Freddie Mac Issues Warning As Mortgage Rates Soar

Blink, and you missed your chance to refi. And according to nationalized mortgage giant Freddie Mac, it’s about to get worse.
As shown last week, as a result of the recent spike in yields, the population of eligible refinance candidates has already plunged by more than half. As Black Knight pointed out, as of the end of November, though there are still 2M borrowers who could save $200 /month by refinancing and a cumulative $1B/month in potential savings, this is less than half of the $2.1B/ month available just four weeks ago.
Since then the number has shrunk substantially as rates have continued their relentless move higher.
According to the latest Wells Fargo refi rates, a 30 Year Fixed mortgage will now cost a prospective creditor some 4.625%. This was in the mid-3%s just a few months ago.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 15, 2016.

Bankers to Fed: Stop Riding the Asset Bubble and Raise Rates Already

The stakes were high at last September’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Federal Reserve officials had hinted all year that a rate hike was coming. Traders assumed it would come at a quarter-end meeting, coinciding with one of Janet Yellen’s news conferences. If so, it would be the Fed’s last chance until December.
After much suspense, the FOMC again sat on their hands.
But the September vote to do nothing wasn’t unanimous. Three hawkish committee members dissented – a first in Yellen’s term as Fed chair.
What no one outside the Fed knew at the time: Two weeks earlier, the Fed’s Board of Governors had held an unannounced, closed-door meeting with top US bankers, including the heads of Citigroup (C), Wells Fargo (WFC), BB&T Corp (BBT), and Northern Trust (NTRS).
Echoing the FOMC dissents later that month, the bank CEOs asked the board to normalize rates and stop ‘riding the asset bubble being generated by the easy-money policies around the globe.’
That’s unusually direct language by Fed standards, but the way it stayed hidden ahead of the FOMC meeting is stranger still. It raises serious questions about the Yellen Fed’s commitment to transparency as well as its struggle to reach policy consensus.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on DECEMBER 13, 2016.

The Economic Indicators Turn To The Dark Side- Episode 1147a

The following video was published by X22Report on Dec 8, 2016
Deutsche bank points the finger at other banks that were involved in the precious metal manipulation. Wells Fargo created fake accounts using forged signatures, millions of defrauded people are trying to sue Wells, and Wells is arguing that the binding arbitration agreements on accounts that you didn’t open are also binding. Schiller warns stocks are partying like 1929 and it’s not going to end well. Eric Sprott warns that the Fed is pumping billions into the market. JP Morgan quant warns we are moving towards the dark side. The next domino to fall is the Italian banks and it will spread.

Trump’s Tax Cuts Imply Billions Worth Of Deferred Tax Asset Writedowns For Wall Street Banks

Corporate tax reform has been a key policy initiative of Trump’s as he has called for slashing the corporate tax rate from 35% down to 15%. While this is welcome news for most companies, it would result in some fairly staggering writedowns for Wall Street’s largest banks that amassed substantial net operating losses in 2008 and 2009.
According to Bloomberg, Citibank would be hardest hit with writedowns that could hit earnings for up to $12 billion or more.
Donald Trump’s planned U. S. corporate tax cuts could translate to a big one-time earnings hit for many of the biggest U. S. banks, thanks to tax benefits they generated during the 2008 financial crisis.
Citigroup Inc. would take the deepest earnings hit — perhaps $12 billion or more, according to recent estimates by the bank’s chief financial officer and several banking analysts. Mark Costiglio, a Citigroup spokesman, declined to comment. Others, including Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. could face multibillion-dollar writedowns.
The banks might have to write down deferred tax assets, which often pile up when a company loses money and can’t immediately enjoy the tax benefits of those losses. Any writedowns won’t have much impact on capital levels for the banks for regulatory purposes, and lower taxes will allow for higher earnings in the long run. But a one-time hit to earnings can make for a bruising quarter — and even year — for a bank’s results.
‘It’s a traumatic experience for companies with large’ amounts of such assets, said Robert Willens, an independent tax and accounting expert in New York. ‘In one fell swoop, a significant part of their net worth goes up in smoke.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2016.

Foreign Central Banks Are Dumping US Treasuries At An Alarming Rate – Episode 1130a

The following video was published by X22Report on Nov 17, 2016
Initial jobless claims are at all time lows even though more and more people are being laid off. Wells Fargo account opening are way down. Housing starts surge at mortgage apps decline. The housing bubble is getting ready to pop. Australia drops the TTIP and move to Chin’a free trade deal. Trump must shutdown the Federal Rerserve to end the control of a foriegn corporation. Foreign central banks are dumping Treasuries at an alarming rate.

Wells Fargo New Account Openings Down 44%; Credit Card Applications Plunge By 50%

While it won’t come as a surprise that Wells Fargo customers were disappointed to learn their bank was embroiled in the biggest banking scandal since the financial crisis which shattered the bank’s “folksy” image, so far there were no definitive numbers to frame the post-settlement reaction.
Earlier today, we finally got the first glimpse into the full scope of the exodus, when the largest US mortgage lender revealed its latest retail metrics, and they were a disaster. The bank reported that retail customers opened 44% fewer new accounts in October relative to a year ago, after the bank’s record-setting settlement with regulators over its cross-selling scandal which cost ex-CEO John Stumpf his job.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2016.

Wells Fargo: MBS Extension Risk ‘Far More Severe’ Than Models Suggest

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Confounded Interest. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
The pony people (aka Wells Fargo) has just issued a mortgage-backed securities alert. (Bloomberg) – Extension risk in mortgages is ‘far more severe’ than production coupon models suggest, Wells Fargo managing director on the mortgage trading desk Kevin Jackson wrote in a client note.
Investors need to ask themselves how they feel ‘about current compensation for extension risk’
Interest rates moving higher make it ‘far more difficult’ to model and assess turnover, first time borrower demand and trade up/trade down propensity

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on November 14, 2016.

Wells Fargo Confirms SEC Probing Its Sales Practices

In the Legal Actions section of its just filed 10-Q, Wells Fargo confirmed that the bank is the object of an SEC probe, as well as various other government, state and local agencies are looking into its sales practices and reported that a “a number of lawsuits have also been filed by non-governmental parties seeking damages or other remedies related to these sales practices.”
SALES PRACTICES MATTERS Federal, state and local government agencies, including the United States Department of Justice and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, and state attorneys general and prosecutors’ offices, as well as Congressional committees, have undertaken formal or informal inquiries, investigations or examinations arising out of certain sales practices of the Company that were the subject of settlements with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney announced by the Company on September 8, 2016. The Company has responded, and continues to respond, to requests from a number of the foregoing seeking information regarding these sales practices and the circumstances of the settlements and related matters. A number of lawsuits have also been filed by non-governmental parties seeking damages or other remedies related to these sales practices.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 3, 2016.

Here’s How Wall Street Is Ripping You Off, and What You Can Do About It

Members of Congress were absolutely shocked – shocked! – that the employees of the commercial bank of Wells Fargo had created several million accounts and credit cards that their customers had never asked for simply to meet sales quotas set by the bank and/or to obtain bonuses.
But what is going on every single day at the brokerage firms owned by all of these banking giants is that the stock broker (variously called a financial consultant, financial adviser or Vice President of Investments) is able to triple the commission he collects on the bonds he sells you at his discretion. It’s been that way for 30 years, if not longer.
Let’s say you are buying a $10,000 corporate bond which the firm is showing on their computer screen with a one point commission. One point means $10 per thousand or a total commission of $100 on a $10,000 bond trade. The honest broker who is truly looking out for the best interests of his client, will do the trade as it appears on the computer screen. But to placate its greedy brokers and its million-dollar producers who can readily jump ship to another firm, the brokerage firm will tolerate the broker tripling the commission to as much as three points or $300 on a $10,000 bond, and sometimes, even more. The broker actually has the ability to go into the computer and change the commission at will when he inputs his trade. The same thing happens on municipal bonds and Ginnie Maes. Over time, that money moving out of your pocket into the pocket of the broker and his firm (the broker gives a split of his commissions to his firm) can make a major difference in your wealth.

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade By Pam Martens and Russ Marte.

14% Of Polled Wells Fargo Customers Have Decided To Leave The Bank

Wells Fargo’s illegal cross-selling and fraudulent account creation practices appear to have caught up with the bank, just days after CEO John Stumpf announced his surprise resignation. As Bloomberg reports, management consultancy cg42 released a poll showing 14% of Wells Fargo customers have decided to leave the bank, “potentially withdrawing billions of dollars and crimping revenue.”
The data confirms what a separate poll by SurveyMonkey Intelligence released last week revealed. According to the survey, since the scandal broke, Wells Fargo has been losing asmuch as 140,000 of its mobile customers every week. The report finds that while the bank reported a downturn in new customer applications and accounts opened since the scandal broke, Wells Fargo curiously hasn’t reported on its customer churn rates. That is, the rate at which Wells Fargo is losing customers as they close their accounts after the scandal. (Conversely, customer retention rates would reveal the rate of customers keeping their accounts. Either metric works.)

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 24, 2016.

I Went to a Wells Fargo Branch, this is What Happened Next

They have learned nothing.
I walked into my Wells Fargo branch to put my data backup into my safe deposit box, as I’ve been doing for a decade. This routine business turned into a wake-up call about safe deposit boxes and churned up insights into how Wells Fargo conducts to this day its cross-selling efforts: the algo makes them do it!
To clarify, I’m a happy customer. Wells Fargo handles day-to-day banking for me and my vast WOLF STREET media-mogul-empire corporation. The people are nice, and I have not yet noticed any fraudulent accounts in my name.
It doesn’t bother me that every time I call one of the national numbers with a problem or question, I have to swat away their offers of ‘pre-approved’ credit cards, lines of credit, or other high-margin products. Having run a car dealership earlier in my life, I appreciate the art of aggressive cross-selling. However, we never-ever did it over the phone! We waited till we saw the whites of their eyes.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ October 23, 2016.

California Attorney General Launches Criminal Probe Into Wells Fargo Over Fake Accounts

John Stumpf is now gone from Wells Fargo, but his – and the bank’s – problems may be just starting.
According to a report by the LA Times, California Department of Justice is investigating Wells Fargo on allegations of criminal identity theft over its creation of millions of unauthorized accounts, according to a search warrant sent to the bank’s San Francisco headquarters this month. The warrant and related documents, served Oct. 5 and obtained by The Times through a FOIA request, confirm that California AG Kamala Harris, in the final weeks of a run for U. S. Senate, has joined the growing list of public officials and agencies investigating the bank in connection with the accounts scandal.
As Reuters adds, the AG warrant seeks to seize documents at Wells, and cites probable cause that felonies were committed at the bank.
Harris’ office demanded the bank turn over a trove of information, including the identities of California customers who had unauthorized accounts opened in their names, information about fees related to those accounts, the names of the Wells Fargo employees who opened the accounts, the names of those employees’ managers and emails or other communication related to those accounts. Her office is also requesting the same information about accounts opened by Wells Fargo workers in California for customers in other states.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 19, 2016.

Wells Fargo CEO Stumpf Quits in Fallout From Fake Accounts

John Stumpf, who led Wells Fargo & Co. through the financial crisis and built it into the world’s most valuable bank, stepped down as chief executive officer and chairman, bowing to public outcry over legions of accounts opened by his employees for customers who didn’t request them.
Stumpf, 63, is retiring from both posts effective immediately, the bank said Wednesday in a statement. Tim Sloan, 56, the chief operating officer long viewed as his most likely successor, will become CEO. Lead director Stephen Sanger will become the board’s non-executive chairman. Elizabeth Duke, a former Federal Reserve Board governor, will be vice chair.
‘This was John Stumpf deciding that the best thing for Wells Fargo to move forward was for him to retire — even though that was a very difficult decision,’ Sloan said in an interview. ‘He wasn’t fired’ or even ‘gently pushed’ by the board.
Stumpf leaves Wells Fargo and its 268,000 employees with a damaged reputation. It has refunded $2.6 million to affected customers and has said it’s ending sales incentives that have been blamed for the abuses. The stock fell as much as 12 percent after the misdeeds became public, and its subsequent rebound hasn’t been enough for San Francisco-based Wells Fargo to retake the top spot in market value among U.S. banks, which it relinquished to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

This post was published at bloomberg

Liz Warren Demands Obama Fire SEC Chief Over Political Donation Disclosures

Fresh from her Wells Fargo ‘victory’, an emboldened Senator Elizabath Warren is taking aim at SEC Chief Mary Jo White. As WSJ reports, Warren’s ongoing efforts to block administration nominees seen as too close to big business have led her to demand President Obama fire White for her decision not to craft a rule requiring public companies to disclose their political spending activities.
Tensions between Ms. Warren and Ms. White erupted at a June Senate hearing, where the Massachusetts lawmaker said she was ‘more disappointed than ever’ in the regulator’s tenure.
Ms. White shot back: ‘I’m disappointed in your disappointment.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 14, 2016.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts – Mixed Messages

Stocks took a dive this morning on data showing that Chinese exports fell by 10% year over year in September.
This plays into the notion that the demand from their trading partners, like the US, is slowing.
However, unemployment claims came in lighter than expected, allowing the acolytes of The Recovery to continue bubbling on.
Financials were also leaders to the downside, as they open their earnings reporting tomorrow, and the CEO of Wells Fargo steps down after the massive fraud scandal.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 13 OCTOBER 2016.

Did Stumpf Lie To Congress? Wells Manager Admits Fake Account Creation As Far Back As 2006

Just when you thought the public floggings were over and another US bank proved that crime pays, it appears Wells Fargo – and its CEO – may not be as ‘Teflon’ as they hoped. Having told Congress under oath that his bank committed criminal activities since 2011, VICE News reports that in fact John Stumpf’s banking head Carrie Tolsetedt was actually aware of the creation of fake accounts since 2006.
5,300 employees were fired over the last few years after federal regulators said Wells Fargo staffsecretly created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts — without their customers knowing it — since 2011.
As CNN reported at the time, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf apologized to customers for more than 2 million fake accounts opened in their names, but denied any orchestrated fraud by bank management.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 11, 2016.

An Open Letter to Elizabeth Warren on Gold Fraud

The letter posted below is from Stewart Dougherty. Elizabeth Warren on the surface purports to represent middle class interests by associating herself with the erection of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But she has turned out to be another faux populist who panders to the public in order to generate voter support and, in reality, sides with the rest of her cronies and looks other way while Corporate America steals our wealth.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a Trojan horse device which superficially appears to protect the public from Wall Street but in reality does nothing more than provide a false sense of security. It’s another useless bureaucratic mechanism which serves no purpose other than to create another Government department that vacuums up taxpayer money and employs people who are otherwise unemployable in the private sector.
I ask you this, dear Elizabeth, if your Consumer Financial Protection Financial Bureau serves any purpose, how on earth did Wells Fargo’s billions in checking account fraud go undetected. I suspect another person with ‘Warren’ in their name had a hand in encouraging you to leave Wells Fargo alone.
And speaking of Wells Fargo, the show you put on the other day verbally ‘pistol-whipping’ Wells Fargo CEO, John Stumpf, was highly entertaining. But unfortunately, your words are tougher than your actions. Based on the financial regulations (see FINRA, please) that are in place to punish those caught committing financial market illegalities, Stumpf can be held legally responsible for the actions of those below him – his ‘agents’ is the technical term in case you’ve never studied financial regulations.

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on October 5, 2016.

The Federal Reserve Explained in 7 Minutes

Is the Federal Reserve a government institution? How and when was this central bank of the United States formed? Why are US citizens forced to divulge all their financial information under penalty of law, yet that of the Federal Reserve remains veiled? The following short video sheds light on this otherwise dark banking enigma.

For more information on this shady outfit, read this brief article on exactly how the Federal Reserve System works. And see a simple, illustrated example of the subtle fleecing of the US currency system since the Fed’s inception.