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June 6, 2017


As I have blogged before, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, the giant among Wall Street bank giants, should have been in jail for his bank’s admitted violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act a few years ago. Instead, and like the other big Wall Street banks who have committed felonies in the conduct of their banking businesses (see packaging of junk mortgages for sale to police and firemen and nurses’ retirement plans etc.), JPMorgan Chase paid a chump change fine and its executives walked.

Jamie’s bank had company in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a measure which, among other things, proscribes bribery. Jamie’s bank vied with other banks in bribing Chinese officials in securing their lucrative banking contracts, as evidenced by e-mails in which officials of JPMorgan Chase and other Wall Street banks bragged about their successes in bribing Chinese officials.

One such method in how it worked was that the Wall Street banks would give jobs to the children of such bribed Chinese officials in their respective Chinese offices in return for such officials’ influence in seeing that JPMorgan Chase or other Wall Street bank was the bank of choice, children who knew nothing of banking and a thinly disguised and obvious means to cover up JPMorgan Chase’s felonious attempt to secure highly profitable contracts with its pretense of legality. (I think such an attempt is in and of itself a conspiracy to commit a felony.)

Perhaps surprisingly, Jamie Dimon as CEO of JPMorgan Chase is a very friendly and affable individual and was even considered for a post in the Trump administration, but perhaps fortunately, considering all of the available financial posts in Trump’s administration and Trump’s clueless penchant for appointment of executives of Goldman Sachs to his cabinet, Jamie still remains CEO of JPMorgan Chase.

Elizabeth Warren mentions Jamie in her new book, This Fight is our Fight. She writes that “During my first few weeks in the Senate, a parade of corporate executives had trooped through my office. One of these executives, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, had deigned to offer me his advice on everything from public education to trade policy.” She also noted that “Mr. Dimon was not alone. The president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, the head of the American Bankers Association, and several representatives from big hedge funds all came knocking on my door – and the doors of most of the other new senators. Bankers and their highly paid lobbyists swarmed Congress like bees scouting out new flowers.”

While the friendly lobbyists such as Jamie were making nice with the new senators, one of the topics that did not come up was why the big Wall Street banks could borrow taxpayer money at less than one percent and students were charged six or eight percent or even more in interest on their student loans. What, one must ask, is the logic of such a Republican policy, a policy that rewards the already filthy rich and penalizes students who are trying to find a niche in our dwindling middle class, a policy that allows big banks to take deductions from income for fines and even for punitive damages while students are denied bankruptcy protection, live with their parents, are delayed in career building and perhaps marriage, their credit ratings wrecked if their loan payments are late, an eternal debt etc.

The final atrocity arising from such Republican “policies” is this: That you and I are helping this corporate adventure in suck the suckers dry. How so? Because the interest and the fines and even punitive damages assessed are deductible to such banking and other corporations, which means that you and I are financing our own demise since we must make up either in our taxes paid or liability to pay in the future our increase in the deficit while the corporate crooks and frauds pay less taxes as a result of their deductions from income. Thus, we are paying for a share of the fines for crimes and other fraudulent conduct of big banking and other corporations. That’s funny; I don’t remember bribing any Chinese officials, so why am I paying for someone else’s criminal and fraudulent misconduct?

Finally, I think it is important to know the truth about corporate taxation beyond the daily propaganda of the business press and TV about how high corporate taxes are destroying businesses. Take, for instance, the returns of Verizon, Boeing and General Electric, who paid less income taxes than I did for five years though their combined profits were nearly 80 billion dollars, a collective income that exceeded mine by (you guessed it) nearly 80 billion dollars. They paid nothing – zilch – and even got tax rebates from our treasury – out of our pockets! How could this be?

It is clear as day that Republicans have sold out to the corporate culture and that you and I are not represented in their back-room negotiations to make the rich richer and have you and me pay for it. I am reminded of an old 18th century saying when King George was playing dictator with his American colonies among American colonists in the streets, and it was “No taxation without representation!” Maybe we should dust off that motto by removing those mini-Georges from their power to oppress the rest of us, and the sooner the better.     GERALD      E




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