Crypto Bank Silvergate Asked by US Senators to Explain FTX Ties (Where Were The Regulators??)

Always behind the curve, US Senators (Warren, Marshall, Kennedy) want to get to the bottom of Silvergate’s decline and its relationship with Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX. This reminds me of the 2008 financial crisis when The Federal Reserve claimed they never saw it coming. Despite the data.

But back to crypto bank Silvergate.

Crypto bank Silvergate Capital Corp. was asked by three US Senators to release all records about transfers of funds for the collapsed FTX empire of Sam Bankman-Fried. 

“Your bank’s involvement in the transfer of FTX customer funds to Alameda reveals what appears to be an egregious failure of your bank’s responsibility to monitor for and report suspicious financial activity carried out by its clients,” Senators Elizabeth Warren, Roger Marshall and John Kennedy wrote in a letter released Tuesday. “The public is owed a full accounting of the financial activities that may have led to the loss of billions in customer assets, and any role that Silvergate may have played in these losses.”

Shares of the La Jolla, California-based bank fell as much as 8%. The slide extends Silvergate’s losses on the year to more than 84% and has it trading at a fresh 52-week low. Not surprisingly, Silvergates’ stock price is closely linked to cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

The letter cite concerns about the banking services that Silvergate provided to both FTX as well as Bankman-Fried’s trading firm, Alameda Research. It says the arrangement between FTX and Alameda depended on Silvergate’s depository services and puts the bank “at the center of the improper transmission of FTX customer funds.”

“Silvergate’s failure to take adequate notice of this scheme suggests that it may have failed to implement or maintain an effective anti-money laundering program, as required under the Bank Secrecy Act,” the Senators said.

Perhaps Silvergate should be renamed Silverfish. But seriously, no US Senator or DC regulator saw the following chart?? Bitcoin and other cryptos have been clobbered in 2022 as The Fed tightens monetary policy to combat inflation.

Here is our regulator, SEC’s Gary Genslar, keeping an eye on cryto exchanges like FTX.

Maybe US Senators and DC regulators thought Silvergate is a silverfish.

US Treasury Yield Curve Inverts To -82 Basis Points, Worst Since 1981 As Fed Tightens Policy (112 Straight Days Of Inversion)

Whoop there it is!

The US Treasury 10y-2y yield curve descended further into inversion at -82 basis point, the worst since 1981.

This is not a good sign, since the 10Y-2Y curve typically inverts just prior to a recession.

The current US Treasury curve is currently humped at 1 year, then declining rapidly. The swaps curve is peaking at 9 months, then declining rapidly.

The Fed Funds Futures market is pointing to a peak Fed Funds rate of 5% at the May 3rd FOMC meeting.

Yes, a recession is headed our way.

Strange Days! Fed Remittances Due To Treasury Skyrockets As Fed Tightens, Strategic Petroleum Reserve Crashing As M2 Money Growth Dies

We are truly living in Strange Days under Joe Biden. And with Elon Musk’s release of Twitter’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, they call Joe Biden the Sleaze.

As The Federal Reserve tries to crush Bidenflation, we are seeing Fed Remittances to the US Treasury soaring (white line). At the same time, we see the Biden Administration draining the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (orange dashed line). And as The Fed tightens, M2 Money growth crashes (green line).

And with tech layoffs, I predict that 2023 job growth will be pretty bad.

As I have discussed before, I am a fan of ADP’s job reports and not a fan of the BLS NFP reports. As M2 Money growth slows, we can see declining ADP jobs added (yellow line), but BLS’s NFP report shows huge spikes.

Lastly, we have Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX. SBF should be in custody for being involved in one of the biggest fraud cases in history, but like Hunter Biden, is roaming free and trying to raise MORE funds. Why are these lapses in justice occuring with “10% for The Big Guy” Biden?

Corruption in Washington DC?

Fed Dead Redemption! Blackstone’s $69 Billion Real Estate Fund Hits Redemption Limit (Equity REITs DOWN -23.6% In 2022, Mortgage REITs DOWN -28.6%)

As The Federal Reserve continues its assault on inflation by raising their target rate, Blackstone Inc.’s $69 billion real estate fund for wealthy individuals said it will limit redemption requests, one of the most dramatic signs of a pullback at a top profit driver for the firm and a chilling indicator for the property industry.

Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust Inc. has been facing withdrawal requests exceeding its quarterly limit, a major test for the one of the private equity firm’s most ambitious efforts to reach individual investors. The news, in a letter Thursday, sent Blackstone stock falling as much as 10%, the biggest drop since March. 

You can see the problem facing commercial real estate. Since December 31, 2021, NAREIT’s all-equity REIT index has fallen -23.6% while NAREIT’s mortgage REIT index has fallen -28.6%. It looks like Blackstone’s Real Estate Income Trust has a decline coming.

If I look at NCREIF’s commercial property index, we can see that The Fed helped boost CRE values. But what will happen if and when The Fed actually shrinks its balance sheet.

I call The Fed’s attempts at cooling inflation “Fed Dead Redemption” since it resulted in redemptions from real estate funds.

Good November Jobs Report Points To Higher Mortgage Rates, Likely More Rate Hikes Coming From The Fed (REAL Wage Growth At -2.2% YoY, US Yield Curve Inverted For 109 Straight Days)

Unlike yesterday’s ADP jobs report (only 127k jobs added), the official Federal government report shows 263k jobs added. I like the ADP report, but The Fed pays attention to the BLS numbers. So, …

U.S. employers added 263,000 jobs in November, and the nation’s unemployment rate stayed the same at 3.7 percent, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department. Meanwhile, average hourly pay for workers rose 5.1 percent from a year earlier, to $32.82 from $31.23. But the US headline inflation rate at the last reading was 7.7% YoY that equates to -2.2% REAL Average Hourly Earnings YoY.

Mortgage rates fell to 6.51 yesterday, but expectations of Fed rate hikes (WIRP) and the 10-year Treasury yield are up today. In fact, the 10-year US Treasury yield is up 10 basis points this morning. This will likely translate to higher mortgage rate today.

Inflation is still the humming dragon crushhing the US middle class and at last report stood at 7.7% YoY. Average hourly earnings YoY rose to 5.1% in November, which is good. But inflation takes a huge bite out that number, resulting in -2.2% YoY REAL average hourly earnings.

And the US 10Y-2Y Treasury yield curve has been inverted for 109 straight days.

Here is the rest of the jobs report.

The biggest gainer? Motion picture and sound recording industries followed by logging (with rising energy prices, people have to heat their homes somehow).

When Powell Talks, People Listen (S&P 500 Index UP 3% On Powell Message Of Slower Fed Rate Hikes)

Fed Chair Jerome Powell had a message yesterday to investors. His message was … The Fed is going to slow the rate of rate increases. And just like that the S&P 500 index rose 3%.

Here is Jerome Powell investigating Fed rate hikes.

104 Days Later! US 10Y-2Y Yield Curve Remains Inverted For 104 Staight Days, Mortgage Rate Falls As Fed Tightens (Ethereum Rises > 4%)

Yes, The US Treasury 10Y-2Y yield curve remains inverted, for the 104th straight day. And Bankrate’s 30-year mortgage rate has dropped -57 basis points since November 3, 2022.

This comes after a gruesome Pending Home Sales and mortgage applications reports today.

At least Ethereum is up over 4% today!

US Pending Home Sales Fall -36.7% YoY In October, MBA Purchase Applications Fall -31.22% YoY As Fed Tightens

The Federal Reserve continues to remove the monetary punch bowl despite the global yield curve inverting and The Fed fighting Bidenflation.

On the mortgage front, mortgage applications decreased 0.8 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 25, 2022. This week’s results include an adjustment for the observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Refinance Index decreased 13 percent from the previous week and was 86 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 31 percent compared with the previous week and was 41 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

On the housing front, US pending home sales fell for a fifth month in October as demand continued to sag under the weight of high mortgage rates.

The National Association of Realtors index of contract signings to purchase previously owned homes decreased 4.6% last month, according to data released Wednesday. And fell -36.7% YoY.

All together now. Look at pending home sales YoY and mortgage purchase applications SA compared with M2 Money YoY.

Is this part of The Great Reset??

US Home Price Growth Slows To 10.65% YoY In September As Fed Tightens

The Covid outbreak of early 2020 begat a massive surge in monetary stimulus which has dissipated. Notice that home price growth is dissipating as well.

Also causing problems for housing is NEGATIVE REAL WAGE GROWTH. While the US is suffering from inflation and decling real wage growth, trading partner Germany has even a worse REAL WAGE GROWTH problem.

Where? Florida is doing great!!

Do I detect a trend?

Fed Rollercoaster! Fed Will Slash Rates By 200 Basis Points by Mid-2023 Says Deutsche Bank

Fed Rollercoaster!

Deutsche Bank, my former employer, said that The Fed will slash rates by 200 basis points by mid-2024 after staying hawkish in the short term.  

Deutsche Bank increased its view on the terminal rate and now sees it hitting 5.1% in May. 

The Federal Reserve will remain hawkish in the short term but will cut benchmark rates sharply after that, according to a Monday note from Deutsche Bank. 

The central bank has hiked rates by 375 basis points so far this year, with another half-point increase widely expected next month. Even more tightening will come, with analysts at Deutsche Bank increasing their view on the terminal rate, which they now see hitting 5.1% in May. 

“Risks remain skewed to the upside, and we caution that the transition to pausing and eventual cuts may not be entirely linear,” the note said. “If elevated inflation and labor market imbalances persist, or financial conditions fail to tighten, a higher terminal rate could be needed.”

Meanwhile, the economy will slow down amid the aggressive tightening, and Deutsche Bank sees an 80% probability of a recession in the next year. 

Analysts anticipate a moderate recession beginning mid-2023, with real GDP falling about 1.25 percentage
points over three quarters and the unemployment rate reaching a peak of 5.5%.

“With a sharp rise in the unemployment rate and inflation showing clearer signs of progress, the Fed should cut rates by 200bps by mid-2024 when it approaches a neutral level around 3%,” analysts said. “QT should cease when the Fed cuts rates, to ensure both tools are not working in competing directions. Balance sheet drawdown could be modified or halted earlier if reserves continue to fall faster than expected.”

The first rate cut will be 50 basis points in December 2023, followed by 150 basis points of cuts into 2024, the note said.

The last Fed Dots Plot shows the next leg of The Fed Rollercoaster.

In the short term, Fed Funds Futures are pointing at another 106 basis point increase by June 2023.

Yes, its The Fed Rollercoaster!