assistance will expand lending. These requirements will better enable Treasury to determine what institutions plan to do with any capital infusions and to track the resulting lending activity of participating institutions on a regular basis. In addition, we specifically found that though Treasury is now receiving dividends from the investments it has made in CPP and certain other programs, it has not publicly reported these receipts, which totaled almost $2.9 billion through March 20, 2009. We recommended that Treasury could improve transparency pertaining to TARP program activities by reporting publicly the monies, such as dividends, paid to Treasury by TARP participants.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, facing his toughest grilling yet by U.S. lawmakers, said on Thursday he had never threatened to fire Bank of America’s management if they pulled the plug on a planned merger with Merrill Lynch. During a tense three-hour hearing, lawmakers repeatedly pressed Bernanke on whether he had coerced Bank of America chief Kenneth Lewis in December to go forward with the deal despite Merrill’s quickly deteriorating finances.
US lawmakers accused the Treasury and Federal Reserve on Thursday of using threats and intimidation to force Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis to take over Merrill Lynch last year. Republicans accused Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson of “putting a gun to the head” of Lewis to close the deal. Bernanke and Paulson, meanwhile, will be asked to testify at a later date before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.