Excuse me while I yawn and shrug at the same time. Here we go again–a sign that nothing truly has changed and we can just sit back and prepare for the next financial implosion. The SEC has agreed to let J.P. Morgan off with a slap on the wrist to the tune of $153 million for its role in the mortgage scams–while the top executives still reap millions.
This on The Wall Street Journal’s site:
The SEC said J.P. Morgan Securities will pay $153.6 million to settle charges that the firm misled investors in a a mortgage-backed securities transaction “just as the housing market was starting to plummet.”
In shades of the SEC lawsuit last year against Goldman Sachs, the SEC in a news release said J.P. Morgan set up a $1.1 billion collateralized debt obligation without properly telling investors that a hedge fund helped select assets packed into the CDO, and had bet against more than half those assets.
As I wrote last year when Goldman Sachs got its slap on the wrist, if I could pocket millions of dollars in compensation, play a key role in a scam that cost millions of people their jobs, sent the economy into one of the worst economic tailspins in a half century, escape any personal jail time for that scam, not have to admit any wrongdoing and, then, pay–in the current case–a measly $153 million fine out of the corporate treasury, I’d say, "where can I sign up?"
What will happen, for example, to all the pension funds that were hammered by the mortgage crisis–the pension funds that held the retirement money of millions of hard-working Americans? Will they get reimbursed? Nope.
The crooks are getting away with it. Let the corporate treasury pay–and, then, continue to pay the CEOs more money.
Nothing in this settlement will stop Wall Street from continuing to be the financial engine behind the unwinding of the American Dream. Wall Street will continue to finance leveraged buyouts and corporate takeovers which are based heavily on debt–which has resulted in the shedding of millions of good-paying jobs and will continue to create the same sick dynamic in the financial system whereby the "health of a company" is measured by its stock price, not by how well the workers are doing.
The robbery will continue.