Jim Hightower on J.P. Morgan
When Theodore Roosevelt prosecuted J.P. Morgan, Morgan gave him a tongue Lashing. Oligarchs and elite over-priced people with power have always seen themselves as above the law, or beyond the law, or at least wanted to be. The company he founded is still around and still has the same privateering attitude.
Jim Hightower, one of my favorite ex Agricultural Commissioners in Texas writes:
"Well, not a fine against John Pierpont Morgan, the man. This 19th-century robber baron was born to a great banking fortune and, by hook and crook, leveraged it to become the “King of American Finance.” During the Gilded Age, Morgan cornered the U.S. financial markets, gained monopoly ownership of railroads, amassed a vast supply of the nation’s gold and used his investment power to create U.S. Steel and take control of that market.” [http://www.nationofchange.org/2015/01/28/whining-wall-street-banker-pleads-pity/]
No J.P.Morgan and his son J.P.Morgan Junior dominated both centuries through their control of finance. The son helped create the Federal Reserve System after bailing out the early 20th century banking system and not wanting the further risk.
But that sense of entitlement I'm talking about helped him become fabulously rich in the first place:
"From his earliest days in high finance, Morgan was a hustler who often traded on the shady side. In the Civil War, for example, his family bought his way out of military duty, but he saw another way to serve. Himself, that is. Morgan bought defective rifles for $3.50 each and sold them to a Union general for $22 each. The rifles blew off soldiers’ thumbs, but Morgan pleaded ignorance, and government investigators graciously absolved the young, wealthy, well-connected financier of any fault.” [Jim Hightower article]
JP's Dad was an important banker in New England, with connections to London Bankers. J.P. Morgan's Hustling was part of a family tradition. And both JP Morgan Senior and his son were proud of their privateering tradition and built yachts that flew standards that evoked their privateering tradition:
The Privateering Tradition Continues:
“Dimon recently bleated to reporters that, “Banks are under assault.” Well, he really doesn’t mean or care about most banks — just his bank. Government regulators, snarls Jamie, are pandering to grassroots populist anger at Wall Street excesses by squeezing the life out of the JP Morgan casino.” [Jim Hightower article]
Dimon is half right. Banks are being criticized by a mass of outraged citizens who have either been directly swindled by them or been affected by their repeated swindles, the Fed Reserve's bailouts of them, and by the resulting costs born by ordinary citizens of this country as the law and banking system protects great wealth while helping that wealth be transferred to the top 1% and on to the top .01%. So Dimon is seeing a threat. But it's not coming from the Government. So far the government has been too tame. Elizabeth Warren is a voice in the wind, but mostly they tolerate her because she's letting off steam for the rest of us while the folks who should regulate the banks look the other way as the banks continue to rig the system for their private, separate gain. Hightower continues:
“But wait — didn’t JPMorgan score a $22 billion profit last year, a 20 percent increase over 2013 and the highest in its history? And didn’t those Big Bad Oppressive Government Regulators provide a $25 billion taxpayer bailout in 2008 to save Jamie’s conglomerate from its own reckless excess? And isn’t his Wall Street Highness raking in some $20 million in personal pay to suffer the indignity of this “assault” on his bank. Yes, yes and yes.” [Jim Hightower article]
On the contrary the banks are benefiting from access to the Fed System. Qualitative Easing, which is supposed to send money to mainstreet is instead going to those personal payrolls, and we are setup for more trainwrecks in the future unless someone does start going after the banks!
So Hightower is being sarcastic when he says:
“Still, Jamie says that regulators and bank industry analysts are piling on JPMorgan Chase: “In the old days,” he whined, “you dealt with one regulator when you had an issue. Now it’s five or six. You should all ask the question about how American that is,” the $20-million-a-year man lectured reporters, “how fair that is.'” [Jim Hightower article]
In the old days either they'd go to jail or they'd be able to buy a judge. Now they have to buy 5 or 6 regulators.
“Well, golly, one reason Chase has half a dozen regulators on its case is because it doesn’t have “an issue” of illegality, but beaucoup illegalities, including deceiving its own investors, cheating more than two million of its credit card customers, gaming the rules to overcharge electricity users in California and the Midwest, overcharging active-duty military families on their mortgages, illegally foreclosing on troubled homeowners and … well, so much more.” [Jim Hightower article]
And so far the timid regulators have been unwilling and unable to arrest anybody for these crimes. Some of which are illegal because J.P. Morgan can afford to buy an army of Lawyers and Senators and House members to boot.
“So Jamie, you should ask yourself the question about “how fair” is all of the above. Then you should shut up, count your millions and be grateful you’re not in jail.” [Jim Hightower article]
I'm not grateful they aren't in jail. I've been calling for frog marching since 2007. Some of this mess could have been avoided if there were an army of regulators and cops bothering King Dimon.
- Business, Friend or Foe? TR and process improvement Monday, August 6, 2012
- Corruption, Racketeering and the Supreme Court RICO Act should have applied, Wednesday, October 16, 2013
- Many Forms of Freebooting Wednesday, December 11, 2013
- Do we walk in the darkness, or in the light? Sunday, January 19, 2014
- An Ideology of Privateering July 26, 2014
- JP's illustrious forebear:
- Henry Morgan
- Discovery of one of his ships
- Admiral Sir Henry Morgan
- For an example of how Plundering works from Rolling Stone's history of the 2008 bailout: