First Republic Has Now Been Taken Over by JP Morgan


  • First Republic has now been taken over by JP Morgan.
  • What’s the future of commercial real estate in light of the work-from-home movement touched off by the Covid pandemic?
  • Are electric vehicles as fuel-efficient as they’re cracked up to be? A new study suggests those government figures plastered on car windows at your local dealership may be inflated and fraudulent.
  • And hotdog lovers beware: There may be some frightening ingredients in your favorite frankfurter.

All these stories and more when the Worldview Financial Report begins, right now!


Good evening and welcome to the Worldview Financial Report.

First Republic has now been taken over by JP Morgan.

JPMorgan Chase takes over First Republic after U.S. seizure of ailing bank

Zero Hedge reports that First Republic Bank shares were halted for volatility having collapsed 50% back to record lows as hopes of a 'private' deal fade.

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers criticized Washington regulators and U.S. banking giants for not having already figured out a solution for the failing bank.

Summers said on Bloomberg Television’s “Wall Street Week”:

“I’m surprised and disappointed that this situation has continued to linger as long as it has, with the bank’s stock down 95% and credit gauges deteriorating. I hope that between the banks, the FDIC, the other public authorities, that the best way forward will be found within the next week or 10 days.”

He added that:

“These are things like forest fires; it is much easier to prevent them than it is to contain them after they start to spread.”

He didn’t offer a preference for either an FDIC takeover or “some private sector oriented” workout.

“But we need to figure out the answer to that question as quickly as possible and move on.”

As noted by Zero Hedge, imagine the deposit outflows taking place right now at First Republic as these stories are being reported.


Before the Covid plandemic, most people living in or near major cities reported for work each morning at a modern office building.

While some returned to that regimen over the past year, there are still too many working from home to justify all of the existing office space in cities across America.

Way too many buildings are sitting empty or mostly empty. What is going to happen to these properties? Who is going to buy and maintain them, and for what purpose? 

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, many of these buildings will end up getting sold in a fire sale, likely at prices well below what it cost to build them.

There is an office tower in San Francisco that is currently up for sale and it offers a preview of what is coming to financial districts everywhere.


The Wall Street Journal reports on the situation in San Francisco as follows:

“One building, a 22-story glass and stone tower at 350 California Street, was worth around $300 million in 2019, according to office broker estimates. That building now is for sale, with bids due soon. They are expected to come in at about $60 million, commercial real-estate brokers say. That’s an 80% decline in value in just four years.”

Nearly every large U.S. city is struggling with reduced office-worker turnout since the pandemic spurred remote work. 

Many of San Francisco’s most prominent corporate tenants, from Salesforce to Facebook parent Meta Platforms, are flooding the office market with space for sublet rather than waiting for their leases to expire. The lack of office workers is rippling throughout the financial district, leading restaurants, retailers and other small businesses to lay off employees or close.”

The WSJ article goes on to explain that nearly 30% of San Francisco’s office space is vacant, which is more than seven times the pre-Covid rate, and the biggest increase of any major U.S. city, according to commercial real estate services firm CBRE Group Inc.

But the problem is not unique to San Francisco.

Every city in the country has empty office buildings and no one is lining up to buy or lease them.

That all spells disaster for the owners of these buildings, and the downtown central city areas in which they sit, as it’s hard to imagine what would have to happen to return to the golden age of high-rise office space. 

Not only did Covid disrupt the traditional office work habits, but there are other trends suggesting that America simply won’t need these buildings going forward. People are not reproducing like they used to, the vaccines are killing off and disabling millions of young working-age people, and artificial intelligence is replacing many of the white-collar employees.

This will become a much bigger economic story in the years ahead.


As working-class households continue to struggle amid a cost-of-living crisis driven by inflationary pressures, a new investigation shows that large companies operating in the U.S. have paid nearly $100 billion in fines and settlements since 2000 “to resolve allegations of covert price-fixing and other anti-competitive practices in violation of antitrust laws.”

A report titled “Conspiring Against Competition: Illegal Corporate Price-Fixing in the U.S. Economy,” was published recently by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First. 

The report found that, “Large companies often evade competition and instead collude with one another to control markets to their mutual benefit — and to the disadvantage of consumers, who end up paying higher prices. This is the world of price-fixing and other anti-competitive practices cooked up secretly by purportedly rival corporate executives.”

The report states further that:

“Illegal pricing conspiracies have occurred in a wide range of industries, affecting the cost of products ranging from everyday grocery items and auto parts to chemicals and electronic components.”

In industries such as financial services and pharmaceuticals, just about every major corporation has been a defendant in one or more cases. Banks, credit card companies, and investment firms dominate the top tier, accounting for 9 of the 10 most penalized corporations by total dollars, the report found.

In a statement, Good Jobs First research director and report author Philip Mattera said that “large corporations which are supposed to be competing with one another are often secretly conspiring to set prices.”

In doing so, Matterra says, “they cause economic harm to consumers and contribute to inflation.”

According to the report:

“Of the more than 2,000 cases in which companies made payments to resolve civil and criminal price-fixing allegations, 357 were brought by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Justice Department and other federal regulators.”

Those cases yielded $26 billion in penalties. Another 269 cases brought by state attorneys general totaled $15 billion in fines; and 1,407 class action lawsuits were initiated by private plaintiffs resulting in payouts of $55 billion.

Of the $96 billion in penalties, over one-third ($33 billion) was paid by banks and investment firms, mainly to resolve claims that they schemed to rig interest-rate benchmarks such as LIBOR [London Interbank Offered Rate]. 

The second most penalized industry, at $11 billion, is pharmaceuticals, due largely to owners of brand-name drugs accused of illegally conspiring to block the introduction of lower-cost generic alternatives.


In other news, we have a new study out that suggests the promises of electric vehicles being more fuel efficient than gas-powered cars are highly overrated, to the point where Americans are being fed a pack of lies in the push to get them to convert over to electric vehicles.

Car & Driver recently published a study conducted in collaboration with SAE International to see if EV’s are as good as they are touted by the government and auto industry. Unfortunately, they are not, as the gas-powered cars performed just as good or even better. And yet the marketing for EV’s is overhyped, inflated, and simply disingenuous; especially considering that EV’s cost more than a car or truck with a traditional combustible engine.

And yet car manufacturers like Ford and General Motors are going all-in with EV production, as are others like Honda.

Last year the state of California ruled that sale of gas-powered cars will officially be phased-out by 2035, and many other states have laws on the books that mean they will be following California’s lead. Therefore, car manufacturers have no real incentive to keep producing gas-powered cars and trucks, and instead will gradually convert to total EV production.

The paper published by SAE International uses Car and Driver‘s real-world highway test data to show that electric vehicles underperform on real-world efficiency and range relative to the EPA figures by a much greater margin than internal-combustion vehicles. EVs tend to fall considerably short of the range number on the window sticker. The paper, written by Car and Driver’s testing director, Dave VanderWerp, and Gregory Pannone, was presented at SAE International’s annual WCX conference last week. It points to a need for revised testing and labeling standards for EVs moving forward.

Explained VanderWerp:

“Basically, we’ve taken a look at how vehicles perform relative to the values on the window sticker, looking at the difference between what the label says and what we actually see in our real-world highway test. We see a big difference in that gap between gas-powered vehicles and the performance of EVs. The real question is: When first-time customers are buying EVs, are they going to be pleasantly surprised or disappointed by the range?”

On Car and Driver‘s 75-mph highway test, more than 350 internal-combustion vehicles averaged 4.0 percent better fuel economy than what was stated on their labels. But the average range for an EV was 12.5 percent worse than the price sticker numbers.


The European Union has quietly passed a bill that is being touted as a tool to stamp out money laundering schemes and financing for terrorist organizations, but in doing so it has levied a cap on cash transactions, and breaking this limit could result in a visit from authorities.

The WinePress News reported on this move in late-March when the bill was drafted, called the EU Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism policy.

The legislation threatens to cap payments of “up to €7000 for cash payments and €1000 for crypto-asset transfers, where the customer cannot be identified,” the EU says on its website. Other high-ticket and luxury items are to be heavily monitored, by aggregating “information on ownership of goods such as yachts, planes and cars worth over €200,000 or goods stored in free zones.”

The description reads:

“According to the adopted texts, entities, such as banks, assets and crypto assets managers, real and virtual estate agents and high-level professional football clubs, will be required to verify their customers’ identity, what they own and who controls the company. They will also have to establish detailed types of risk of money laundering and terrorist financing in their sector of activity, and transmit the relevant information to a central register.”

The bill proposes heavy penalties and stricter oversight over the offenders.

According to the official text of the bill itself, it says:

“In order not to impair the efficiency of payment systems and in order to balance the risk of driving transactions underground as a result of overly strict identification requirements against the potential terrorist threat posed by small transfers of funds, the obligation to check whether information on the payer or the payee is accurate should, in the case of transfers of funds where verification has not yet taken place, be imposed only in respect of individual transfers of funds that exceed 1000 Euros.”

The EU and many of the media reporters only wanted to highlight the crypto restrictions and not the cash restrictions and monitoring.

In the initial report by The WinePress, some MEPs said they fought against this bill and want the cash stipulations removed, but to no avail.

Interestingly enough, Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, revealed in a recent podcast interview that in the future these cash restrictions could be even tighter. She stated:

“We are considering whether for very small amounts, anything that is around 300 or 400 euros, we could have a mechanism where there is zero control, but that could be dangerous.”


Are you a hotdog lover?

Well, you might have second thoughts about your passion for the venerable sausage-styled meat after this next report.

Clear Foods recently analyzed 300 hotdog and processed products from 75 brands and found some disturbing ingredients in those products.

Take a look at this report. 


So beware next time you bite into that juicy frankfurter. Two percent of them contain human DNA and two-thirds of the veggie hotdogs contain human DNA.


According to a report by iTV News, people in the UK “need to accept” they are poorer, otherwise inflation will continue to climb, said the chief economist at the Bank of England.

The economist, Mr. Huw Pill, said people and businesses have responded to higher bills and costs by asking for higher wages or charging their customers more money.

But this, he said, adds to inflation, pushing up prices even further across the economy.

The UK’s overall inflation rate was at 10.1% in March, with food inflation surpassing the 20 percent mark. The overall rate dipped from 10.4% the previous month, but this does not mean prices are falling, just that they are rising at a slower rate.

As energy prices and food costs continue to rise, many workers have asked for pay raises to help ease pressure on household budgets.

And, although pay is going up, it is not matched by inflation, meaning people’s pockets are still worse off.

Speaking on the Beyond Unprecedented podcast from Columbia Law School, Mr. Pill said:

“So, somehow in the UK, someone needs to accept that they’re worse off and stop trying to maintain their real spending power by bidding up prices whether through higher wages or passing energy costs on to customers etc. What we’re facing now is that reluctance to accept that, yes, we’re all worse off and we all have to take our share; to try and pass that cost onto one of our compatriots and saying, ‘we’ll be alright, but they will have to take our share too.’ That pass-the-parcel game that’s going on here, that game is one that’s generating inflation, and that part of inflation can persist.”

Mr. Pill joined the Bank of England in September 2021 at an annual salary of 180,000 British pounds, which comes out to around $226,000 U.S. dollars.

According to the Office of National Statistics, the median average disposable income in the UK is 32,300 British pounds, or a little over $40,000 U.S. dollars.


Here’s a little-known economic fact: It now costs the government more than 2.5 cents to produce a penny.

It costs more than 10 cents to mint and distribute a nickel.

Last week, Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced legislation to formally debase the nickel. This bill, if passed, would direct the U.S. Mint to produce nickels, which currently contain actual nickel, along with copper, out of cheaper materials.

Others, such as Art Carden of the American Institute for Economic Research, are calling for pennies and nickels to simply be retired as functionally useless. He writes:

“Ditching small coins is about more than narrow financial savings. It is also a test case for effective governance. Getting rid of the penny is an absolute economic slam dunk.”


Unfortunately, neither cheapening nor eliminating coins that are too costly to produce is a solution to the underlying problem of currency depreciation.

Quarters and dimes, which contained 90% silver up to 1964, have already been debased.

Pennies were minted out of copper until 1982. They are now made of a cheaper zinc with a thin copper polish.

Pre-1965 silver coinscopper pennies, and war nickels are now valued based on their intrinsic metal content.

Metals dealers sell bags of silver quarters and dimes, silver nickels, to sound money hoarders who want exposure to hard money as well as to have handy, small-denomination instruments for bartering transactions when the inevitable collapse of our money system takes place.

Stefan Gleason writes for that, “The coins that circulate today are effectively counterfeit versions of the originals.”

It’s no different with our paper dollars.

Gleason writes, “The Founders defined a dollar in terms of a fixed weight of gold or silver. A modern Federal Reserve note, which cannot be redeemed for any quantity of precious metal, is a counterfeit version of a Constitutional dollar. Real solutions to the problems with U.S. coinage and currency start with real money.”



Time now for our Worldview Financial Report commentary.

Self-proclaimed globalist elites will be gathering later this year to “accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2030,” according to an announcement made last week by the corporate-led World Economic Forum.

The National Pulse reports that the United Nations and the WEF appear frustrated by a lack of progress made towards their plans for a “Great Reset” alongside Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development, which is just code for a one-world technocratic beast system under which all things, living and non-living, are connected to the internet so they can be catalogued, tracked and controlled.

The WEF, led by the German engineer and economist Klaus Schwab, whose father once worked for the Nazi Party apparatus – has said previous efforts to implement their plans “suffered unforeseen setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, major negative impacts of climate change, and the rising cost of food and fuel everywhere due to the conflict in Ukraine.”

As noted by the National Pulse article, global elites are thus being summoned to “strategize” and expedite the progress of what the WEF refers to as “arguably the greatest-ever human endeavor undertaken to create peaceful, just, equal, and sustainable societies.”

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs has argued that “practical solutions that can accelerate progress on the [Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDGs)] will be urgently needed.”

This is the same perverted UN that recently provided clues as to what it means by the words “just” and “equal.” The global body issued a statement in favor of de-criminalizing all sexual activity, including pedophilia, as long as the pedophile’s child victim gives “consent” to the sexual activity.

Yes, in the UN’s “sustainable” world, pedophilia will be normalized and the perverts who prey on children will be “equal” with the rest of us. Of course, it always turns out in these collectivist societies that some are more “equal” than others, and we see that playing out right now with the special rights and privileges being afforded to those deemed to be among the “protected classes.” If you are LGBTQ, you have more rights. If you are an immigrant, a Muslim or other religious minority, you have more rights.

Since Davos 2021, the WEF has publicly discussed how the Agenda 2030 goals can be used to achieve the Great Reset, which would see ordinary people able to own nothing, have no privacy, and yet somehow learn to “be happy.”

I guess your choices under this system will be to either pretend to be happy or be hauled off to the gulag.

That does it for this edition of the Worldview Financial Report. Thanks for tuning in, and for supporting this viewer-supported broadcast.

Until next time, I’m Brannon Howse. May God save America. Take care.


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