Powell on Bank Acquisitions

Armstrong Economics Blog/Banking Crisis Re-Posted May 9, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

After the FOMC decision, Jerome Powell stated during his Q&A that the Federal Reserve does not have a plan to consolidate banks. “I personally felt that having small, medium, and large were a great part of our banking system,” Powell stated, noting that they all serve different customers. Powell said it could have been a good outcome had one of the regional banks bought failed First Republic instead of JPMorgan Chase. However, the chairman noted that the FDIC mandates that banks be acquired using the least costly resolution option.

The FDIC says it does not give preference to bidders. How can a bank qualify? According to the FDIC website: “Bid lists are created for each acquisition opportunity based on potential acquirer’s qualifications and interests and characteristics of the failing bank such as capital ratios, regulatory ratings, assets and core deposits as reported on the most recent Call Report and geographic location of the bank. Each bid list is developed using several criteria sets to identify approved potential bidders for an acquisition opportunity, while considering factors that match likely approved bidders to an acquisition opportunity.”

Due to the recent banking failures, the FDIC has also created guidelines specifically for failed bank acquisitions:

“The FDIC markets troubled institutions to healthy insured depository institutions. The FDIC is statutorily required to resolve failed institutions using the least costly resolution option minimizing losses to the Deposit Insurance Fund. The FDIC's primary objective is to maintain financial system stability and public confidence. Returning assets to the private sector in an orderly manner at the best price is another key objective. The FDIC also tries to reduce the impact on the community.

Recapitalization before failure is the preferred method to resolve open troubled financial institutions. FDIC markets institutions in case a failing institution is not able to resolve its issues on its own. If an insured depository institution is unable to resolve its issues, the FDIC will implement its resolution process by which qualified bidders may seek to acquire the assets and assume the liabilities of the failing institution.”

Obviously, smaller banks will not have the ability to compete. All banks are struggling with liquidity issues, and mid-sized institutions will likely be unable to offer the “least costly resolution option.” Ideally, they want failing banks to be attained prior to failure, and only large institutions can provide that cushion. Nothing in the FDIC guidelines at the time of this writing currently limits what a large institution could acquire. The computer states that we will see more banking failures across the globe. Based on these guidelines in the US, it is reasonable to assume that large banks like JPMorgan Chase will benefit from future acquisitions and continue to grow. It is unclear whether banking monopolies are permitted under the 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act, but it remains to be seen what alternatives the system will have as more banks go under.

The California Contagion – PacWest Teters on Becoming the Next Regional Bank to Collapse as Regional Banking Stocks Continue Severe Drops

Posted originally on the CTH on May 4, 2023 | Sundance 

According to those who relish the Cloward-Piven strategy, things are proceeding swimmingly.

…”As long as the decisionmakers continue doing the things that are creating the crisis, the crisis will continue.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said yesterday the “U.S banking system is sound and resilient,” insert uncomfortable snicker here.  However, uncertainty is continuing to pummel the banking industry, despite assurances from the Fed, Treasury, FDIC financial regulators and bankers such as Jamie Dimon who are all saying there is no crisis in the banking industry.

If you want to know the big picture source of the uncertainty, it’s the great pretending.  The average person can sense something is wrong, and the person who pays attention has the experience of institutional lying over the past several years.  The last ten years of lying and pretending has created the biggest collapse in institutional trust in U.S. history.

Russians interfered with the election – trust us. Stick this needle in your arm, it’s safe – trust us.  The FBI are the good guys – trust us. Biden won more votes – trust us. This inflation is merely transitory – trust us.

See the problem?

So, when the same voices shout, “the banking industry is sound, trust us,” well,… yeah, that suspicious cat sense that’s on high alert isn’t buying the chorus.

Reasonably intelligent people who accept things as they are, not as they would have us pretend them to be, can see the core connection to the World Economic Forum, Central Banks, and western globalist policy to change the entire dynamic of economics and finance around the “Climate Change” agenda, or Build Back Better, or Green New Deal.

Overlay that commonsense and pragmatic outlook with the logical consequences of the activity, and this banking collapse issue is a self-fulfilling prophecy.  As long as the decision makers continue doing the things that are creating the crisis, the crisis will continue.

(Via Wall Street Journal) – Regional-bank stocks tumbled Thursday despite assurances from the Federal Reserve that the banking system is on solid footing.

PacWest Bancorp PACW -47.04%decrease; red down pointing triangle, which has been hit hard since the collapses of several banks, dropped by about 40%. The stock started falling in after-hours trading Wednesday evening, after a report that it was considering selling itself.

PacWest said in a statement after midnight Eastern Time Thursday that its core customer deposits were up since the end of the first quarter, and that it hadn’t experienced any unusual deposit flows since the collapse of First Republic.

[…] Investors have been wondering how much further the problems in regional-banking could spread, and whether they will spill over to the broader economy. Some analysts said the decline in PacWest and others reflected the market’s tendency to view news as categorically good or bad, rather than worries about PacWest specifically. Western Alliance, another bank whose stock has been hit hard, fell by about 35%.

[…] Regional banks, as major lenders to businesses and families across the U.S., also tend to fall when investors are expecting a recession. The 10-year Treasury yield slipped this week, and Brent crude hit a 52-week low on Wednesday.

[…] On Wednesday afternoon, the Fed said the U.S. banking system “is sound and resilient,” echoing language from its March statement. Fed Chair Jerome Powell added then that deposit flows at banks had eased and that this week’s seizure and sale of First Republic should further stabilize the industry.

[…] PacWest shares were recently trading around $3.70, putting them on track for their lowest close on record. The stock has now lost some 85% of its value since March 8, the day that SVB spooked bank investors by announcing a loss and a planned capital raise.

Many of PacWest’s customers are tied to technology startups—a tightknit clientele that pulled from high-balance accounts en masse at Silicon Valley Bank before it failed. (more)

Welcome to the New Totalitarian One World Government

Armstrong Economics Blog/Regulation Re- Posted Apr 18, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

QUESTION: Marty, You are the only worthwhile analyst. You were alerting us a year ago that the IMF was creating its own digital currency. We have all these people claiming this will kill the dollar just as they proclaimed the euro when that was created. It is also well known that you were called in about revising the world monetary system numerous times. I heard that you were called in on this one and refused to assist them. You warned back in May of 2021 that the IMF was creating a new reserve digital currency.

Is this all part of the rise of the United Nations, World Bank, and IMF all becoming this one world government? I that why you declined to get involved?


ANSWER: I am not at liberty to speak to issues where I am solicited. Suffice it to say, I took no part in creating this currency. This is part of what I have been warning about digital currency. They can restrict its use and anyone who thinks that somehow Bitcoin will be some independent white knight rushing in to save the day, they have drank too much of the cool aid.

Look, try depositing $10,000 in cash. Watch what happens. I have a friend who owns a bar in a college town. He takes in a lot of cash because the customers often do not have credit cards. Some banks did not even want to accept an account from him. Others required inspection and monitoring because cash CAN BE a way to launder money. Europe has been restricting cash to transactions capped at €1,000.

There is serious talk of restricting purchases for cash or CRYPTOCURRENCY and the way they enforce it is precisely restrictions on businesses and noncompliance means you are out of business when no bank will accept your account. That eliminates business in credit cards as well. This is why I say, they will create a black market through their sheer authoritarianism. Human rights will no longer be respected. This is point 8 of Schwab’s Agenda.

Back in 1980, the press was all over my firm. NPR came in with cameras rolling and could not believe we had just paid a woman $6,000 for a heavy silver serving plate. We had lines all day long at all my locations in addition to the fact I was making markets for all the stores nationwide. Whatever they bought that day they sold immediately;y to us and shipments were coming in from everywhere. I had a team just handling that and we would bundle it all up and send it out in Armored trucks to be refined at Engelhard which was 30 minutes away.

Because of all the publicity, the IRS came in and declared me to be a bank under the theory that Nixon only closed the gold window and gold was never demonetized. Sure, it was a novel theory that just because I was one of the 3 largest gold dealers in the country, that made me a bank without applying for a banking license. They claimed I had to report every transaction of $10,000 or more buying for selling. They sent in their stormtroopers and began going through every transaction. They then went out and audited over 3,000 clients. I decided to retire. That was it. I was not about to become a rat on everyone that walked in the door.

The point is this. They can declare everyone mining cryptocurrency to be a bank. Already, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA) requires any transaction of $10,000 or more to be independently reported to the IRS. The government can declare you to be anything. You can fight them in court and you will lose and it will take years. In the meantime, you will have to comply. They can do ANYTHING they want. It is then your burden to argue that what they are doing is illegal. Good luck. We are no more living in a free country than Russia or China. The government can do anything it desires. It will always be your burden to say they are acting unconstitutionally.

You will NOT be able to travel internationally with even gold coins. You may not even be able to hop on a plane domestically with gold or cash. Over the past several years, a common question for U.S. taxpayers across the globe is whether or not a foreign-based virtual currency such as Bitcoin that is held overseas is reportable for FBAR (Foreign Bank and Financial Account Reporting) or FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) purposes. The Treasury was already pushing since 2021 for any transaction of $10,000 or more in cryptocurrency must be reported to the IRS.

Whether you are a visitor to the United States or a U.S. citizen arriving in the United States, you must complete one or more entry forms.

At the end of the day, they want their pound of flesh and they want absolutely everything to be restricted and monitored. Welcome to the new law of totalitarianism.

Categories: Regulation

Are Markets Irrational or Analysts?

Armstrong Economics Blog/Forecasts Re-Posted Mar 27, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; Who is being irrational? The markets or the analysts?


ANSWER: That’s simple. It is the analysts. The markets are ALWAYS correct. When you have bank failures unfolding, people will withdraw money out of caution. It is the very same reason there are ancient hoards of coins. You find coins in times of economic stress and uncertainty. This is a purely RATIONAL human response to uncertainty. It consistent for thousands of years. For any analyst to claim the markets are acting “irrationally” only proves they should look for another profession.

Sir Thomas Gresham began his career in 1543 working at Mercers’ Company at the age of 24 years old. He left England for Antwerp/Amsterdam which was the financial center of the day much like Wall Street. That was where he became a merchant businessman which was where banking existed in those days. He became an agent for King Henry VIII in the Antwerp/Amsterdam market. He became a trader and in so doing, he began to observe how capital moved.

The interesting aspect was that he was called in as a sort of crisis manager as I have been during financial upheavals. In 1551, Sir William Dansell, who was King’s Merchant there in the markets, ended up putting the English Government into a financial crisis thanks to his mismanagement.  The English turned to Gresham for advice since he became quite astute at trading. They adopted his proposals. It was then that Gresham proposed a very ingenious tact. He advocated a FOREX intervention to push the pound higher on the Antwerp change. His intervention proved so successful that in just a few years King Edward VI had discharged almost all of his debts. By pushing the pound higher, he was able to repay the previous debts by devaluing them.

Therefore, the English Crown sought Gresham’s advice in all their finances until Mary came to the throne in 1553. Gresham was instantly pushed aside for  Alderman William Dauntsey, who lacked trading experience and quickly sent the Crown into financial stress. Gresham was called back to deal with the mess once again.

Under Queen Elizabeth’s reign (1558–1603), he continued as a financial agent of the Crown and also became the Ambassador Plenipotentiary to the Governor of the Netherlands. This was the period of civil unrest in Antwerp which compelled him to return to England in 1567. This is also when the English had the founding of the Royal Exchange to compete with the Netherlands. It was Gresham who made the proposal to build, at his own expense, a bourse or exchange. This demonstrated that Gresham was a trader and understood how capital flowed.
Apart from some small sums to various charities, Gresham bequeathed the bulk of his property (consisting of estates in London and around England giving an income of more than 2,300 pounds a year) to his widow and her heirs, with the stipulation that after her death his own house in Bishopsgate Street and the rents from the Royal Exchange should be vested in the Corporation of London and the Mercers Company, for the purpose of instituting a college in which seven professors should read lectures, one each day of the week, in astronomy, geometry, physic, law, divinity, rhetoric and music.[1] Thus, Gresham College, the first institution of higher learning in London, came to be established in 1597.

Gresham’s Law (stated simply as: “Bad money drives out good“). He concluded this from his observations that foreign exchange back then was based on the metal content and weight of the coinage. Therefore, as debasement took place, people would hoard the old coinage of higher quality and spend the debased.  Thus, the bad money drove out the good and actually shrunk the money supply in circulation.

He urged Queen Elizabeth to restore the debased currency of England. In so doing, you got to repay old debts with debased currency. Governments to this day practice that same trick. Repaying a 30-year bond today the bondholder cannot buy what the money was once worth 30 years ago. The interest does not really compensate for the loss of purchasing power over long periods of time.

The Fed Does Not Back Down

Armstrong Economics Blog/Interest Rates Re-Posted Mar 22, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

COMMENT: Marty, it’s refreshing to have Socrates that is totally unbiased. It projected continued rising rates into next year and the Fed just proved its point. It is not backing down.

Thank you. Socrates is very enlightening.


ANSWER: I know there were a lot of talks that surely the Fed had to lower rates and start QE all over again. Most of those sorts of comments have no real experience in markets. They just mouth a lot of hot air. Perhaps instead of putting masks on cows, we should do that on the shills. The Federal Reserve had no choice but to raise interest rates although it was just by a quarter point. Not to do so and the Fed would lose all credibility and the market would then not take them seriously.

You MUST understand that this crisis has unfolded because too many banks were wrapped up in WOKE culture and hired people who were UNQUALIFIED to run risk management. Some were more excited about cross-dressing as a woman and winning the Rainbow award in banking than actually protecting the bank from the risk of rising interest rates.

In a statement released at the conclusion of the meeting, Fed officials acknowledged that recent financial market turmoil is weighing on inflation and the economy, though they expressed confidence in the overall system. “The US banking system is sound and resilient.” They had no choice but to make this statement.

“Recent developments are likely to result in tighter credit conditions for households and businesses and to weigh on economic activity, hiring and inflation. The extent of these effects is uncertain.”

The Fed is saying that their rise in rates will in fact reduce inflation and economic activity. The banks have this yield curve risk and that is different from the 2007-2009 crisis where the debt was based on fraud. Here, the debt is US Treasuries so they are not going bankrupt from that aspect, but it is a liquidity crisis.

If these people who scream loudly but know nothing really about finance keep up the nonsense, they will only add to the uncertainly. This inflation is accelerating thanks to the war.

The Banking & Debt Crisis Continues

Armstrong Economics Blog/Banking Crisis Re-Posted Mar 22, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

The banking crisis continues and it is impacting funds that have been buying bonds. Allianz, a subsidiary of Pimco, is writing off countless millions with Credit Suisse bonds. The banking crisis has been the result of artificially low-interest rates for far too long and banks were used to free money and buy long-term bonds all because they were making their money on the spread. Now that rates are rising, their risk management was effectively nonexistent, and thus the losses and widespread.

The Allianz subsidiary Pimco is one of the largest asset managers in the world. They have to now write off a loss in Credit Suisse bonds and it’s ain’t over yet as we head into April 10th.

BITCOIN – The Reality Check

Armstrong Economics Blog/Cryptocurrency Re-Posted Mar 21, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

COMMENT: Mr. Armstrong, I just wanted to thank you for the education. When you explained that Bitcoin was not some hedge against central banks or an exception to everything out there but was just another trading vehicle, you saved my life for sure my wife would have killed me during the crash. The November turning point proved correct. Now we head into some very interesting times with Directional Changes ahead. The bounce now is the same pattern you see in gold. It is just a trading vehicle and not a store of wealth. Thank you for that reality check.


REPLY: Yes, spousal abuse can be a major deterrent. Merrill Lynch paid me to teach a client how to trade who had created the biggest one-day loss perhaps in trading history and wrote a check and kept trading. I got him to pay more attention, but when he was winning, he was too busy to watch. He seemed to love to lose money for that got him all geared up. It was his wife that made him stop trading.

Look, Bitcoin is NOT some store of wealth. You will lose your shirt, pants, and spouse if you buy into that. It is a trading vehicle – nothing more. Just follow Socrates. That gives at least an unbiased viewpoint. What goes up, comes down and what goes down eventually goes up. That is just the law of the market.

This Just In – Western Nation Central Banks Organize to Provide Daily Liquidity of Dollars in The Event of Contagion Bank Collapse

Posted originally on the CTH on March 19, 2023 | Sundance 

This is rather remarkable and tells us something about the current status of the “western” financial system.  The last sentence in today’s announcement from the FED is particularly laughable.   Check this out [Source]:

That last sentence is nonsense.   When was the last time the ‘central banks’ worried about the supply of credit to households and businesses?  Total and complete nonsense. What they are worried about is the need to have readily available dollars, faster, to backstop banks that are supposed to be holding deposits.

Nothing quite inspires ‘global banking confidence’ like the need to swap dollars rapidly, from country to country on a daily basis, because the amount of currency in bank, within any western nation, at any given time, might disappear.

Yesterday’s monologue from Neil Oliver, and the recent personal banking story that structures his comments, is standing as eerily prescient right now.  SEE BELOW:


“This just in.  Everything is fine… the liquidity of the Western banking system has never been stronger”… “Look over there folks, Trump indictment, nothing to see here folks… move along now”…