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Tavakoli Structured Finance, Inc.

The Financial Report

By Janet Tavakoli

Financial Leadership: Dividing Our Supporters, Uniting Our Critics

JPMorgan Opposed Volcker Rule

“I have had bosses, and bosses of my bosses, whose names we all know, who made little secret that they were [at the SEC] to punch their ticket. They mouthed serious regard for the mission of the commission, but their actions were tentative and fearful in many instances.”

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Comment Letter to the SEC Re: File No. S7-11-13

It is hard to fathom how the SEC took Congressional findings—and the SEC’s experience before and after the 2008 financial crisis—and came up with these proposed rule amendments without realizing it risks being branded as a rogue regulator that requires reining in by Congress.

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Bloomberg’s Glitch Highlights Larger Issues


A prime example of why you shouldn’t rely on one pricing source is Bloomberg’s Dow-at-zero blooper.

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Did Banks Dump Structured Financial Products in Your Pension Fund?

Janet Tavakoli and Maria Bartiromo

Almost five years after the financial crisis, Congress confirmed Richard Cordray, former Attorney General of Ohio, as the head of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). As Ohio’s AG, Cordray took JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup to court over their

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Hidden Bank Risks Drive Investors to Productive Assets, U.S. Treasuries, and Gold

Banks Blind Spot

Kyle Bass, founder of Hayman Capital Management, announced during his March 2013 talk to the Chicago Booth’s Global Markets Initiative that he is bearish on Japan and has engaged in $500 billion notional tail-risk trades.

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Alan Greenspan Played Daily Show’s Jon Stewart

Citigroup Stock Prices Jan 2004 to october 25 2013

Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve board (August 1987 – January 31, 2006), recently appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Greenspan said he didn’t see the financial crisis coming; he thought bankers would be better stewards of their capital. That was meant to be an apologia of sorts for the Fed’s bungling oversight

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Prince Harry Responds to Goldman Sachs

Captain Harry Wales

I intend to perform my responsibilities in a way that will live up to the standards set by the men and women serving in the British armed forces: my comrades in combat, and my friends.

You claim you are doing “God’s work.” I see your work is ongoing. I have chosen a different path. I aspire only to acquit myself well in doing the work of an adult person of honor, as so many of the men and women I admire have done.

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Currency Manipulation and Derivatives


Whenever we see another case of manipulation in the currency, energy, gold, commodities, interest rate, credit derivatives, securitization, or equity markets, management of the culprit financial institution inevitably blames it on “unauthorized” trading by one or more “rogue” traders. Traders’ salaries are low relative to the potential for seven figure bonuses. When you offer a

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President Obama Might Ask Who Benefits from U.S. Debt Default

JPMorgan Opposed Volcker Rule

Bloomberg News’ Yalman Onaran wrote an article on Monday about the disaster that would unfold if we don’t raise the debt ceiling and the U.S. has a technical default by missing an interest payment on U.S. Treasuries. James Kochan’s quote summed up my feelings: “Well, holy cripes!” It has never happened in modern history and

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Structured Finance: Sovereign Debt, Banks, and Gold

Liberty Coin by Tavakoli

The U.S never really minded if a Latin American oil minister took a kickback here or a bribe there to grease the wheels for a foreign oil company or an importer of hard liquor. Latin American taxpayers wouldn’t notice. The money was really just an upfront golden parachute. No U.S. executive ever went to jail

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Pope Francis, Glenn Greenwald, and Tavakoli Respond to Media

Pope Francis

Seymour Hersh, the Pulitzer Prize winner who exposed the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War, wants to fix what’s wrong with American journalism. He asserts the press should be outsiders instead of access journalists: “Our job is to find out ourselves, our job is not to just say—here’s a debate, our job is to

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A Risk Manager’s Impossibility?

JPMorgan Opposed Volcker Rule

A reconsideration of the London Whale, JPMorgan’s risk management, Jamie Dimon’s oversight – and their implications for other financial institutions If you are a risk manager at a U.S. bank, you will be faced with difficult decisions.  You’ve probably already run into one or more of what I think of as the three major problems

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Should We Help End Cuba’s ‘Special Period’?

Havana Lost

What is it like to live in a country where the government has been accused of torture, fickle application of the law to imprison citizens, unfair courts, repression of journalists, and a huge prison system? I’m not talking about the United States—in case you thought I was—I’m talking about Cuba. That’s the question that ran

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Why POTUS Allowed Bailouts Without Indictments

Financial Crisis Evidence ABX Index

In November 2008, President Obama was elected, and he was sworn in January 2009. The country was promised change and reform. Recently two democrats close to the top of President Obama’s administration made excuses to me for the lack of financial reform in the United States. Their separately related versions were remarkably similar, so similar

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Who Says Gold Is Money? (Part Two)

King George Sovereign

Who is right? Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger and many more say you shouldn’t own gold. Ray Dalio, David Einhorn, Jim Rogers, John Paulson, George Soros, and I (among many others) own some gold—but that doesn’t mean you should own it. Many people believe Warren Buffett is the magic Jesus of finance. He’ll be the

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