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.

Fed Dead Redemption! US Treasury 10Y Yield Up 10 BPS As US Debt And Unfunded Liabilities Hits $204 TRILLION (50 BPS Rate Hike Expected At Fed’s 12/14 Meeting)

The start of a new week and the US Treasury 10-year yield is up 10 basis points, always a noteworthy change. And with it, the 30-year mortgage rate should climb.

Meanwhile, the political elite party in Washington DC as the US National Debt hit $31.4 TRILLION and unfunded liabilities (the amount that the political elites promised Americans) hit $173 TRILLION for a grand total of … $204 TRILLION.

Since Biden/Pelosi/Schumer are in a lame duck session with Republicans taking the House in January, let’s see if Republicans can halt the insanity in Washington DC.

Be that as it may, Fed Funds Futures are pointing at a 50 basis point rate hike at the December 14th FOMC meeting.

Seriously, how is The Federal Reserve going to cope with $204 TRILLION … and growing Federal debt AND unfunded liabilities?

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).

Recession Alert! ISM Prices Paid Crashes To Covid Shutdown Levels As Fed Tightens

Warning! Evidence of a US recession is appearing. And with a recession, prices will likely fall due to lack of demand.

Why might inflation be falling? Take a gander at ISM Prices Paid. They just fell to the lowest level since the infamous Covid economic shutdowns of 2020.

M2 Money growth YoY is the lowest in years, but The Fed’s balance sheet remains elevated. But apparently the Covid-related sugar rush has ended.

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.

Challenger Job Cuts Hit 416.5% In November As The Fed Deflates The US Economic Tires (PCE Deflator Still High At 5%)

As soon as Bidenflation started soaring with his war on fossil fuels and manic Federal spending, we saw The Federal Reserve starting to remove the excessive monetary stimulus, but Congress didn’t cancel its spending spree.

We ADP jobs report yesterday was ugly (+127k jobs added after +239k jobs added in October). Now we have the Challenger, Gray and Christmas jobs report for Novemeber … and it is terrible. An increase of 416.5% in job cuts.

Today, the US Personal Consumption Expenditures data was released. It shows that the CORE PCE YoY fell to a still high 5%.

If The Fed actually followed any rules other than CNTRL PRINT, we can see that with Core PCE YoY of 5% (or 4.98% to be exact), the Taylor Rule estimate for where The Fed Funds Target rate should be is … 9.78%

Foul Powell on the prowl hinted on The Fed slowing rate increases.

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!