Quantcast
Connect with us

Billionaire CEO Jamie Dimon leveled for gobbling up government handouts while whining about socialism

Published

on

- Commentary

In his annual letter to shareholders, distributed last week, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon took aim at socialism, warning it would be “a disaster for our country,” because it produces “stagnation, corruption and often worse.”

Dimon should know. He was at the helm when JPMorgan received a $25bn socialist-like bailout in 2008, after it and other Wall Street banks almost tanked because of their reckless loans.

Dimon subsequently agreed to pay the government $13bn to settle charges that the bank overstated the quality of mortgages it was selling to investors in the run-up to the crisis. According to the Justice Department, JPMorgan acknowledged it had regularly and knowingly sold mortgages that should have never been sold. (Presumably this is where the “stagnation, corruption and often worse” comes in.)

The $13bn penalty was chicken feed to the biggest bank on Wall Street, whose profits last year alone amounted to $35bn. Besides, JPMorgan was able to deduct around $11bn of the settlement costs from its taxable income.

To state it another way, Dimon and other Wall Street CEOs helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis when the dangerous and irresponsible loans their banks were peddling – on which they made big money – finally went bust. But instead of letting the market punish the banks (which is what capitalism is supposed to do) the government bailed them out and eventually levied paltry fines which the banks treated as the cost of doing business.

If this isn’t socialism, what is? Yet it’s a particular form of socialism. Millions of homeowners who owed more on their homes than the homes became worth didn’t get bailed out. Millions of workers who lost their jobs or their savings, or both, didn’t get bailed out. No major banker went to jail.

ADVERTISEMENT

Call it socialism for rich bankers.

It’s a gift that keeps giving. Dimon took advantage of the financial crisis to acquire Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, vastly enlarging JPMorgan. America’s five biggest banks, including Dimon’s, now control 46% of all deposits, up from 12% in the early 1990s.

And because they’re so big, Dimon’s and other big Wall Street banks are now considered “too big to fail”. This translates into a hidden subsidy of some $83bn a year, because creditors who face less risk accept lower interest on deposits and loans.

ADVERTISEMENT

More socialism for rich bankers.

After the financial crisis and bailout, Congress enacted a milquetoast version of the Glass-Steagall Act, a banking law from the Great Depression that bankers killed off in the 1990s. The replacement was called the Dodd-Frank Act.

Ever since, Dimon has pushed to weaken Dodd-Frank.

ADVERTISEMENT

When Obama’s regulators wanted to extend Dodd-Frank to the foreign branches and subsidiaries of Wall Street banks, Dimon warned it would harm Wall Street’s competitiveness.

This was the same Jamie Dimon who chose London as the place to make highly risky derivatives trades that lost the firm some $6bn in 2012 – proof that unless the overseas operations of Wall Street banks are covered by US regulations, giant banks like his will move more of their betting abroad, hiding their wildly-risky bets overseas so U.S. regulators can’t see them.

More recently, Trump’s bank regulators have heeded Dimon, and rolled back Dodd-Frank.

ADVERTISEMENT

Dimon was also instrumental in getting the big Trump tax cuts through Congress. They saved JPMorgan and the other big banks $21bn last year alone.

Dimon was paid $31m last year. He is estimated by Forbes to be worth $1.3bn.

Ironically, a few weeks ago Dimon warned that income inequality is dividing America. He said that a “big chunk” of Americans have been left behind, and, announcing a $350mprogram to train workers for the jobs of the future, lamented that 40% of Americans make less than $15 an hour.

ADVERTISEMENT

True, but $350m over five years isn’t even a drop in the ocean for the Americans left behind.

Wall Street bonuses totaled $27.5bn last year, which is more three times the combined annual earnings of all American workers employed full-time at the federal minimum wage. That’s more than 600,000 low-wage workers.

If Dimon were serious about the problem of widening inequality, he’d use his lobbying prowess to help raise the federal minimum wage. He’d also try to make it easier for workers to unionize, and to raise taxes on the super-wealthy like himself.

ADVERTISEMENT

But, of course, Dimon isn’t really concerned about widening inequality. He’s not really concerned about socialism, either.

Dimon’s real concern is that America may end the kind of socialism he and other denizens of the Street depend on – bailouts, regulatory loopholes, and tax breaks.

These have made Dimon and his comrades a fortune, but they’ve brought the rest of America stagnation, corruption, and often worse.


Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Washington is no longer functional’: Brian Williams admits he’s sad to report that ‘our government is broken’

Published

on

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday reported that America's federal government is broken.

"This was day 908 of the Trump Administration and while there is no joy in it, one way of summing up today is this: Our government’s broken, our politics are broken, Washington is no longer functional, and the cracks in our society are deepening," Williams reported.

"Much of this day was taken up by the discussion of racist statements by the president. Then tonight came the news that had so many people thinking back to when we were different, the death just tonight of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens at the age of 99," he said.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump ignored being condemned by Congress and instead praised Republicans on Twitter for defending his racism

Published

on

President Donald Trump celebrated on Tuesday night despite the House of Representatives having voted earlier in the day to condemn his racist statements.

By a final vote of 240 to 187, Congress voted for a resolution saying, "Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

The resolution said Congress “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should “go back” to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as “invaders,” and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.”

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

The tortured madness of Donald Trump: It’s clear the president is out of his mind

Published

on

Where’s Shakespeare when we need him? Only the Bard of Avon could do literary justice to the tortured madness of Donald Trump, who fluctuates between petulant self-pity and weird self-praise.

His brags are especially weird because they usually involve achievements he hasn’t made. It’s as though his saying something makes it true — even though everyone except his most naive devotees can clearly see that he’s either hallucinating or lying. In June, for example, at a rally launching his reelection campaign, he retrumpeted an old campaign promise to “drain the swamp,” assuring the adoring crowd that “that’s exactly what we’re doing right now.”

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

close-image