Sie sind auf Seite 1von 56

Armstrong Economics

Forecasting the World


Main menu
Skip to primary content
Skip to secondary content

Global Market Watch
Princeton Economics
Library & Research

Post navigation
Previous Next

The Federal Reserve: Part I The Creature

from Jekyll Island
Posted on April 16, 2015 by Martin Armstrong

Hello MartinGreat work and I wish you the best.

One question regarding your recent email alerts from your blog in regards to the money out of thin
air discussion that was/is going on.
What is your opinion on how G. Edward Griffens book, The Creature From Jekyll Island, relates
to the discussion on the above topic. Do you think he is wrong on his analysis of the Federal
Thank you for your time, sir and I look forward to your answer and opinion because it seems that
you and him have conflicting opinions.
ANSWER: This is like asking to criticize the Bible since so many people believe every word
written in this book. Well here it goes. Thousands of hate e-mails will flood in, but conspiracy
myths be damned, they are a cover-up for the real culprit Congress. Some people hate
central banks because of this book, they believe Andrew Jackson was a hero and are oblivious
to the fact that he set off a round of wildcat banking that ended in yet another sovereign debt
default among the states who then tried to bailout their own banks.
Well, fiction be damned. The Creature From Jekyll Island is amateurish at best and another
total misrepresentation of the facts and events. It is very one-sided and ignores the real
political manipulation of the Fed by the government for their own self-interest. It promotes the
very same Marxist/socialistic beliefs from the Progressive Era that gave us the New Deal and
robbed every one of their future: altering the family structure in the West forever.
The original design of the Fed was to be private, for banks were to contribute to fund their own
bailouts, as JP Morgan had done taking the lead during the Panic of 1907. It was not to be a
government bailout operation. The United States had no central bank at that time. There was never
any intent to create the institution as it exists today: the original design was altered dramatically by
lawyers who never understood the madness of their own minds in their pursuit of power as

J.P. Morgans Testimony

We must also look at the context of the era from which Griffin draws his ideas. We must
be EXTREMELY careful for much of what he said is sheer propaganda, directed at the bankers to
support the rise of Marxism the new Progressive Movement. This movement finally succeeded
with the New Deal and the Great Depression focusing blame at bankers, when in fact Europe
collapsed into a Sovereign Debt Crisis in 1931, which sent the dollar soaring and a capital
concentration from around the world made the 1929 high just as the Nikkei peaked in Japan during
1989. To look at this era we absolutely MUST step back and look at the whole
situation dispassionately. If we do not put this conspiracy aside, we will never understand what
really needs to be reformed.

Before Woodrow Wilson became president, he was the head of Princeton University, and
uttered praise for Morgan and his effort to save the banking system during the Panic of 1907.
The Marxists were responsible were turning the bankers to evil in an attempt to eliminate
freedom. After all, this was the rising sentiment cheering Marxism and demonizing capital
focus on the bankers. This was their agenda that we are still plagued by to this day. This book
championed the entire Marxist argument without realizing whose side he took.

We must be EXTREMELY careful here for to advocate the end of central banking is to
advocate communism. Do not forget that 1917 saw the Russian Revolution, and in 1918 the
Communist Revolution in Germany that produced their famous hyperinflation. Be careful what
you wish for, if it became true you would hand more power to government, and they would love
that to happen. Their goes all your freedom and with electronic money, you will be converted to
economic slaves for the state, not so different from just living the dream in the Matrix. Ask
yourself, do you want the truth or do you prefer to live the dream? Their dream by the way, not
The difference between the bankers of Morgans day and today is very different. The crisis
unfolded because of the classic mismatch between deposits, which are on a demand basis,
and loans, which are long-term like mortgages. When the demands to withdraw exceed
available cash (fractional banking), the bank fails. Today, the bankers are traders and have
moved to transnational banking to stay liquid abandoning the old days of Morgan when
banks were relationship oriented and did not resell the loans they made acting more like

JPMorgan Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon, told Congress that the banks massive loss can be blamed
on insufficient risk controls and a failure by traders to understand the bets they were placing. He
actually stated that he failed in his management yet retained the job for he was really fully on-board.
This is not relationship banking and it is entirely different from the days of J.P. Morgan view of
banking. Dimon lobbied Congress to rollback Dodd-Frank so they could continue to trade
maintaining their transaction banking model they used to get Congress to repeal Glass-Steagall by
the Clinton Administration and now Hillary begs for money from the same people and wants to run
the nation as SHE DID before (like Cheney). Thanks to the Clintons, who are always available to
the highest bidder, when the banks blow up on trading again, this will bite Congress in the ass for
the 2016 elections. I hope that if we understand the problem, we will make the right solution this
time if we examine the truth.
Yes, the Fed began effectively as private consortium of banks to accomplish what J.P. Morgan did to
rescue the banking system during the Panic of 1907 that saved the day. The banking crisis of that
era was not due to people blowing up with their trading as in Transactional Banking today. The
Panic of 1907 was the classic mismatch between demand and loans the fractional banking

A period of a temporary cash shortage burst forth during

the Panic of 1907. John Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) saved the day despite receiving criticism for
ignoring his great patriotism and contribution to the country. The Panic began when there was an
attempt to manipulate the market in United Copper Company, which was a short squeeze that
backfired. This was the catalyst, not the cause. The spark ignited the Panic that took place. They
borrowed money to buy stock to create the squeeze from the Knickerbocker Trust and suddenly
they could not pay back their loans, bringing the bank into failure. J.P. Morgan gathered his
associates to examine the books of the Knickerbocker Trust but found it was insolvent and decided
not to intervene to stop the run. When it became clear the Knickerbocker Trust would fail, the run
spread to other banks and a contagion grew. The Trust Company of America asked Morgan for help.
Morgan now brought in First National Bank and National City Bank of New York (later Citi Bank),
and the US Secretary of the Treasury. Morgan had a quick audit of the bank and declared that this
was where to defend. As the run began, Morgan worked with his associates to sell the assets of the
bank to free up cash for the depositors. The bank survived the close of business that day for this is
always a CONFIDENCE game.

Morgan knew that this collapse in CONFIDENCE would not end by just saving the Trust
Company of America. Morgan now summoned the heads of various banks in New York and kept
them until they agreed to provide loans of $8.25 million. Morgan convinced the Treasury to deposit
$25 million in NY banks. John D. Rockefeller, the wealthiest man in America, deposited $10
million with City and called the Associated Press to announce his pledge to help the NY banks.
Nonetheless, the New York banks then, as now, proved to be their worst enemy. Despite the efforts
of Morgan to create this infusion, they were reluctant to lend any money for short-term stock
trading. The stock market crashed as a result. By 1:30 pm on October 24th, the president of the
NYSE went to tell Morgan the exchange would close early. Morgan was livid. He understood that
this would reinforce the Panic and he drew the line and would not allow it. Morgan warned that if
the NYSE closed early, it would be catastrophic to say the least. Once again, he summoned the
bankers who arrived by about 2:00 pm and Morgan pretty much yelled at them, warning that as
many as 50 stock brokerage firms would fail unless they could raise $25 million within the next 10
minutes! By 2:16 pm, 14 banks pledged $23.6 million to keep the stock exchange alive. The money
reached the exchange by 2:30 pm, to finish trading at 3:00 pm. In reality, they only needed to reach
$19 million. Despite his hatred for the press who seldom treated him fairly, Morgan gave a rare
comment to the press, discussing the matter at hand.

The next day, the NYSE needed more money, but this time Morgan could only raise $9.7
million. Morgan directed the NYSE not to use the money for margin sales or short selling. The
exchange made it to the close. Morgan knew he had to turn the minds of the people and to
restore their critical CONFIDENCE to stop the Panic. Morgan than formed two committees:
one for persuading the clergy to preach calm to their congregations on Sunday, and the other
to sell the idea of claim to the press. Morgan was desperately trying to hold the nation
together. Unknown even to his associates, the City of New York could not raise enough money
through its bond issue and it informed Morgan that it needed $20 million by November 1st,
1907, or the city would go into bankruptcy. Morgan himself contracted to purchase $30 million
in New York City bonds.
On November 2nd, 1907, one of the largest stock exchange brokers, Moore & Schley, was
heavily in debt using the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Co. stock as collateral. The thinly
traded stock was under pressure. Their creditors would now surely call their loans. Morgan
called another emergency meeting for a proposal put forth that US Steel Corp, would acquire
the stock in bulk. Yet another crisis was looming. Runs were now likely to hit two banks on
Monday. Morgan summoned 120 banks and told them he would not proceed with the US Steel
deal unless they supported the banks.

Morgan proceeded to lock them in his library and told them they have to come up with $25
million to save the banks. It took almost 2 hours. Morgan finally convinced them that they had
to bailout the banks to save their own skins. They signed the agreement, and he unlocked the
doors and let them leave.

Morgan was saving the nation again, single-handedly. He then turned back to save the NYSE.
He knew the problem would be the Marxist inspired Antitrust Laws (Sherman Antitrust Act),
and the crusading Marxist/Progressive President Teddy Roosevelt (1858-1919). Breaking up
companies that he believed were monopolies became the primary focus of Roosevelts
administration. To save the day, he would have to see that the Antitrust Laws must yield.
Two men thus traveled to the White House to implore Roosevelt to set aside his Antitrust Laws
to save the nation. As typical, Roosevelts secretary refused to let them in to discuss the
problem. The two men, Frick and Gary of US Steel turned to James Garfield who was
Secretary of the Interior at that time and son former President Garfield. They pleaded with him
to go to the president directly. Garfield had convinced Roosevelt to review the proposal and
Roosevelt was for the first time forced in to a corner. He had to realize a collapse of the NYSE
would take place if he did not yield in his anti-corporate beliefs. Roosevelt later lamented:

It was necessary for us to decide on the instant before the Stock Exchange opened, for the
situation in New York was such that any hour might be vital. I do not believe that anyone could
justly criticize me for saying that I would not feel like objecting to the purchase under those
Following the near catastrophic financial disaster known as the Panic of 1907, the movement
for banking reform picked up steam among Wall Street bankers, Republicans, and a few
eastern Democrats. However, much of the country was still distrustful of bankers and of
banking in general, especially after Panic of 1907. After two decades of minority status,
Democrats regained control of Congress in 1910 and were able to block several Republican
attempts at reform, even though they recognized the need for some kind of currency and

banking changes. As always, it was more important to further political party power than
actually do the right thing for the nation.
In 1912, President Woodrow Wilson (18561924) won the Democratic Partys nomination for
president, and in his populist-friendly acceptance speech, he warned against the money
trusts, and advised that a concentration of the control of credit may at any time become
infinitely dangerous to free enterprise. It was the anti-Wall Street agenda.
Behind the scenes, the Panic of 1907 revealed the weak underbelly to the American financial
system. After the scare that the Panic of 1907 created among the bankers, they demanded
reform. The following year, Congress enacted the Aldrich-Vreeland Act of 1908 establishing
the National Monetary Commission forming a study group of experts to come up with a
nonpartisan solution. They viewed the lack of a central bank in America, in contrast to Europe,
as the threat to economic stability among the bankers as filled by J.P. Morgan during
that crisis.
A National Monetary Commission formed and the Republican leader in the Senate, Senator
Nelson Aldrich (1841-1915) took charge. Aldrich was a brilliant man who was passionate about
revising the American financial system. The Commission went to Europe and was duly
impressed at how well they believed the central banks in Britain and Germany handled the
stabilization of the overall economy and the promotion of international trade. The Commission
issued some 30 reports between 1909 and 1912, which preserved a wonderful detailed
resource surveying of banking systems of the late 19th and early 20th centuries at that time.
These reports examined also the Canadian banking history in addition to the banking and
currency systems of Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Switzerland,
and other nations. They also provided an excellent review of domestic U.S. financial laws
federally as well as state banking statutes. These reports contain essays of contemporary
specialists as well as a host of data in tables, charts, graphs, and facsimiles of banking forms
and documents. There are also transcripts of relevant political speeches, interviews, and
various hearings.

In 1910, Aldrich met with Frank Vanderlip of National City Bank (Citibank), Henry Davison of
Morgan Bank, and Paul Warburg of the Kuhn, Loeb Investment House secretly. They met
at Jekyll Island, a resort island off the coast of Georgia, to discuss and formulate
banking reform, including plans for a form of central banking that would accomplish the role of
J.P. Morgan played during the Panic of 1907. They held the meeting in secret because the
participants knew that the House of Representatives would reject any plan they generated
given the intense hatred of the bankers and Wall Street in the

festering Marxist/Progressive atmosphere.

Unfortunately, because this meeting was in secret involving Wall Street, the whole Jekyll
Island affair remains cloaked in conspiracy theories. Nevertheless, this intense bias and
conspiracy theory has always overestimated both the purpose and significance of the meeting
in light of the extensive work of the National Monetary Commission. Reform was essential.
However, those two words political economy could not be divorced.

Upon his return, Aldrichs investigation led to his plan in 1912 to bring central banking to the
United States with all its promises of financial stability and expanded international roles in
trade and money flow. Aldrich knew the dangers of American politics and insisted that control
by impartial experts was essential. Placing bankers at the helm rather than politicians was
really the only way to proceed. The two words, political economy, had to be divorced in his
mind. There was to be absolutely NO political meddling in finance as had been the case under
Andrew Jackson (1757-1845). Aldrich asserted that a central bank was essential yet the
diversity and size of the United States presented a distinctly different twist to the European

Aldrich concluded that Europe had many countries with diverse economic models. He realized
that while the United States needed a central bank, paradoxically it also required simultaneous
decentralization to cope with both the economy and the self-defeating American political
system. Aldrich appreciated the fact that local politicians and bankers would attack the central
banks, as they had the First and Second Bank of the United States. Aldrich introduced his
brilliant plan in 62nd and 63rd Congresses (1912 and 1913). As always, the political winds
changed and the Democrats in 1912 won control of both of the House and the Senate as well
as the White House.
The Aldrich Plan proposed a system of fifteen regional central banks, called National Reserve
Associations, whose actions were to be coordinated by a national board of commercial
bankers to do NO more than be a lender of last resort as J.P. Morgan had acted during the
Panic of 1907. The National Reserve Association would make emergency loans to member
banks, they would create money to provide an elastic currency that enabled equal exchanges
for demand deposits, and would act as a fiscal agent for the federal government. Congress
ended up rejecting Aldrichs idea, which was defeated in the House as politics superseded the
national good. However, his outline did become a model for a future implemented bill. The
problem with the Aldrich Plan was that it gave bankers control over the regional banks, a
prospect that did not sit well with the populist Democratic Party or with President Wilson. The
Democrats and Wilson were fearful that the reforms would grant more control of the financial
system to bankers and the politicians could not meddle as they saw fit. The history of the First
and Second Bank of the United States was repeating. The political economy cannot be

The need for a central bank was really far too great and even the Democrats recognized it
behind closed doors. Eventually, the Federal Reserve Act passed 43-25 and this altered the
actual role of currency. MONEY was now becoming elastic for the Federal Reserve would
issue currency notes thereby creating a money supply that increases and decreases as the
economy expands and shrinks. This new Elastic Money would become an essential
function of the Federal Reserve System in its early days, where it would regulate the amount
of money supply permitted to be in circulation. This was essential due to the wild swings during
the 19th century in the economy caused by the chance discoveries of gold in California,
Alaska, and silver that disrupted the economy and arbitrarily increased the money supply with
nobody in charge.

Effectively, the 20th century saw unrestrained printing of paper dollars caused by political fiscal
mismanagement whereas the 19th century was plagued by chance discoveries of precious
metals that had the same effects. The California Gold Rush injected a huge wave of inflation
because the sheer supply of money increased sharply. The same argument that paper money
has caused inflation during the 20th century applied to gold during the 19th century.

Essentially, this new ability to have an Elastic Money Supply became a perceived necessity
to ensure that the reserves held in trust by the government were adequate to back the amount
of coins and currency permitted to circulate. It was a nonpartisan decision to deal with shifts in
the economy whereas politicians could not be responsible no matter what. The Federal
Reserve would now prevent excessive conditions that would lead the country into financial
chaos and ultimate ruin as nearly took place during the Panic of 1907. The Fed would expand
the money supply during periods of economic decline and contract the money supply during
economic booms. Of course, the politicians would later seize control of the Fed and ensure it
would be party time all the time.
Optimal monetary policy is supposed to facilitate exchange within the economy to avoid
aggregate shocks that affect individuals and economic sectors (industries) unequally.
Exchange may be conducted using either bank deposits that some see as inside
money or fiat currency, which some refer to as outside money that is created by
leverage or fractional banking. A central monetary authority both controls the stock of outside
money and pursues an interest rate policy that is intended to affect the rate at which private
banks create inside money. The modern context views it as the optimal monetary policy,
requiring management of both interest rates and the quantity of outside money. By controlling
interest rates the monetary authority can affect the price level in the short-run and adjust
households consumption, so they believe, and therefore this provides insurance against
unfavorable aggregate shocks to the money supply tempering the boom-bust cycle.

However, the feasibility of manipulating the interest rate policy and the quantity of money, as
we will see, is purely a fantasy in the new modern global economy. These concepts quickly
proved to be far too parochial. The global economy was about to receive a major shock that
would turn it on its head World War I which began July 28th, 1914 and lasted until November
11th, 1918. The war involved more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million
Europeans, and a loss of more than 9 million soldiers killed in combat. The assassination of
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on June 28th, 1914 was the excuse for the war, but in
reality, it was the culmination of centuries of contests for imperialistic power in Europe.
Ferdinand was the heir to the Austria- Hungarian Empire throne, which was the remnant of the
Holy Roman Empire. This allowed the hatred between many rivals bringing into the conflict the
German Empire, Ottoman Empire, Russian Empire, British Empire, French Empire, and Italy.
In the end, the Financial Capital of Europe, which migrated from Babylon to Athens, then
Rome, Byzantine, Northern Italy centered in Florence/Genoa/Venice, to Amsterdam, and then
to London in 1689, now migrated to the United States beginning in 1914.

With World War I, the American politicians began to alter the Fed. Its original design was
brilliant. To stimulate the economy and suppress unemployment, they would buy corporate
paper. With World War I, Congress ordered the Fed to support the US debt. They would not
return to the original design of the Fed set out in 1913.

With the Great Depression, the major banking collapse took place largely due to the Sovereign
Debt Default of 1931. Banks failed as money vanished from circulation collapsing the velocity.
Asset values collapsed and land, which had sold for $2.50 an acre during the mid-1800s, fell to
10 cents. No degree of limiting fractional banking would save the day when the bond market
collapses. We see the huge spike in foreign bonds listed in 1928 on the NYSE, and the
collapse as defaults began to rage from 1931 onward.

Franklin Roosevelt, every much a socialist as Teddy even though a Democrat, altered the Fed
usurping all power to Washington. The branches remained, but they no longer served the
purpose of managing the local economy. It was now one-size-fits-all. It would be Congress
who appoints the directors and Fed Chairman, while the technical ownership of a rescue fund
for bankers is only there in name, not reality. Goldman Sachs switched tactics and installed its
people in the Treasury not for banking, but for trading. They were Obamas biggest
contributors, but make no mistake: Goldman Sachs is a trader, not a bank with branches
taking deposits from little old ladies.
Today, the Fed is nothing like its original intended design. This alter was not caused by
bankers, but by politicians. Now, it has the authority to take over anything it thinks is too big to
fail, which is not limited to banks. It could take over Google, McDonalds, or anything as long as
it states it would harm the economy.
We need a central bank, but not one manipulated by government. There should be a simple
insurance fund for banks as originally intended without using taxpayers money. It should not
be restricted to buying government debt. Instead, it should protect jobs by its original focus to
buy corporate paper in times of stress. We must look closely at the Fed to see that its
manipulation by Congress for political reasons. It was supposed to support government bonds
during World War II, but it took until 1951 to rescind.
The Fed is not evil, but rather it is the manipulation of the Fed by politicians. It is use to blame
for economy booms and busts while Congress avoids all responsibility. Now, the Fed is stuck
in a very difficult situation. It is charges with Keyensian/Marxist ideas of manipulating the
economy when its original design was only to deal with a banking crisis.
Tomorrow we will look at the risks we now face from the REALITY of political manipulation of
the Fed.

This entry was posted in America's Economic History, Q&A and tagged Aldrich Vreeland Act,
banks, FDR, Fed, Federal Reserve, J.P. Morgan, jekyll island, New Deal, Panic of 1907, political
economy, Roosevelt, The Creature from Jekyll Island, Woodrow Wilson by Martin Armstrong.
Bookmark the permalink.
Proudly powered by WordPress

Follow Armstrong Economics

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox
Join other followers:
Email Address

Armstrong Economics
Forecasting the World


Main menu
Skip to primary content
Skip to secondary content

Global Market Watch
Princeton Economics
Library & Research

Post navigation
Previous Next

The Federal Reserve: Part II

Posted on April 17, 2015 by Martin Armstrong

The amount of propaganda against the Federal Reserve is incredible. What we must keep in mind is
that its original design, which lasted for about one year, was brilliant. The classic banking model,
borrowing from depositors on a demand basis and lending long-term making a profit on the spread
in interest rates, such as business loans and mortgages. This was Relationship Banking not
todays Transactional Banking model.

Yes, this was fractional banking insofar as about 8% of the money needed to remain free to
service demand requirements. The crisis comes during an economic contraction when people
run to the bank for a loss of confidence and demand to withdraw their funds. This results in
the value of cash rising in purchasing power, compared to assets, so asset values collapse.
The idea of elastic money was to increase the supply of cash during such a crisis to meet
the demand for withdrawals and that would offset the need to sell assets by calling in longterm debts. By increasing the money supply on a temporary basis, the Fed could offset the
contraction in theory smoothing out the business cycle.
This was a brilliant scheme. However, it has been Congress, and not the Fed, who has
corrupted that mechanism. The Fed was owned technically by the banks as this was supposed
to save the taxpayer money. The banks should contribute to their own bailout fund.

Furthermore, the Feds design was also about buying in corporate paper when banks would
not lend money. This was a mechanism used to offset rising unemployment if corporations
could not fund their operations. They supplemented this by the management of regional
interest rates to balance the domestic economy. Each branch of the Fed could raise or lower
their local interest rate autonomously to attract capital when there was a local shortage or
deflect capital when there was too much. This would often take place with the crop cycle, as
money would flow in to pay the farmers upon delivery. Regional capital flows became the
Texas-New York arbitrage for when Texas was booming New York was in recession and vice
versa. This was the original design and purpose behind the Fed. The Jekyll Island meeting
was held in secret ONLY because there was a very strong resentment against anyone with
wealth as Marxism dominated the Progressive Movement of the era. There was no such cabal
to create some evil entity.

Congress began to manipulate the Federal Reserve for their own self-interest when World War
I broke out on April 6, 1917. The alteration to the design of the Fed was to direct it to buy
government bonds, not corporate. In this first step, they never reverse this decree after the
war. They removed the brilliant design to stimulate the economy directly by purchasing
corporate paper during a recession. In the last 2007-2009 crisis, the government wrote a
check to TARP and hoped that the banks would lend money, but they did not. Removing this
first pillar of the independent Fed distorted the entire system. It then made little sense for
bankers to own share in an entity that was no longer privately controlled.

During the Boom-Bust Cycle of 1929, banks became traders. Whatever they could make money on
was fair game. Goldman Sachs was caught-up in the whole bull market just like everyone else.
Under the leadership of Waddill Catchings, who led the firm into joining the hot market by creating
an investment trust where he saw that a giant fund could maximize profits by buying and selling
stocks. He promoted this as a business that was professional, and the profession was investing.
The Goldman Sachs investment trust was sort of the domestic hedge fund of its day. Everyone
was jumping into the game. Catchings was caught-up in the whole thing and was very bullish going
into the high of 1929. He gave this new entity the name: Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation. The
deal was that Goldman Sachs would be paid 20% of the profit, offering stocks at $104 per share.
The stock jumped to $226 per share twice its book value. This would be the very same mistake
exposed in the Crash of 1966 when shares in mutual funds traded on the exchange allowing them to
be bid up well beyond their asset value.
The whole bullish atmosphere was very intoxicating. Just three months into the fund, Goldman
Sachs arranged for a merger of the trust fund with Financial & Industrial Corporation that
controlled Manufacturers Trust Company that was a giant group of insurance companies. This
doubled the assets of Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation taking it up to a staggering near $245
million. This was huge money in those days. The trust exploded and the assets under control are
said to have exceeded $1 billion.
Goldman Sachs expanded the leverage going right into the eye of the storm that was about to hit
starting on September 3rd, 1929. In the summer of 1929, Goldman Sachs launched two more trusts:
Shenandoah and the memorable Blue Ridge. The shares were over-subscribed; Shenandoah began
at just $17.80 and it closed on the first trading day at $36 per share. Blue Ridge was leveraged even
more, and the partners at Goldman Sachs put pressure on everyone to buy as a sign of support. The
leverage was astonishing for with just about $25 million in capital, there was now more than $500
million at stake.
The disaster was monumental to say the least. Goldman Sachs Trading Company, whose shares had
stood at $326 at their peak, fell during the Great Depression to $1.75. They fell to less than 1% of
their high. The loss suffered at Goldman Sachs on a percentage basis was far worse than at any
other trust. In fact, of the top trusts, Goldman Sachs had lost about 70% of the entire trust market.
Goldman Sachs was awash with lawsuits and it became the target of jokes in Vaudeville. This
would fuel the anti-Jewish feeling in New York for decades to come. Samuel Sachs died in 1934 at
the age of 84. He was devastated, for what he had worked for was to build the firms reputation.
That is what broke the family in two.

The Glass-Steagall Act, also known as the Banking Act of 1933 (48 Stat. 162), was passed by
Congress in 1933 and prohibited commercial banks from engaging in the investment business. It
was enacted as an emergency response to the failure of nearly 5,000 banks during the Great
Depression. Why? Because banks sold trusts and foreign sovereign government bonds to the public
in small denominations. During the Stock Market Crash of 1929, amid accusations that Goldman
had engaged in share price manipulation and insider trading, this was the actual drive behind the
act. Goldman Sachs inspired the decision to ban insider trading in the United States in 1934.

Goldman Sachs then installed Robert Rubin under Bill Clinton as Secretary of the Treasury.
Ironically, the very firm that inspired Glass-Steagall seized control of Congress with political
donations to get it overturned. This began once again the age of Transactional Banking.
Part III Tomorrow

This entry was posted in America's Economic History and tagged Banking Act of 1933, Fed,
Federal Reserve, Goldman Sachs, Great Depression, Stock Market, Stock Market Crash,
transactional banking, Waddill Catchings by Martin Armstrong. Bookmark the permalink.
Proudly powered by WordPress

Follow Armstrong Economics

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox
Join other followers:
Email Address

Armstrong Economics
Forecasting the World


Main menu
Skip to primary content
Skip to secondary content

Global Market Watch
Princeton Economics
Library & Research

Post navigation
Previous Next

The Federal Reserve: Part III The Takeover

Posted on April 19, 2015 by Martin Armstrong

FDR Speech on the Banking Crisis March 12,

Audio Player

Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.

Roosevelt established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in 1933, assuring people it
was safer to keep their money in a reopened bank than under the mattress. Then on August 23,
1935, Congress approved legislation that had a major impact on the Federal Reserve Banks,
the Banking Act of 1935. This Act structurally altered forever the entire concept behind the Federal
Reserve, whereas its purpose originally was to provide stability with respect to internal capital

flows in addition to a regulatory clearing house for the banks. Each branch maintained its separate
interest rate to attract capital to a region or to deflect it to prevent another Panic of 1907 when cash
flowed from the east to the west because of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.
This is where the Open Market Committee was established and national monetary and credit
policies were determined in Washington which would gradually become the new political economy
and Laissezfaire was now officially dead.

As World War II approached, politics took control of the Fed. Once again the Fed was ordered to
support US government bonds at par. This decree was not lifted until 1951. The Fed remained fairly
independent thereafter until the Vietnam War. Politicians viewed its authority to increase the money
supply on an elastic basis meant that inflation was their problem, not Congress. Politicians began
to spend whatever they wanted to win election and criticized the Fed if inflation appeared when
they had no control over the fiscal spending of Congress.

The entire Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates backed by gold pegged permanently to
$35 was stupid and became a nightmare. The military establishment that Eisenhower warned about
upon leaving office wanted to rule the world. The Presidential Debate of 1960 between Kennedy
and Nixon set off the first Gold Panic. Kennedy correctly addressed the decline in the value of the
dollar. He stated that the US could stop the decline anytime it desired. All they had to do was stop
expanding the military around the world.

The fiscal mismanagement of Congress continued until finally on June 4th, 1963, Kennedy
signed Executive Order 11110 which dealt with the problem that silver was rising in price and
therefore it could no longer be used for a monetary instrument given the Bretton Woods fixed rate
ideas. This is why there can be no standard because everything with time fluctuates. The Treasury

was under order to maintain the fixed rate of silver and there was a tax placed on trading in silver
back in the Great Depression in 1937. Kennedy was authorizing the Treasury to issue
notes ONLY if needed for the transition in the elimination of silver from the monetary system. It
has nothing to do with stripping the authority of the Federal Reserve to issue notes.

The collapse of Bretton Woods was underway. It became self-evident with the Crash of 1966. The
stock market fell 26.5% in about 8.6 months, but so did collectibles and other investments for the
bearishness on the dollar reached excessive levels. Then the market recovered reaching back to the
former highs in 1968. The decline resumed and the market fell for about 17.2 months into May of

Bretton Woods was collapsing in slow motion. From the first gold panic in 1960, 11 years later the
world financial system collapsed. It was 8.6 years from the Kennedy decision to abandon silver.
Richard Nixon who had debated Kennedy in 1960, was forced to close the Gold Window on August
15th, 1971. It was Nixon who set in motion the withdrawal from Vietnam. He opened China in
hopes of putting pressure on Vietnam to reach a settlement, but that failed. Nixon knew that the
military establishment undermined the economy.

Of course, European politics was the polar opposite of the USA. There, a stronger currency proved
they were doing a good job of rebuilding the economy post-war. The French and the Swiss were
leading the charge to demand gold for dollars. The French had visions of conquering the financial
world and dethroning the dollar to grasp that golden wreath of victory snatched from the hands of

The 1970s were all about trying to fight inflation caused by the decline in the purchasing power of
the dollar. German cars had more than doubled in value through the 1970s. Gold had risen to $875
on January 21st, 1980. Volcker took charge of the Fed and used gold as his sign of success at first,
but then abandoned that as any guidance. He raised rates into March of 1981 taking the discount
rate to 14%. When the inflation broke and the dollar then soared to record highs going into 1985,
rates had declined back to 8%. This would set that stage to the dramatic escalation in the national
debt, for it stood at almost $1 trillion in 1982, and reached almost $6 trillion by 1999.

Voclkers battle with inflation set in motion the major factor of inflation government spending.
The Federal Reserve was stripped of any real power to manipulate the economy for they lacked any
control over the fiscal spending of Congress The attempt to raise interest rates to fight inflation,
send the national debt soaring and the proportion of interest costs sky-rocketed and eventually
reached about 70%. The whole idea of socialism to benefit the people was inverted to benefit the
bond holders. Then the movement to return to a gold standard was unleashed, which would have
been a huge benefit to bondholders and strip-mining the people of whatever liberty and assets they
managed to earn. The bond holders would have profited tremendously.

Part IV
As we look at the Post 1981 Era, what becomes strikingly obvious is that the bankers then do a
reverse takeover of government aiming not just at the Federal Reserve, but at the whole enchilada.
This is the introduction of Transactional Banking and the derivative markets they have created all

This entry was posted in America's Economic History and tagged Bretton Woods, Crash of 1966,
Executive Order 11110, FDR, Fed, Gold Panic, Gold Window, JFK, Kennedy, Nixon, Roosevelt,
The Federal Reserve by Martin Armstrong. Bookmark the permalink.
Proudly powered by WordPress

Follow Armstrong Economics

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox
Join other followers:
Email Address

Armstrong Economics
Forecasting the World


Main menu
Skip to primary content
Skip to secondary content

Global Market Watch
Princeton Economics
Library & Research

Post navigation
Previous Next

The Federal Reserve: Part IV The Bankers

Strike Bank
Posted on April 20, 2015 by Martin Armstrong

Paul Volcker Former Fed Chairman

The entire theory of how to manage an economy via the rise and fall of the money supply being the
sole cause of inflation or deflation was discredited post-1971 with the birth of the Floating
Exchange Rate System. Unbeknownst to the vast majority, the entire accounting system of trade
had been constructed upon the Bretton Woods system. There was no need to actually count the
number of Toyota cars coming in at the dock, for all you had to do was count the dollars in and out
and under a fixed exchange rate system, this meant more or less goods. However, this short cut
made sense with fixed exchange rates, not when currency fluctuated.
The 1970s produced rising prices (inflation) but declining economic growth, which became known
as STAGFLATION. This was a cost-push type inflation whereas OPEC sent oil prices soaring so
the costs rose dramatically forcing prices to rise even in recession. Therefore, it became possible for
inflation to rise without an increase in money supply or even consumer demand. The consumer
post-1976 responded by purchasing goods now to save money tomorrow, much as the consumer rise
in spending in Tokyo ahead of the implementation of taxes. Likewise, real estate sales will typically
rise when the consumer begins to see mortgages rates rising, not falling. The consumer responds to
the trend in motion.
Raising interest rates to fight a mixed type of inflation only sent the government spending into
hyper-drive because it was on automatic pilot. Congress was expecting the Fed to control inflation,
but meanwhile, government budgets increased per department for they had been indexed to the CPI.
President Jimmy Carter required the adoption of Zero-Base Budgeting (ZBB) by the federal
government during the late 1970s. Zero-Base Budgeting was an executive branch budget
formulation process, introduced into the federal government in 1977. Volcker tried his best, but all
he could do is stop the consumer speculation. He had himself delivered a lecture in 1978 he entitled
the Rediscovery of the Business Cycle.

No longer were departments required to send in a budget each year and have it approved by
Congress. This new Zero-Base Budgeting process meant that whatever they spent the previous
year would be automatically renewed, indexed to inflation. This further created the now standard
practice of wastefully spending whatever they had remaining just to avoid cuts the following year.
The entire landscape was altered in how government now fit into the economy. It became
impossible for the Fed to control inflation. As you can see, despite the recession 1974-1976 and
1981-1985, both the CPI and money supply kept rising. There was a total disconnect from the
traditional economic theories and the view that the Fed was in the driver seat was just not realistic.
The entire fate of the economy was not on a new paradigm of economic interaction.

This would be a leading cause of the 19-year decline in gold and the complete discrediting of the
old-world view of inflation and money supply punctuated by the claim that paper money was fiat.
The floating exchange rate system ended the concept that money had to be tangible, freeing it to
move according to the worth of the people and their total productive capacity. This changed
everything and then Carters Zero-Base Budgeting created an automatic pilot process that nobody
understood just how it would alter the behavior of whole departments. It was Adam Smiths
Invisible Hand inside government spend it or lose it.
The global economy was changing and taking a giant leap forward in economic reality. This
decoupling of money from the concept of a barter system where it had to be some object between
two other objects, Japan soared to the second largest economy in the world without old or natural
resources. They proved the new era was here the dawn of money that reflected the capacity of the
people to produce distinguished skills and educated society from those that were still primitive. This
also had a profound impact upon the commodity industry and its take over of Wall Street that began
precisely with the ECM peak of the 51.6 year wave 1981.35.

The company known at first as Philipp Brothers was founded in 1901. It was later acquired and
became the Philipp Brothers Division of Engelhard Minerals & Chemicals Corporation, the major
gold refinery of 1967. In 1981, the company was spun off as Phibro Corporation, and that same year
the company subsequently acquired Salomon Brothers, creating Phibro-Salomon Inc. Phibro
Energy, Inc. was established in 1984, absorbing the oil department of Philipp Brothers. There was a
rather famous connection between Marc Rich (1934 2013) and PhiBro. Rich once worked for
Philipp Brothers, but left the firm in 1974 to set up a Swiss operation known as Marc Rich & Co.
AG, which would later become Glencore Xstrata Plc. Rich was indicted for tax evasion and never
returned to the USA, staying in Switzerland. Bill Clinton not only repealed Glass Steagall for
Goldman Sachs, he also granted Marc Rich a controversial pardon.
In 1981, commodity trading firm Phibro Corporation acquired Salomon Brothers, which was
founded in 1910 by three brothers along with a clerk named Ben Levy. In 1978, John Gutfreund
rose as the head of Salomon Brothers, which had remained a partnership. Gutfreund was now
selling the firm to the huge commodity firm Philips Brothers of Marc Rich fame, known as Phibro
on the street. This takeover was right in line with the major high on the Public Wave that peaked at
PhiBro were great traders coming from the commodity markets. They had conquered the world in
1980, shorting gold and silver, and thus were now trying to buy Salomon Brothers when they were
at the top of their cycle. Gutfreund became a co-CEO with Phibros David Tendler. The currency
swing following 1981 was dramatic from a percentage basis. Neither PhiBro nor Salomon Brothers
comprehended what was going on internationally regarding capital flows. They got caught in this
new pendulum swing with extremely high volatility. The commodities crashed and burned, and the
tables were turning. This shifted the profit base from PhiBro now to Salomon Brothers.
Gutfreund now seized control and started to expand the firm into the currency trading, and
enlarged the firms positions in underwriting and share trading. Salomon Brothers was now also
trying to expand into Japan, as well as Germany and Switzerland.
The firm that had risen to such heights, known as the King of Wall Street saw its profits peak
precisely with the 1985 turn in the Economic Confidence Model at about a half-billion dollars. The
markets all turned in 1985 with the dollar crashing, commodities starting to rise and the stock
market exploding. The fixed income specialists at Salomon Brothers were now in a bear market.
Salomon had expanded right at the top in 1985. They had increased their staff by 40%. So as it was,
PhiBros turn at the 1981 turning point, it was now Salomons turn with the 1985 target.
Salomon Brothers was the powerhouse of Wall Street banking the bond dealer extraordinaire. It
was founded by three brothers: Arthur, Herbert and Percy Salomon. The brothers began with
$5,000, and some help from their fathers (a broker himself) clerk, and opened their first money
brokerage office on Broadway near Wall Street. They made their fortune selling US debt during
World War I. Unlike Goldman Sachs, Salomon Brothers were conservative and weathered the Great
Depression rather well, avoiding getting caught up in all the speculation of a permanent new era.
Under the new leadership of the familys next generation, William (Billy) Salomon, the firm
expanded its operations in the 1960s, adding a research department, which included the infamous
economist Henry Kaufman. They expanded into underwriting activities and block trading joining
Lehman Brothers, Blythe, and Merril Lynch in the field of Investment Banking where they became
known as the Fearsome Foursome.

John Gutfreund joined Salomon as a statistics trainee in the mid-1950s, and per request of Billy
Salomon, Gutfreund became his golf partner. It was this friendship that allowed Gutfreund to
quickly climb the corporate ladder at Salomon Brothers. He was named partner at the young age of
34, and then took over the firm at 49 becoming the CEO.
According to Michael Lewis Liars Poker, Gutfreund was known to tell his employees a trader
needs to wake up every morning ready to bite the ass of a bear. The arrogance was astonishing.
The power clearly went to their heads for the famous line from Lewiss book that lives on, was what
they called themselves big swinging dicks. Yet the idea of creating first private mortgage
backed security actually began there at Salomon Brothers during the 1980s.

This was the era of the Bonfire of the Vanities, a 1987 novel by Tom Wolfe, which captured the
decline in ethics and morals in New York City at the time. The competition between Goldman
Sachs and Salomon Brothers was always there. Goldman was not part of the Fearsome

Foursome but was determined to break back into the center of the era.
When PhiBro and Salomon were joining at the hip, Goldman began looking around to follow in the
footsteps of this merger. They too wanted commodity exposure and bought the trading house of J.
Aron that was clearly a competitive move given the Salomon Brothers merger with Philips
Brothers. J. Aron was an old commodity house that began in New Orleans in 1898; it moved to New
York City in 1910, just in time for the commodity boom with World War I. The firm was named
after Jack Aron, who was part of the Jewish community. J. Aron expanded into the metals
trade during the late 1960s after gold became a free market in London and the official line was that
there was now a two-tier pricing in gold as of 1968. During the 21.5 year commodity boom, J. Aron
rose from a capitalization of less than $500,000 in the late 1960s to $100 million by the peak in
1981. By the peak, J. Aron had become the largest trader in gold doing more volume in dollars than
the biggest of any of the Dow stocks.
Being a commodity firm, J. Aron was actively trading currency futures that the
banks did not understand. They were the first to arbitrage the currency futures against the cash
currency markets, for the commercial banks back then did not understand the markets, but had to
provide that service to keep commercial clients.
Arons business in precious metals helped to bring in market-share. This is the beginning of gold
lending. Banks holding gold would start to lend it to J. Aron at 0.5%. This business was starting to
explode. After the 1980 Commodity Boom, everyone expected it to rebound and keep going. Oil hit
$40 and gold $875. Everyone wanted to become a commodity trader for the Dow Jones had kept
bouncing off 1,000 so why not go where the action was.
It was October 1981 when Goldman Sachs purchased J. Aron & Co. for $135 million. It was in fact
on the top of the commodity market. Although they had bought the high, they were importing
the commodity culture of trading that would in fact lead to the firms trading reputation. Its current
head, Lloyd C. Blankfein, came from J. Aron and has now focused Goldman Sachs as a mean, lean,
trading machine.

The competition between these two Jewish firms fueled Wall Streets evolution. Leading up to
1980, Sidney Weinberg (1891-1969) at Goldman Sachs brought in his heir that perhaps began the
desire to cultivate contacts within government. In 1968 Henry Fowler (1908-2000), former
Secretary of Treasury, was recruited. It was Fowler who opened those political doors in a host of
different nations, however it was Gus Levy (1910-1976) who was the aggressive one, pushing the
firm into taxable bond dealing expanding from commercial paper. From 1969, Goldman Sachs now
moved into the bond market.
Salomon Brothers was taking market share away from Goldman Sachs. The decision to get back
into proprietary trading appears to have been from Steve Friedman and Robert Rubin to be

competitive with Salomon. Goldman Sachs was still hesitant sitting, to a large extent, watching
trading profits grow at Salomon, and that was the trend at Morgan Stanley, First Boston, and of
course Merrill Lynch.
The October 1981 takeover by Goldman Sachs of J. Aron & Co. altered the culture within the firm.
From that point onward, Goldman would also drift toward becoming a lean, mean, trading machine
bent on proprietary trading.

The 1987 Crash hit Salomon Brothers where it hurt. Traders scalping markets never see the big
changes in trend until it hits them in the face. Warren Buffett now enters the scene; Salomon turned
to Warren Buffet to inject $700 million. Their traders lost big time. Buffet wrote in that years letter
to his investors:
By far our largest and most publicized investment in 1987 was a $700 million purchase of
Salomon Inc. 9% preferred stock. This preferred is convertible after three years into Salomon
common stock at $38 per share and, if not converted, will be redeemed ratably over five years
beginning October 31, 1995. From most standpoints, this commitment fits into the medium-term
fixed-income securities category. In addition, we have an interesting conversion possibility.
See Chairmans letter
That investment turned into a long relationship full of ups and downs, but it also saw Buffett turn
into the commodity game of manipulation and wild trading. At first, he assumed it would be his
typical classic Buffett play. Sunday, Sept. 27, 1987, Buffett met with John Gutfreund, then
Salomons chairman and CEO, and agreed that Berkshire Hathaway would buy $700 million of
Salomon convertible preferred stock, which equated to a 12% stake in the company. Buffett
invested in what appeared to be a solid company with a good reputation that was getting its stock
slapped around by a fearful market following 1987. Buffet would later say, Be fearful when

others are greedy; be greedy when others are fearful.

Buffet quickly found himself in the midst of turbulent trading where he was not accustomed to
really valuing speculative positions on a trading desk. Within weeks, Buffett was stunned by
Salomons sudden surprise disclosure of a $70 million write-down from bad bets made by trading
junk bonds. That hidden trading loss wiped out one-third of Mr. Buffetts investment.
Salomon was not alone. Kidder Peabody also starting with the 1987 Crash was plagued by
scandals, including insider-trading cases involving head of mergers Martin Siegel, head of arbitrage
Richard Wigton (charges were later dropped) and trader Joseph Jett. While a judge originally found
Mr. Jett not guilty of securities fraud, in 2004 the SEC reversed that decision and upheld the
charges. In 1994, parent company General Electric sold Kidder to Paine Webber for $70 million.

This trading atmosphere of big swinging dicks had not learned its lesson from the 1987 Crash.
This was the culture instilled by PhiBro from the commodity side of the world. Trader Paul Mozer,
who had a 12-year career at the firm coming from Morgan Stanley, allegedly submitted illegal bids
for U.S. treasury securities in August of 1990, attempting to corner the market by purchasing more
than the 35% share allowed per individual transaction. Yet, what he eventually plead guilty to was
based on only two transactions in the five-year notes on February 21, 1991 for $6 billion, which
was $2 billion more than the bank was allowed to buy. The plea did not match the events.
Other Salomon employees would later tell the NY Times they were shocked:
This was not driven by personal gain, if this is true. Theres a game here. And it was a desire to
win the game. Mozers supervisor, John Meriwether who started and blew up Long-Term Capital
Management in 1998 requiring a Fed bailout his hedge fund with a position of nearly $100 billion.
Meriwether, at the time in Salomon, claimed to have chastised Mozer for the manipulation when it
came to his attention, but he did not fire Mozer raising serious questions about the trading culture
overall inside Salomon Brothers.
Shortly before the Salomon Bros. scandal erupted, Paul W. Mozer must have been aware that the
Treasury knew about the trade and there would be ramifications. Before the announcement by
Salomon Brothers on August 9th, 1991, Mozer then sold about $1.7 million worth of Salomon
stock, which was about 46,000 shares, confirmed by the firm. The government froze the funds for it
smelled like insider trading in the real sense.
Salomon Brothers and Mr. Mozers lawyer said that Mr. Mozer had offered to reverse or rescind the
sale. Salomons stock price sank sharply after the scandal was revealed. Mozers lawyer denied that
any violation of insider trading laws had occurred. To this day, Paul Mozer is entirely omitted from
Wikipedia very strange and it tends to suggest that he was by no means acting alone.

The President of the NY Federal Reserve at that time was NOT in the pocket of the bankers. The
Fed sent a letter that was pointed and demanding. The letter was signed by an executive vice
president of the bank, but it was clear, Edward Gerald Corrigan (born 1941), was pissed off and
stood behind every word. Corrigan by then knew enough to become incensed by these schemes on
his watch. The letter said that Salomons bidding irregularities called into question
its continuing business relationship with the Fed and pronounced the Fed deeply troubled by
the failure of Salomons management to make a timely disclosure of what it had learned about
Mozer. Corrigan demanded a comprehensive report within ten days of all irregularities, violations,
and oversights Salomon knew to have occurred. The real interesting factor that demonstrated the
more-likely-than-not involvement of everyone right up to Gutfreund was the fact that Gutfreund
failed to inform the Board of Directors, including Buffett, that the Fed had even sent such a letter.
John H. Gutfreund, Salomons chief executive; Thomas W. Strauss, the firms president; and John
W. Meriwether, the vice chairman, were all forced to resign after Salomon disclosed it made a series
of improper bids at several Treasury auctions. All three executives were told of Mr. Mozers illegal
bids, but they waited months before relaying the information to the Treasury Department. It was at
least plausible that this was just part of the big swinging dicks culture at Salomon where anything
Paul Mozer, the alleged central figure in the Salomon Brothers Treasury bond scandal, first agreed
to a plea deal on January 8th, 1993. Then the plea deal fell apart on January 12th, suggesting he was
really unwilling to take the fall for everyone. Mozer finally pled guilty after being greatly reduced.
He told U.S. District Judge Pierre N. Leval on Thursday, October 1st, 1993, that he made false
statements to the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve Board investigators. Mozer faced a maximum
of 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Mozer then entered a cooperation agreement to rat on
Wall Street, and what really went on in Salomon Brothers resulting in the resignations. Mozer was
sentenced to only 4 months of probation. At sentencing, his lawyer told the court that Mozer had
provided extensive information about the practice of illegal manipulation of the Treasury bond
market that led to investigations of Salomon, Goldman Sachs, Daiwa Securities and several
Japanese investors. (see Assassociated Press December 14th, 1993)
Salomon Brothers was fined $290 million for this infraction. The firm was weakened by the scandal
and August 18th, 1991, the U.S. Treasury first banned Salomon from bidding in government
securities auctions. It was then that Warren Buffet appears again, offering to take the helm. The
Treasury agreed and rescinded the ban. In the four hours of suspense between the two actions,
Buffett struggled passionately to protect his investment for the firm, valued at $9 billion, which
would have been out of business and most likely would have had to file immediately to file for
bankruptcy. That action also seemed to reflect that Mozer was a fall guy, and the problem was the
culture at the firm not one individual. This is probably why there is no Wikipedia page on Mozer
very strange.
Salomon was deeply involved in the bond trading scandal from top to bottom. The firm was nearly
forced to file for bankruptcy as clients fled based on the rumors the Treasury would shut them
down. In order to protect his investment, Mr. Buffett went from being a passive investor to the
Chairman of the firm. He found that every dollar of shareholder equity was supporting $37 of
assets. That is even higher than the 30:1 leverage ratio at Lehman Brothers when it collapsed.

Mr. Buffett became Chairman of Salomon Brothers and ran the firm for nine months. He later
claims that his time there was far from fun in a letter to investors in his Berkshire Hathaway
holding company. However, Buffett was somehow converted to the culture. The first time his name
was being bantered around associated with a silver manipulation was 1993. The CFTC walked into
PhiBro and demanded to know who their client was. PhiBro refused to tell them and the CFTC
ordered them to exit the position.
In 1997, Salomon was sold to Travelers for $9 billion. Yet strangely enough, the sigh of relief could
be heard all the way from Mr. Buffetts hometown of Omaha. His $700 million investment was now
worth $1.7 billion, but the experience seemed to sour him on Wall Street deals. By 2001, he had
exited his investment in the firm.

Buffetts name was again bantered around 1997 with regard to silver. Once again, the player
involved was PhiBro. People judge others by themselves. As a result, the NY crowd began to realize
that I was always on the other side of the classic failures. Instead of considering that perhaps our
model was better than what they could produce with all their machinations, they took the position
that our firm was just too influential. I had testified before Congress in 1996 and we did have about
half the equivalent of the US national debt under contract for corporate advisory. They translated
that into influence and assumed their failures were my successes since 1987, and that was simply
due to influence.
Based upon this view of influence, they desperately tried to get me to join the second silver
manipulation with Buffet. I have written statements publicly that PhiBros brokers walked across
the COMEX pit floor and showed my floor brokers Buffetts orders and told me to join. They knew
I would never trust these people, for how would I know I was not the patsy to buy and they would
use another seller on the other side of the ring. I would never join them. Hence, PhiBro showed me
the orders to convince me to join.

So why did PhiBro show me the orders? Yes, I was a big trader looking for the low in 1999. I would
often go head to head with them for they traded on manipulation, and I traded by time and price.
In the movie, Barclay Lieb states that before he came to work for me, he called Goldman Sachs and
they admitted that they had thought they could crush me, but usually I won. The Club was
actually planning their manipulation earlier in the year. The cycles were NOT in their favor, so I
took them on. They tried their best to manipulate the market but the Wall Street gods were not
smiling that day. On April 3rd, 1997, it was I who crushed them they lost the floor went nuts.
They said they never saw trading like that day. It was like stepping in the ring as a lightweight and
knocking out Mike Tyson in one punch. You cannot manipulate against the trend. I proved that
standing my ground that day. This was why they then gave up and wanted me to join. Perhaps that
first attempt to manipulate silver sent them to solicit Warren Buffett to take me on since in the end,

he spent $1 billion to buy silver for that move.

After PhiBro showed me the orders, I then reported to our clients they are back, knowing it was
Buffet and PhiBro for a second time. They were pissed off at me even though I never mentioned
names. The buying of silver was done in London. Therefore, they moved silver out of COMEX
warehouses in USA, and shipped them to London to pretend there was a shortage to justify the
manipulation. The Wall Street Journal assisted in the rally.
The manipulators with steering the Buffet buying in London to avoid the 1993 problem with the
CFTC. This is why AIG trading arm also set up in London.
Buying silver in London justified moving it from the NY COMEX and this allowed them to get the
manipulation going. COMEX supplies were reported in isolation. Moving the silver to London
created the false image of a shortage to justify the higher prices. The Wall Street Journal was used
to plant the story. On September 30th, 1997, the stories played headlines: Silver Prices Hit SixMonth High On Steadily Decline Reserves, by PALLAVI GOGOI AP-Dow Jones news
service updated September 30th, 1997, 12:01 a.m. ET, New York; Silver futures surged to a sixmonth high at the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, a move analysts said
was triggered by steadily declining warehouse stocksThe rally was boosted by preplaced
purchase orders around the $5-per-ounce level.
This was the news created for manipulation that was constantly played out in the newspapers. The
Wall Street Journal reported again on November 17, 1997: Silver Future Prices Leap On Hints
of Tight Supplies. On December 4, 1997 the Wall Street Journal from London reported: Silver
Surges on Strength In Supply-Demand Status By Neil Behrmann; Special to The Wall Street
Journal updated December 5, 1997 12:01 a.m. ET LONDON Gold may be in the doghouse, but
silver is soaring like a bird. The reporting of shortages continued to fuel the rally. The Wall Street
Journal reported again December 24, 1997 for the manipulators: Silver Futures Advance As
Inventories Plunge.
We kept track of what the club was doing and warned our clients whenever their antics were
conflicting. One of the big ones that blew the lid off was again silver. In 1997, I warned that silver
was going to rise from $4 to $7 between September and January 1998. I was even invited to join
them; I told to stop fighting and putting out false forecasts. I declined. Their strategy became
At first, a friend of mine who had been Prime Minister Thatchers economic adviser became a board
member of AIG in London Alan Walters. He called one day and asked if he could drop in to
Princeton the next morning when he arrived from London. I naturally said, OK. To my surprise,
he arrived with the head trader from AIG London who then proceeded to try to convince me to stop
talking about the manipulations. I told him I would never reveal any names, and the government
didnt care anyway.
Things got insane thereafter. An analyst on the payroll of PhiBro had a main contact at the Wall
Street Journal. They decided to slander me and get the press to target me claiming I was trying to
manipulate the market. It was an interesting strategy, but one I cared nothing about since I was
primarily an institutional and corporate adviser, and they were not really interested in silver.
The journalist from the Wall Street Journal called me. He accused me of this nonsense and we
argued. It got quite heated. He said if silver was being manipulated, then I should give him the
name. I told him he would not believe me anyway. He demanded the name and so I said fine, go
ahead, let me see you print it, knowing he never would. The name I gave him was Warren Buffett.
He laughed and told me everyone knew Buffett did not trade commodities; I told him that was how
much he knew.
The Wall Street Journal published the article. The London newspapers were fed stories by the
club that I was now the largest silver trader in the world. This became all a joke to me. Even the

CFTC could look at positions and knew I was not a big player in silver on that move.
The mistake made by the club by turning out the press against me, was they actually created such
a worldwide story that the CFTC was forced to call me. They knew I was not the source. They
asked me, where was the manipulation taking place? I told them it was in London, out of their
jurisdiction. They told me that they could pick up the phone and find out. I told them that they had
to make that clear decision. I hung up. Never did I expect that they would really do anything.
A few hours later, my phone rang. It was a good source in London, who also was helping to monitor
the club actions. He told me that the Bank of England had called an immediate meeting of all
silver brokers in London in the morning. I was shocked. The CFTC had made the call, but then
again, I had given them no names so perhaps in their mind, this was fair game.
Within the hour, Warren Buffett made a press announcement. He admitted he had purchased $1
billion worth of silver in London. He denied that he was manipulating the market, claiming the
silver was a long-term investment. Everyone was shocked that Buffett was suddenly exposed as a
commodity trader after all, the next day the Wall Street Journal called me. The writer asked How
did you know? I told him it was my job to know! Silver thereafter declined and made new lows
going into 1999. So much for the long-term investment.
The time line of this head-to-head confrontation was AFTER the Treasury Scandal of 1991. Clearly,
Buffett developed some relationship with PhiBro. In 1993, Phibro Energy, Inc. became the Phibro
Energy Division of Salomon Inc. It was renamed to simply Phibro in 1996, and in 1997 Salomon
was acquired by Travelers Group, which then merged with Citicorp to form Citigroup in 1998. With
the merger, Salomon became an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Citigroup. So obviously, the
silver play was in the fall of 1997.
Phibro came to the notice of the general public only when its leader, Andrew J. Hall reportedly was
seeking a $100 million bonus from Citigroup, which had been bailed out by U.S taxpayers in 2009.
Reportedly, Phibro was the main source of the $2 billion in pretax revenue Citigroup received in
commodities trading. Halls position was rather clear. He had nothing to do with the mortgage
backed security debacle.
In October 2009, Occidental Petroleum announced it would acquire Phibro from Citigroup,
estimating its net investment at approximately $250 million. Phibro is now part of Oxys
Midstream, marketing and other segment, which includes Oxys gas plant, pipelines, marketing,
trading, and power generation operations. Hall continues to run Phibro and heads Astenbeck Capital
Management, of which 80% is owned by Hall and 20% by Occidental.

The repeal of Glass-Steagall Act, also known as the Banking Act of 1933 (48 Stat. 162), was to
prevent the very thing that Goldman Sachs was involved in during the Great Depression. The stock
in Goldman Sachs Trading Company crashed more than anything falling from $326 to $1.75, it was
intended to prohibit commercial banks from engaging in the investment business. It was enacted as
an emergency response to the failure of nearly 5,000 banks during the Great Depression. The
accusations that Goldman Sachs had engaged in share price manipulation and insider trading
contributed to the firm becoming the target of jokes in Vaudeville.

Stephen Friedman and Robert Rubin took over the role of managing Fixed Income where they
planned to expand into proprietary trading.
Stephen Friedman and Robert Rubin took over the role of managing fixed income where they
planned to expand into proprietary trading. Goldman Sachs moved into quantitative analysis in
the late 1970s, relying still on academics. It was Freidman and Rubin who changed the culture
creating the trading profit bonus and starting in 1986, Goldman Sachs began to take talent from
Salomon offering a huge bonus structure and adopting the trading mentality it now acquired from J.
Aron & Co.
In 1986, Goldman Sachs hired Fischer Black of BlackScholes, famous for valuing
stock options. It was Rubin who brought in Black, and the problem they had was the
newly embedded options within debt. However, the issue they did not understand, that they were
now walking into, was there is a great language problem between traders and programmers.
You MUST be good at both, or you are screwed.

Goldman Sachs, the most profitable firm in Wall Street history, moved its headquarters to a new 43story skyscraper at 200 West St. in 2010 after almost three decades at 85 Broad St.
Stephen Friedman, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, resigned as Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank
of New York on May 7, 2009 Friedman was criticized for apparently at least creating an unethical
image of benefiting from his role as Chair of the New York Fed branch due to the federal
governments aid to Goldman Sachs in recent months. Amazingly, Friedman remained on the board
of Goldman even as he was supposedly regulating Goldman. Like Hank Paulson Secretary of the
Treasury, Friedman also applied for, and got, a conflict of interest waiver from the government.
Who gives out such waivers is unknown and why they are not done openly in Congress is obvious.
Friedman was also supposed to divest himself of his Goldman stock after Goldman became a bank
holding company, but thanks to the waiver, he was allowed to go out and buy 52,000 additional
shares in his old bank, leaving him $3 million richer. Being exempt from insider trading is a
government benefit. Friedmans eventual resignation announcement came within an hour of the
governments release of the 2009 stress tests for 19 U.S. financial institutions. It was effective
Goldman Sachs, the very firm who was the worst example from the Great Depression crash, led the
charge against the trend to take over government. They installed Robert Rubin under Bill Clinton as
Secretary of the Treasury. Ironically, the very firm that inspired Glass-Steagall seized control of
Congress with political donations to get it overturned. This began once again the age
of Transactional Banking.
Conclusion to follow
This entry was posted in America's Economic History and tagged floating exchange rate system,
Goldman Sachs, J. Aron, Michael Lewis, Phibro, Philipp Brothers, Salomon Brothers, stagflation,
the fed, transactional banking, zero-base budgeting by Martin Armstrong. Bookmark the permalink.
Proudly powered by WordPress

Follow Armstrong Economics

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox
Join other followers:
Email Address