Most Popular
1. It’s a New Macro, the Gold Market Knows It, But Dead Men Walking Do Not (yet)- Gary_Tanashian
2.Stock Market Presidential Election Cycle Seasonal Trend Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
3. Bitcoin S&P Pattern - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Nvidia Blow Off Top - Flying High like the Phoenix too Close to the Sun - Nadeem_Walayat
4.U.S. financial market’s “Weimar phase” impact to your fiat and digital assets - Raymond_Matison
5. How to Profit from the Global Warming ClImate Change Mega Death Trend - Part1 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Bitcoin Gravy Train Trend Forecast 2024 - - Nadeem_Walayat
8.The Bond Trade and Interest Rates - Nadeem_Walayat
9.It’s Easy to Scream Stocks Bubble! - Stephen_McBride
10.Fed’s Next Intertest Rate Move might not align with popular consensus - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
Stocks Bull Market Smoking Gun - 25th May 24
Congress Moves against Totalitarian Central Bank Digital Currency Schemes - 25th May 24
Government Tinkering With Prices Is Like Hiding All of the Street Signs - 25th May 24
Gold Mid Tier Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 25th May 24
Why US Interest Rates are a Nothing Burger - 24th May 24
Big Banks Are Pressuring The Fed To Losen Protection For Depositors - 24th May 24
Another Bank Failure: How to Tell if Your Bank is At Risk - 24th May 24
AI Stocks Portfolio and Tesla - 23rd May 24
All That Glitters Isn't Gold: Silver Has Outperformed Gold During This Gold Bull Run - 23rd May 24
Gold and Silver Expose Stock Market’s Phony Gains - 23rd May 24
S&P 500 Cyclical Relative Performance: Stocks Nearing Fully Valued - 23rd May 24
Nvidia NVDA Stock Earnings Rumble After Hours - 22nd May 24
Stock Market Trend Forecasts for 2024 and 2025 - 21st May 24
Silver Price Forecast: Trumpeting the Jubilee | Sovereign Debt Defaults - 21st May 24
Bitcoin Bull Market Bubble MANIA Rug Pulls 2024! - 19th May 24
Important Economic And Geopolitical Questions And Their Answers! - 19th May 24
Pakistan UN Ambassador Grows Some Balls Accuses Israel of Being Like Nazi Germany - 19th May 24
Could We See $27,000 Gold? - 19th May 24
Gold Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 19th May 24
The Gold and Silver Ship Will Set Sail! - 19th May 24
Micro Strategy Bubble Mania - 10th May 24
Biden's Bureau of Labor Statistics is Cooking Jobs Reports - 10th May 24
Bitcoin Price Swings Analysis - 9th May 24
Could Chinese Gold Be the Straw That Breaks the Dollar's Back? - 9th May 24
The Federal Reserve Is Broke! - 9th May 24
The Elliott Wave Crash Course - 9th May 24
Psychologically Prepared for Bitcoin Bull Market Bubble MANIA Rug Pull Corrections 2024 - 8th May 24
Why You Should Pay Attention to This Time-Tested Stock Market Indicator Now - 8th May 24
Copper: The India Factor - 8th May 24
Gold 2008 and 2022 All Over Again? Stocks, USDX - 8th May 24
Holocaust Survivor States Israel is Like Nazi Germany, The Fourth Reich - 8th May 24
Fourth Reich Invades Rafah Concentration Camp To Kill Palestinian Children - 8th May 24

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs Making Billions in Profits From the Tax Payers

Companies / Market Manipulation Jul 22, 2009 - 02:16 AM GMT

By: LewRockwell

Companies

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleTwo important headlines this morning, both of them fraudulent: "Chinese economy bounces back," says one headline in the International Herald Tribune.

"JPMorgan profit soars despite downturn," says another.


The average reader or TV viewer will go no further. "Ah," he says to himself, "good news; the worst is over. China is a green shoot as big as the Amazon. And JPMorgan is a leader in the financial sector. If the financial sector is doing well, the whole world economy must be doing well."

But we can't help ourselves. If we see a silver lining, we look for the cloud. We see garbage...we look for the rat... We begin with the JPMorgan profit announcement, because it is the most intriguing. Let us set the stage:

In the last half century, credit has expanded faster even than dress sizes. Naturally, this has made the business of hawking credit extremely profitable. Profits in the financial sector soared to 40% of the U.S. total. And every momma wanted her baby to grow up to be an investment banker.

But then, in 2007 & 2008, the bubble in the financial sector popped. Many banks and financial institutions went broke...or had to be bailed out by the government. Instead of being the world's highest-flying industry...finance became the scene of its biggest crash.

And now, from all we've been able to detect, a fundamental shift has occurred. People are no longer eager to go deeper and deeper into debt. Instead, they are eager to pay off debt...that is, to rid themselves of finance...and to get as far away from the financial sector as possible. Savings rates, for example, have gone from zero to 7% in just the last 12 months.

But in the midst of this remarkable and historic change, we get news that at least a couple of the biggest firms in the financial sector – JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs – are making billions in profits:

"Even as it weathers the worst economic downturn in decades, JPMorgan Chase said Thursday that it had made a $2.7 billion second-quarter profit as a result of stellar trading and investment banking results."

This was essentially the same story we got from Goldman. Neither bank made its money the old-fashioned way – by lending to worthy projects; they made their dough by "trading" and "investment banking." In other words, they made billions from speculation.

Anyone who takes this as evidence of a recovering economy should work for the government. Only a government economist or a mental defective (excuse us for being redundant) could believe that genuine prosperity can be built on a foundation of speculating by large financial institutions. You can see why by asking a simple question: whom were they trading against?

Speculating is a zero-sum game. No matter who wins, the economy is not a bit better off; it has not a centime more in resources. Goldman and JPMorgan report earning, together, more than $6 billion. Who was on the other side of that trade?

There is also something fishy about the whole thing. Trading is not only a zero-sum game, it's a game of chance. Traders lose money about as often as they make it. Of course, normally, the traders at the big banks have an advantage; they are not idiots. They make money by taking it away from the amateur traders, who are idiots. But what amateur traders put up $6 billion?

Our guess: the fix is in. They are taking advantage of the feds' stimulus programs...and trading against the biggest patsy in the world, the U.S. taxpayer. How? We'll find out how, later...

Meanwhile, there is the news that China is back in business.

"Government spending pushes GDP growth to 7.9% for 2nd quarter," reports the IHT, "...fueled by a large economic stimulus package and aggressive bank lending...a surprisingly strong showing during the global economic downturn...

"...while most other major economies are contracting and suffering from the worst economic crisis in decades, China appears to have turned a corner...

"Growth in the second quarter was driven by strong auto and property sales, a rebound in manufacturing and huge infrastructure spending, which was propping up global commodity prices."

Further investigation reveals that bank lending and property speculation have gone wild. (More on this in today's essay, below...) And stocks in Shanghai are up 75% so far this year.

Now, let's try to get this straight. The world is in a slump. China sells stuff to the world. And yet, China is booming.

How could it be? Again, there's something fishy about it...as if the government were jiving the figures...as if the speculators had taken leave of their senses...and as if the whole thing were just the result of the same kind of misguided "stimulus" that got us into trouble in the first place...

The Richebächer Letter's Rob Parenteau agrees that something isn't quite right. "Ask anyone who's done business there. Keeping a double set of books in China isn't just common, it's considered 'good strategy.' You've also got under-regulated Chinese banks hiding as much as $500 billion in bad debts – China's own version of 'subprime' loans to small businesses and Asian property speculators.

"On top of that, you've got a $40 billion tab left over from the Beijing Olympics... and a $140 billion tab for rebuilding Sichuan after their 2008 earthquake."

Boom...boom...ka-booooom!

Bill Bonner [send him mail] is the author, with Addison Wiggin, of Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of The 21st Century and Empire of Debt: The Rise Of An Epic Financial Crisis and the co-author with Lila Rajiva of Mobs, Messiahs and Markets (Wiley, 2007).

Copyright © 2009 Bill Bonner

http://www.lewrockwell.com

    © 2009 Copyright LewRockwell.com - All Rights Reserved
    Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2022 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in