Have we heard this one before? Uh, huh. Will it mean any of the top bankers lose their jobs or, perish the thought, end up in jail? Well, I’d give a better chance the Waltons of Wal-Mart give away their entire fortune to their workers to pay for health care and higher wages.
For the price of a measly $20 billion, the government left JP Morgan Chase walk away from the responsibility of helping fuel the wreckage that became the global financial crisis–and, to boot, it paved the way, incomprehensibly, for Jamie Dimon to get a big fat pay raise(long live the American free market!!!). Now, an important suit by Better Markets has been filed to potentially undo the deal, or, at least, force a more honest, open discussion about what the government’s cheap stay-out-of-jail, sock-it-to-the-customers actually says.
The silence is pretty amazing. The man most responsible, or at least, a central player, in the greatest financial crisis in generations–a crisis that cost tens of millions of people around the globe their jobs and their futures–gets a whopping RAISE…and not a single political leader has stood up to challenge the generosity of the “free market”. This is corruption writ large. And, yet, not a word from the White House, not a word from any figures, future presidential candidates or otherwise, to take on what is a big middle finger to the entire American public.
Par for the course. Though you would be right to say “you have got to be kidding,” the truth is that the signal has been sent from the White House and from most of Congress that the bankers will not go to jail and they will not bear any personal cost of causing the greatest financial crisis in generations, a crisis that cost millions of people their jobs, thei retirement, their dignity and their futures. And the crystal clear example, from the outset, has been Jamie Dimon. He’s getting a big fat raise.
Punishment should bring about change — that’s what every parent wants. More important, that’s what societal punishment I suppose tries to accomplishment. Which is why billions of dollars in fines doesn’t really matter. Nothing will change.
If you were Jamie Dimon, or a sleazy banker of the same stripe, and you got the following deal, would you take it: make billions of dollars for your bank, which, in turn, rewards you personally making you a very, very wealthy man BUT, in the process, because of combination of incompetence, criminality and greed, you help destroy an entire economy and put millions of people out of work, for which your bank pays billions of dollars in fines BUT you get to keep your job and, despite all the crimes, you don’t spend a single night in jail nor do you take out a single dime from your own pocket because the system will protect you and instead hand the bill to essentially the very people you hurt, and you are dealing with a government with no spine or inclination to punish the responsible people at the top so don’t worry for a second…well, would you take that deal?
Of course you would.
And that, in a nutshell, is the upshot of the $13 billion sham fine Jamie Dimon cut with the Obama Administration.
A couple of days ago, I mentioned how Jamie Dimon and his band of corporate lawyers were planning to fleece the people — again. They concocted a scheme to make sure that a ton of the fine money Jamie had agreed to shell out from the corporate treasury in the form of fines would, in fact, be tax deductible. But, whoa, wait a second — a couple of Democrats actually grew a set of balls.
These are the moments when you would really like to be a fly in the room where Jamie Dimon’s corporate lawyers sit around with the boss and ponder: how can we screw the public today? And, baby, every day they come up with a new one.
It just hit me how we can make money off of Jamie Dimon — it’s a *weekly* crime show, or even a reality show. Because every day you wake up you’d have new material for the show. Seriously. Like today.
Jamie Dimon isn’t alone in living the Teflon life in the world of the financial elite. He’s got company at least from Lloyd Blankfein.