Christopher Whalen

Christopher Whalen

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Washington & Wall Street: Big Banks Back Down in Detroit Bankruptcy

Washington & Wall Street: Big Banks Back Down in Detroit Bankruptcy

In February, we reported on the depredations of large banks operating in the derivatives market focused on public sector entities, especially the bankrupt city of Detroit. Most recently, The New York Times reported that the banks involved in the swaps contracts at

Washington & Wall Street: The Next Bubble Is in Mortgage Servicing

Washington & Wall Street: The Next Bubble Is in Mortgage Servicing

In this installment of Washington & Wall Street, we take readers of Breitbart News into the obscure world of the bond market and an important subset, namely the world of mortgage loan servicing and the “to be announced” (TBA) market

Washington & Wall Street–Memo to GOP: Fed Losses Are Good News

Washington & Wall Street–Memo to GOP: Fed Losses Are Good News

As I traveled back from the EU this weekend, a story in the Financial Times about the unrealized losses that the Fed has generated on its vast portfolio of U.S. Treasury and Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) caught my eye. These losses, contrary

Washington & Wall Street: Down and Out in Paris and London

Washington & Wall Street: Down and Out in Paris and London

This week Washington and Wall Street is “Down and Out in Paris and London,” to borrow the title from the autobiography of George Orwell. We are attending the Paris meeting of the Global Interdependence Center in Philadelphia, which is hosted

Washington & Wall Street: Wall Street Feeds on Bankrupt Detroit

Washington & Wall Street: Wall Street Feeds on Bankrupt Detroit

The bankrupt city of Detroit is going through a terrible process of identifying all of the vacant buildings in this once teaming metropolis. The New York Times reports: All over Detroit, scores of these workers — on some days as many

Washington & Wall Street: The Question Nobody Asked Janet Yellen

Washington & Wall Street: The Question Nobody Asked Janet Yellen

In her first appearance before Congress this week, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen achieved the primary goal of any new Fed chief and avoided any obvious land mines. But what was lacking in the dialogue, both from Yellen and the

Washington & Wall Street: Why Is Elizabeth Warren Going for Postal Banking?

Washington & Wall Street: Why Is Elizabeth Warren Going for Postal Banking?

Last week, the office of the United States Postal Service inspector general released a white paper touting a “huge market” represented by the population of Americans that is underserved by traditional banks and non-bank financial providers.  The proposal is strongly supported

Washington & Wall Street: Is Bitcoin Money or a Movement?

Washington & Wall Street: Is Bitcoin Money or a Movement?

In a recent exchange on Twitter with my London based friend Max Keiser (www.maxkeiser.com) I suggested that the monetary upstart known as bitcoin is merely the latest evolution of the tulip mania speculation.  The Economist describes the tulip mania: “Tulpenwoede” (tulip madness) resulted in big

Washington & Wall Street: Income Inequality and Financial Repression

Washington & Wall Street: Income Inequality and Financial Repression

You don’t get something for nothingYou can’t have freedom for freeYou won’t get wiseWith the sleep still in your eyesNo matter what your dreams might be Rush: Geddy Lee, Neil Peart This past Friday, watching Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben

Washington & Wall Street: The Death of Money

Washington & Wall Street: The Death of Money

My friend and fellow monetary historian James Rickards has written an important new book, “The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System.”  Jim and I both worked together at Tangent Capital Partners in New York and

Washington & Wall Street: Jobs Numbers Suggest Time for Fed to Change Policy

Washington & Wall Street: Jobs Numbers Suggest Time for Fed to Change Policy

Earlier this week I published an interview on Zero Hedge with my friend and mentor David Kotok, founder of Cumberland Advisors, entitled “Bagehot & Deflation: Interview with David Kotok.”  The discussion generated a large amount of comment in the financial community, particularly regarding

Washington & Wall Street: Fed Easing Hurting Housing, Banks

Washington & Wall Street: Fed Easing Hurting Housing, Banks

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation released financial data for all federally insured banks as of the end of the third quarter of 2013.  The Quarterly Banking Profile, which is an important publication that provides a comprehensive summary

Washington & Wall Street: Is Dodd-Frank Killing the US Economy?

Washington & Wall Street: Is Dodd-Frank Killing the US Economy?

In my last post, “Washington & Wall Street: So Why Can’t We Prosecute the Banksters?,”  we started to get into some of the historical antecedents of financial regulation.  In this post let’s take the analysis a bit further and start

Washington & Wall Street: So Why Can't We Prosecute the Banksters?

Washington & Wall Street: So Why Can't We Prosecute the Banksters?

During the hearings last week regarding the nomination of Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen, the one thing you definitely heard nothing about was why the US government has not pursued fraud prosecutions against the officers and directors of the major

Washington & Wall Street: Questions for Janet Yellen

Washington & Wall Street: Questions for Janet Yellen

On Thursday Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairman Janet Yellen appears before the Senate Banking Committee to defend her nomination to succeed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who received the weakest approval ever from the Senate when he was confirmed in February