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Gamblers Unanimous

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan-Chase is supposed to be a savvy leader of the financial world. He is nothing more than the latest of a long line of con men pushing Ponzi schemes, with the advantage that he has conned the US government into backing his bets.

Mike Konczal at the Next New Deal looks at What Five Hours From Last Thursday Can Tell Us About Dodd-Frank and JP Morgan. All I could think of is that the House GOP leadership was erasing the memory of John Ashcroft cutting the FBI’s request for counter-terrorism on September 10th, 2001. Less than 3 hours before Jamie Dimon admits that JP Morgan-Chase has a problem that is somewhat larger than the ‘tempest in a teapot’ he had called it earlier, the GOP voted to eliminate even the weaken version of bank regulation that was being instituted.

Michael Crimmins at Naked Capitalism notes Jamie’s problems aren’t over, because the losses from the failed trade are still coming in, and have increased to over $3 billion. Of course, there is a secondary loss approaching $20 billion in capitalization as the stock market reacted negatively to the news and the stock price tanked.

David Dayen has an interview with Elizabeth Warren on this mess, and she wants Dimon off the board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, as well as a return to the original Glass-Steagall Act, that prevented banks from gambling with Federally insured depositors’ money.

From the vague comments about what the ‘Whale trade’ was, and a comment that it should have made money no matter what, I get the feeling that Dimon et al. thought they could put up enough money to effectively become ‘the house’ in the financial casino. The one sure thing in gambling is that ‘the house’ never loses. While a true statement, it is only true over the long term, and these guys have no concept of any period longer than a quarter. While other people at JP Morgan-Chase have resigned, the trader is still on the payroll. I have a definite feeling that he is the only one at the bank who knows what he did, and the bank is afraid to cut him loose.

You have to wonder when corporations are going to include provisions in their executive employment contracts that make the contracts null and void if the executive oversees losses of … say, a billion dollars. In a sane world, the board should have met and fired Dimon when the loss became apparent. The concept is called ‘accountability’, and it was once very popular.

6 comments

1 Badtux { 05.18.12 at 1:35 am }

Accountability is for the little people. Rip off millions of Americans by selling liar loans to their pension funds as “prime AAA-rated good-as-Treasuries bonds”? Still there, on the job. You see the same thing whenever underlings misbehave in modern military units or police departments. The leadership never gets any consequences, and it is also rare that the underlings get any consequences. The generals who encouraged “enhanced interrogations” that led to Abu Ghraib? Got promoted, while the “few bad apples” got the accountability stick. The police chief whose cop kicked a pregnant lady in the stomach then lied about it? Still on the job. Accountability? There is none. If you have the right people behind you — people with lots of money or lots of guns — you can do anything you want, with no repercussions at all.

The casino has been rigged, alright. My guess is that Jamie will end up getting a multi-million dollar golden parachute and retire to some extradition-free island vacation paradise.

– Badtux the Disgusted Penguin

2 Bryan { 05.18.12 at 2:33 pm }

We should ‘retire’ him to Plum Island. If it was good enough for Hannibal Lecter, it should be good enough for Jamie Dimon. The financiers with homes in the Hamptons can see the site of their ‘retirement village’ in Long Island Sound.

3 Steve Bates { 05.18.12 at 11:19 pm }

They don’t make people any more deep-down honest than our lawn guy, so he would never be sent to the prison. But if he ever moved to the NY area, I’m pretty sure he would move to (ahem) Lawn Guy Land… <grin_duck_run />

Seriously… to a Texan’s ear, that’s exactly what that name sounds like when spoken by a NY native: the “g” begins the second syllable.

4 Badtux { 05.19.12 at 12:17 am }

Steve, even New Yawkers refer to it as Lawn Guy Land. Go take a gander at Alternate Brain one of these days, it’s on my blogroll, one of the guys is a vet who lives on Lawn Guy Land and occasionally spells it that way :).

– Badtux the Easily Amused Penguin

5 Bryan { 05.19.12 at 12:20 am }

That was a terrible pun, and it only applies to certain people who are natives of the City, not state of New York.

Plum Island was a test site for nasty things like anthrax, not currently a prison, but the same isolation factors that make it suitable for testing that involves highly contagious diseases in animals, would make it a good place to send sociopaths – isolate the infection. I don’t believe it is currently being used for anything, but the land may well be contaminated forever, so it is available [until it sinks beneath the ocean as sea level rises].

6 Steve Bates { 05.19.12 at 9:48 pm }

I knew it was too obvious to be original with me. But if there’s any person more easily amused than you, BadTux, I am that person…