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Economy Suffers and Banks Prosper

If you were a fly on the wall when JP Morgan helped write the legislation for the Federal Reserve, the latest news on American banks would not come as a surprise to you.  Since none of us were alive in 1913, we are confused at how banks can be so profitable in the last quarter.  I have heard the reasons ranging from government home loan credits to credit card rates of 29.99% to service fees.

None of these are the reason for the banking profits of Q2 2010.

“Overall, banks made $21.6 billion in net income in the April-to-June quarter, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said. It was the highest quarterly level since 2007.”

Your first thoughts might be that banks are gouging the American public to make these profits.  That is not true either.  Banks gouged our society a hundred years ago and have been profiting ever since.  Not every bank, just the banks associated with the founders of the Federal Reserve.   In fact while the few banks with Fed ties have grown to bohemiths , the small banks in America are actually suffering.

In a Miami Herald article :”Problem banks on rise, but bank profits rising toha to”  The author Kevin Hall reveals that we have already seen 140 banks close this year and we are on track to surpass last years bank closures.   Should the housing market see a correction that is very likely to happen in the next year, we will see that number climb incredibly high.  The reasons are not hard to understand.   Take a look at the difference in assets and deposits of the top 10 banks in America.  You simply cannot compete in banking in the United States today unless you are part of the founding membership of the Federal Reserve.

1. Bank of America Corp., 1, Charlotte, N.C., $2,343.9, $956.5

2. JPMorgan Chase & Co., 2, New York, $2,031.0, $887.8

3. Citigroup Inc., 3, New York, $1,937.7, $814.0

4. Wells Fargo & Co., 4, San Francisco, $1,225.9, $815.6

5. HSBC North America Holdings Inc., 5, New York, $334, $116.7

6. U.S. Bancorp, 6, Minneapolis, $283.2, $183.1

7. PNC Financial Services Group Inc., 7, Pittsburgh, $259.9, $178.7

8. Bank of New York Mellon Corp., 8, New York, $237.5, $143.7

9. Capital One Financial Corp., 9, McLean, Va., $197.5, $117.3

10. SunTrust Banks Inc., 10, Atlanta, $170.7, $118.7


Here comes the conspiracy theorist statement:   The loan programs in the 1990’s set up an opportunity for the top banks to cash in on their Federal Reserve connection.  The increasing global competition, low education levels in the United States, and high cost of government oversight of business made it perfectly clear to the top bankers that they needed to cash in on the American wealth quickly and then get out of the market.

What we are seeing in Q2 is the banker’s cashing out of our market.  They know another housing correction is coming.  They know that we have migrated to far towards a service based economy leaving behind our manufacturing roots.  They know that we have passed the line of recovery.   Our debt is now over 3 times our annual GDP.

Look for more steps back from the USD, the stock market, and domestic bonds in the coming months.  It is no longer years before we hit the wall, but rather months.  Those who promised us consistency and security in 1913 when they took over our currency are now jumping ship.

In a good economy banks reflect the economy in their profit margins.  In a broken economy banks can show wild profits even while the economy is falling apart.   Welcome to Q2 2010.  Welcome to proof of our broken economy.

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