Over the past few months, insider selling (the legal kind) by top bank executives has exploded. Insider activity is something I’ve monitored closely for about 20 years now. This sort of selling is legal because it is not based upon inside information. Presumably, it’s based upon information available to anyone paying attention.

Top executives and directors at banks used have used the rally to cash out https://t.co/i8v8Pxm5mk ht @hmeisler pic.twitter.com/Sn46EWuB3r

— Jesse Felder (@jessefelder) April 27, 2017

One possible explanation is that they understand, better than anyone, that they really need a much larger increase in the yield curve to really make a significant difference in their bottom lines. The stocks have acted as if the yield curve were now at its widest levels in years. The reality is that it has only barely lifted off of its lows.

Banks and the yield curve: pic.twitter.com/vajYhbP5MY

— Jesse Felder (@jessefelder) December 8, 2016

This begs the question, ‘why have the stocks run so far ahead of economic fundamentals?’ I think the main reason is investors’ hopes for financial deregulation have soared since the election. But I also think Main Street is starting to catch on to Wall Street’s game.

Financial deregulation in two charts: pic.twitter.com/jiKDJpOerS

— Jesse Felder (@jessefelder) February 6, 2017

It’s going to be very difficult to make the case for deregulation so soon after the financial crisis and it appears politicians aren’t even willing to try. In fact, they have recently discussed bipartisan proposals for increased regulation. Employing one of the largest lobbying groups in D.C., bank insiders understand these cross currents better than anyone else.

Bipartisan support for the 21st century Glass-Steagall Act https://t.co/DcWIiuvXDX

— Jesse Felder (@jessefelder) April 7, 2017

It could also be that bank executives have a front row seat at the slowing consumer spending show. Today’s GDP report reveals what they have likely been privy to for months now: the fact that the consumer is not doing so hot.

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