Continuing The Worship of Money

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Editor’s Comment:

The high priests of money located at the NY Federal Reserve and in Wall Street banks serve as the people nearest to the god of money and therefore are far more persuasive than the rest of us. We are all believers. And in that lies the undermining of the spiritual foundation of our society, our country and our future.

The trickle down theory artfully presented by one of Romney’s partners at Bain Capital makes a brilliant case filled with logic and faith in the system. The fact that there are parts of a theory that work, is hardly a reason to accept the whole theory. Romney’s partner is successfully arguing for capitalism, with which I agree — up to a point (firefighters, police, ambulance etc). Where the argument breaks down to simply absurd is that income inequality is somehow good for us and that we should be thankful for it.

If income inequality were a good thing then U.S. Prosperity, employment and economic power would be at an all time high. Instead they are at a serious low point and without further stimulus will move into recession mode which is where Europe is now, with mmost people agreeing that austerity was a bad idea.

But we listen to this nonsense because of our worship and submission to money and those that have it. And so we stagnate despite the white elephant in the living room. For the past 35 years the financial sector has been sucking money out of the system instead of putting it into the economy — which is the ONLY rational for even having a financial sector (banks, in particular). Having an economy grow where the richest 1% received 93% of the benefit is crazy.  Treating those people with extra tax incentives to do more of the same is insane.

We are a society of people serving we hope higher causes, ideals and spiritual hopes and dreams. We exist as a society not for the sake of money but for the sake of peace, prosperity, the general welfare and fairness (read our constitution — if you don’t like what it says, then you must amend it because it states the foundation and basis of our society).

Instead we let the high priests of money direct our society, our government, our thoughts and even our faith. That they stole a gargantuan amount of money from the citizens directly and indirectly as taxpayers is now known widely and yet we continue to believe.

We need more stimulus. But so far all stimulus proposals stop at the door finance instead of examining the underpinnings of our society, our government and our high priests. The largest chunk taken out of the economy amounting to trillions of dollars should simply be put back in — practicing fairness and pursuit of happiness and the general welfare of the citizens. And the way to put it back in is to stop (not slow) the foreclosures, reverse the 5 million foreclosures that were illegally obtained and work out a fair settlement on the money where everyone shares in the burden if rebuilding our society.

That stimulus will hurt nobody and cost nothing except to the banks that stole the money and homes. That stimulus of merely returning collective wealth from where it was stolen will result in spending and investing as any healthy society would have us do. And it would result, without tax increases, in fully funded social security, Medicare, Medicaid, police, fire and rebuilding our road, power, water and other infrastructures that are an embarrassment to all Americans.

Above all we must return to our faith in our ideals and view money, power and wealth as merely necessary evils that represent the cost of maintaining a society — a cost, I said, not a goal.

33 Responses

  1. @Nancy

    Thank you, I need to think about this for a bit.

  2. @enraged, i agree the name you adopt about sums it up- stay enraged, my points not that important, i had another kangeroo kick in the pants from AZ court, im just sad angry outraged enraged and little bit cross… if i didnt feel so strongly about whats happened i would have shut the hell up..long ago. my case has all the elements and i mean all…i will not quit until i have no option left. actually..i would call myself” coal miners daughter” because i am, so maybe ill use that name from now on…lol

  3. Las Vegas.
    Thank you for the details.
    There is the legal truth, and then there is truth.

    Indenture Trustees for example as depositors …Wells Fargo Bank NA for Wilmington Trust Co. Wells Fargo Bank NA ‘underwriters’ who acquire Notes through Norwest Corp’s arsenal of title companies … starting with American Title dba RELS … and RELS strategic partnership with First American dba Corelogic since 1997.

    Wilmington Trust Co who does not underwrite…

    Consider what can be a Purchase Money Loan and what cannnot …

    Consider ‘BORROWER’ Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. June 1998 forward for all ‘security interests’ …goods and services ‘notes purchased and sold in our likeness … Notes not loans, real estate loans only created in event – in the event – event that broker can’t acquire the existing encumbrances, and existing entitlements, and existing restrictions, …

    Consider that
    Norwest/RELS -First American dba Corelogic Strategic partners with Norwest Mortgage Inc. conduit NASCOR – CTSLink ‘Underwriters/Trustees and …
    4/1/1998 – Senior Indenture, dated as of April 7, 1998,
    between The First American Financial Corporation
    and Wilmington Trust Company as Trustee,
    incorporated by reference herein from Exhibit
    (4) of the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the
    quarter ended June 30, 1998.
    SECTION 10.7 Limitation on Liens.

    The Company shall not, and shall not permit any Subsidiary to, create,
    assume, incur or suffer to exist any Lien, other than a Purchase Money Lien, upon any capital stock of any Restricted Subsidiary, whether owned on the date of the Indenture or thereafter acquired, to secure any Indebtedness (other than the Senior Debentures) of the Company, any Subsidiary or any other Person without in any such case making effective provision whereby all of the outstanding Senior Debentures shall be directly secured equally and ratably with such Indebtedness or, if such Indebtedness is secured by a Lien and is expressly
    subordinated or junior in right of payment to the Senior Debentures, secured by a Lien that is senior in priority to the Lien securing such Indebtedness; provided, however, that this restriction will not apply to (i) Liens on the capital stock of any Restricted Subsidiary securing Indebtedness outstanding from time to time, provided that the principal amount of all such Indebtedness secured by Liens on the capital stock of any Restricted Subsidiary, at the time of each incurrence of any portion of any such Indebtedness, does not exceed 20%
    of Total Capitalization and (ii) Liens securing Indebtedness from the Company to any wholly owned Restricted Subsidiary or from any wholly owned Restricted Subsidiary to the Company or its subsidiaries.
    Nothing in this Section 10.7 or elsewhere in this Indenture contained shall prevent or be deemed to restrict any other property of the Company or its Subsidiaries or to prohibit the creation, assumption, or guaranty by the Company or any Subsidiary of any debentures, notes, or other evidences of unsecured indebtedness, whether in the ordinary course of business or otherwise.

  4. @Debra,

    I promise: once my case has been resolved (or tried but I doubt it more and more every day), I’ll use my real name. I kinda like it too.

  5. 04-01-2004 A Novel Method of Soliciting, Originating, Processing, Closing and Funding a Mortgage Loan – Refinancing Mortgage and Closing Package Funding Mortgage Loan

    Novel method funding – preapproved offers for Notes ‘real estate receivables’ are Notes not loans, and promise of Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and Norwest/RELS First American to become ‘BORROWER’ during default and Premier Asset Services REO to be LENDER for new suitable borrower -novel method funding

    RELS, Norwest/RELS First American dba CORELOGIC Servicer. Lenders provide funds to qualified individual customers -but RESPA Exception Liens on Property we may not get loans !

    Title Commitment Inclusionary Language and Exclusionary Language creates ‘instruments’ like Mortgage or Deed of Trust and affix to Promissory Note ‘Mortgage Servicing Rights’ to Underwriter who is in agreement with BUYER/SELLER to remove DUE UPON SALE CLAUSE and add acceleraton clause – new borrower will be found in event ‘BORROWER’ defaults a more suitable borrower will be selected and then only then is a ‘real estate sales contract’ created for debt settlement it appears through research Properties are encumbered and with entitlements hidden concealed from consumer – is that not third parties taking possession of property through deceptive acts? Using my likeness to sell Note to Investor, Investor passes to custodian / Bailee Mortgage Servicing Rights – cash used to hedge alternative investments of preferred stockholders ….if a loan was created the loan is with the pension funds the cash was advanced out of at the beginning during origination withdrawn out of a non-depository trust -deposited into a depository trust of indenture trustee of Wilmington Trsut Co – Wilmington Trust company does not underwriter – hmmmm

  6. Investment System Deed of Trust or Mortgage Instrument Pat 7574392

    http : //www.scribd.com/doc/93830462/Investment-System-Deed-of-Trust-or-Mortgage-Instrument-Pat-7574392

  7. no…if its true its true

  8. @Debra,

    You just answered your own question…

  9. question- why cant people blogg in their real names
    i know it may compromise litigation but for petes sake
    if you want to stand up and be counted ya know

  10. @NANCY

    Collateral Assignment of Mortgage or Deed of Trust
    Revised: 10/1999

    AUTHOR: David Dickard

    DEFINITION

    A collateral assignment of a Mortgage or Deed of Trust is primarily a personal property right, i.e., the rights to the underlying Note itself given to the assignee, but the collateral assignment can be insured if certain steps are followed. One way to look at a collateral assignment is that the Note and Deed of Trust now have two beneficiaries, both of whom must be dealt with if the Deed of Trust is to be foreclosed, released, or reconveyed. When a Note and Deed of Trust are created, they become a receivable, or asset, in the hands of the lender. If the lender itself subsequently decides to raise cash, they can sell the asset to another investor and assign the Note and Deed of Trust outright to that investor. Sometimes the original lender decides instead to raise cash by borrowing money from another lender. As part of that transaction, they can pledge that asset as security or collateral for the loan they are receiving. The collateral assignment is the document that is recorded to show that the original lender used the asset as security to borrow money, rather than selling the asset outright to a new investor.

    RELATED TOPICS

    DETAILED EXPLANATION

    PERSONAL VERSUS REAL PROPERTY

    The holder of a Collateral Assignment does not own an estate in real property. This is because the collateral they hold is the promissory note itself, as opposed to the lien against real property created by the Deed of Trust. Default by the original lender on the collateral loan does not directly entitle the collateral assignee to foreclose on the Deed of Trust. This makes sense if you consider that the property owner should not be vulnerable to losing their property to foreclosure unless the property owner itself has defaulted on the original Note and Deed of Trust. By law, a promissory note is personal property, which is governed by the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code. If the original lender defaults on the collateral loan but the property owner has not defaulted on the original loan, the collateral assignee must assert its rights to the original promissory note pursuant to the UCC. See related topics, Uniform Commercial Code.

    LENDER PRIORITY

    It is common for both the original lender and the collateral lender to have simultaneous, proportionate rights to the original Note and Deed of Trust. One reason for this is that the collateral loan is often for less money than the original loan. When this scenario occurs, the original lender will not want to assign all of its rights to the original security to the collateral lender. Accordingly, anyone dealing with a Deed of Trust that has been collaterally assigned should presume that both lenders have rights to that security. If a collaterally assigned Deed of Trust is being paid off, either both lenders should sign the release or the collateral lender should reassign its rights back to the original lender. If the property owner has defaulted on the original Note and Deed of Trust and a foreclosure is looming, the foreclosure should be conducted on behalf of both lenders and the foreclosure proceeds should be distributed according to their proportionate interests in the original Note and Deed of Trust. As will be discussed further in the next section, it is critical that the collateral lender has actual possession of the original promissory note. Even if a collateral assignment is recorded in the real property records, the UCC will still give priority to the actual holder of the original note. See related topics, Uniform Commercial Code.

    TITLE POLICY TREATMENT

    The willingness of title companies to insure a collateral assignment will vary from state to state. Some states will be prohibited from issuing loan policies on collateral assignments because the primary collateral (the promissory note) is characterized as personal property. Title companies that are willing to insure a collateral assignment may do so via a new loan policy, but will typically insure by endorsement to the original loan policy. There is one common denominator to every request to insure a collateral assignment; the only way to validly transfer a note is by written endorsement on the original, together with physical transfer of it to the new lender. Before agreeing to insure a collateral assignment, the title company should inspect the original note to verify that the collateral assignee is the current holder and that any chain of endorsements is consistent with the recorded chain of assignments. In some cases, the title insurer will accept written assurances of these facts from a reputable lender or escrow holder in lieu of inspecting the original note. However, in the event that the title insurer cannot verify these facts to their satisfaction, they may either refuse to insure the collateral assignment or will except from coverage any loss or damage incurred due to failure by the collateral lender to hold the original note. The title insurer should also decline to provide any type of UCC coverage, because the issue of UCC security priority is beyond the scope of real property interests covered by a title policy.

    Title policy endorsements insuring collateral assignments contain the following language:

    The Company assures ‘the Assured’ (a) That the beneficial interest under the mortgage referred to in paragraph ___ of Schedule ___ has been assigned to the Assured as collateral security; (b) That no reconveyance either full or partial of the insured mortgage or any modification or subordination thereof appears in the public records. The Company hereby insures the Assured against loss which the Assured shall sustain in the event that the assurances herein shall prove to be incorrect.

    https://www.agentxtra.net/Extranet/singlesource/content/underwriting/CollateralAssignmentof.htm

  11. I think now we all finally see the true nature of the beast.
    i could cry a river, but what good would it do. Darrel Blomberg is doing his part- sorry i could not be at Macayos- worked late,again. but at least we can try and do whats possible, takes a lot of effort many have had it easy for too long i guess but the time to fight in now, right now for our right to a jury trial and the application of the law.

  12. In all real estate receivables sold as Notes to Investors – Servicer ID affixed to Promissory Note you as Purchaser signed a Sales Contract and sold servicing rights to ‘SELLER’

    SELLER sold to INVESTOR one who manages Pension Funds using cash of Pension Funds to acquire common stock, and the INVESTOR acquired preferred stock.

    INVESTOR purchased NOTES in your Name. Holds notes and creates CUSIP and guarantees cash to hedge credit risk of INVESTOR (Insurance group)

    If you stop advancing cash ‘real estate receivables are NOTES not loans, the INVESTOR has purchased and/or transfers, exchanges, guarnatee purchases real estate contract ‘pretending to create a loan’ used for debt settlement

  13. Bill Black on Dimon the sociopath, Obama the weak link, Geithner, the sold out… with an interesting speech from France new prez…

  14. Why isn’t anyone saying the full truth? As in: when injustice becomes systemic, people revolt, riots ensue, governments get toppled and dictatorship takes over. When the media and government conveniently ignore the facts and handle business as usual while millions kleep suffering, all of a sudden, things blow up.

    Every morning, i wake up thinking: “Hmmm. Maybe today is the day things will blow?

    http://dailyreckoning.com/the-corzine-dimon-syndrome/

    The “Corzine-Dimon Syndrome”
    By Eric Fry

    05/15/12 Laguna Beach, California – On its best days, the American judicial process is a blindfolded Lady Justice — prosecuting the truly guilty and exonerating the truly innocent. On its worst days, it is a Water Wiggle — whirling around unpredictably, without any apparent connection to guilt, innocence, Constitutionality or the proportionality of alleged crimes to one another.

    On good days, guilty parties go to prison; innocent parties do not. On very good days, innocent parties do not even have to go to the trouble of hiring a lawyer and showing up in court. Law enforcement agencies correctly decide to spare them the burden (and potential agony) of proving their innocence before a judge or jury.

    On bad days, the exact opposite occurs. Innocent parties go to prison, while guilty parties do not. On very bad days, guilty parties do not even have to go to the trouble of hiring a lawyer and showing up in court. Law enforcement agencies incorrectly decide to withhold charges and spare guilty parties the burden (and potential agony) of defending their guilt before a judge or jury.

    Once you string enough bad days together, you get a Water Wiggle — a “system” of law enforcement that investigates and prosecutes alleged crimes capriciously, unfairly and disproportionately. You get a system, for example, that:

    1) Prosecutes Hall of Fame pitcher, Roger Clemens, for injecting performance-enhancing drugs into his own body, but does not prosecute a single investment banking executive for fraudulently injecting mortgage-backed securities into the US financial system.

    2) Tasers-to-death a Mexican national for sneaking into the US to find work, but provides billion-dollar bailouts to finance company executives whose extreme incompetence causes thousands of individuals to lose their jobs. (Bring us your tired, huddled masses so that we can beat them to death).

    3) Threatens to shut down porn film studios for failure to comply with “condom laws,” but turns a blind eye to Wall Street’s serial financial rape of the US taxpayer.

    4) Fires a 5-year employee of Wells Fargo for shoplifting when she was a teenager, but does not bother to prosecute M.F. Global’s former CEO, Jon Corzine, for allowing (or causing) $1.6 billion of client funds to disappear from the firm he controlled.

    In other words, once you string enough bad days together, you get a “system” that punishes minor crimes and rewards major crimes…consistently. You get a system that punishes entrepreneurial initiative by rewarding cronyism.

    To reward incompetent finance company CEOs with billion-dollar bailouts, for example, is to punish the employees and shareholders of the prudently operated finance companies that compete with the firms receiving bailouts.

    To refrain from investigating and/or indicting Jon Corzine for “disappearing” $1.6 billion of client funds is to punish both the 38,000 M.F. Global customers who are still missing the money they did not deserve to lose and the 1,000 employees who lost paychecks they did not deserve to lose.

    To continuously intervene on behalf of politically connected incompetence and sociopathy is to invite the kinds of corruption, recklessness, cronyism and criminal negligence that ruins innocent lives and destroys entire economies.

    The US is sprinting down this very path…as last week’s “surprising” $2 billion loss at J.P. Morgan Chase illustrates. Morgan’s egomaniacal CEO, Jamie Dimon, described the furor over the trading loss as a “tempest in a teapot.”

    Maybe so, but based on subsequent disclosures about the reckless trading that produced this loss, Dimon looks like a teapot in a tempest — clueless and overwhelmed.

    The only surprise about this announcement was that the loss wasn’t $4 billion…or $40 billion. But let’s give it some time. Morgan’s expert traders might still get there.

    There’s a direct connection, Dear Reader, between the trading losses at JP Morgan and the conspicuous non-prosecution of Jon Corzine. In fact, there’s a term for this connection. It’s called “moral hazard.”

    Most parents understand the term. They understand that the best way to raise a socially dysfunctional brat is to give him a candy bar every time he whines for something, and to give him a $20 bill every time he bullies a classmate. And yet, incredibly, the Federal Reserve, Treasury and Congress are doing exactly that. They are creating a generation of “spoiled brat” bankers.

    Just three years after the depths of the 2008-9 Credit Crisis, Wall Street’s power brokers remain as remorseless as ever, as self-entitled as ever and, therefore, as fearless as ever. That’s not a good thing.

    Three years after a crisis that nearly toppled the US financial sector, JP Morgan is playing the same old games…as if nothing had changed. The official chitchat from Washington and Wall Street about “risk” and “regulation” has changed quite a bit since 2008, but Wall Street’s behavior is just as deplorable and dangerous as ever.

    As the chart above shows, the “gross market value” and “gross credit exposure” of global OTC interest rate derivatives has jumped to its highest levels since 2008. If you don’t understand what these data points mean, don’t feel bad, Jamie Dimon doesn’t seem to get it either. (But if you’d like to understand what these data points mean, check out this report from the Bank for International Settlements).

    The only thing you really need to know about the global derivatives market is that risk exposures are increasing, not decreasing. JP Morgan’s balance sheet tells the tale. According to Morgan’s latest quarterly report, the firm was a net seller of credit protection — to the tune of about $206 billion, up from $116 billion as of Dec. 31. In other words, it nearly doubled its risk exposure. Morgan calls this speculation “hedging.” Unfortunately, it is hedging without a hedge, which is the same thing as speculating.

    The newly “retired” Chief Investment Officer of JP Morgan, Ina Drew, was supposed to be hedging other exposures at the firm. But hedging is not supposed to produce billion-dollar losses. That’s why it’s called “hedging.”

    “[Ina Drew’s] position over the years has always been around hedging,” explains Dina Dublon, a former JPMorgan CFO who worked with Drew for 22 years, “but hedging for profit as opposed to hedging just to counter losses.”

    Ah yes…“hedging for profit”…also known as “speculating.”

    “The sheer size of this trade,” says Barry Ritholtz, editor of the Big Picture and recurring speaker at the annual Agora Financial Investment Symposium in Vancouver, “makes it far more accurate to describe this as speculation than hedging. The loss was the tell. A true hedge would have been offset by the underlying position that was being hedged — so any loss should have been insignificant. Even a minor correlation error should not lead to a $2 billion hit.

    “If we are going to define this trade as a hedge, then there is no other conclusion to reach except that everything at a huge bank is a hedge. And once you define everything as a hedge, well then, nothing is a hedge.”

    In other words, Dear Reader, nothing has changed since 2008. Absolutely nothing. The only reason Dimon is around to lose $2 billion of the shareholder’s capital in 2012 is because the federal government (i.e., we taxpayers) bailed him out in 2008.

    Therefore, Dimon understands the rules of this rigged game very well. He knows he can conduct mega-billion-dollar speculations because he knows that JP Morgan could never bankrupt itself, no matter how recklessly it conducts its business. The US central planners would not allow it. Morgan could build bonfires with $100 bills in front of all its branches every night, and it still would not be able to burn through the federal government’s commitment to keeping it alive.

    Jamie Dimon, along with the rest of the coddled Wall Street predators, knows he is just as free to jeopardize the US financial system as he was in 2008. He and his counterparts at Goldman and elsewhere are just as free to place their monstrous heads-I-win-tails-you-lose bets with non-consenting US taxpayers as they were in 2008. No one will stop them.

    Vibrant economies and civilized societies rely on law and order. And law and order relies on a foundation of fairness — a basic understanding that bad things are bad and good things are good. But when the powers of government begin to affirm that bad things are okay and good things are irrelevant, all hell breaks loose.

    If America is to regain her former glory, she must first regain the integrity to prosecute criminality, no matter how many politicians know the criminals on a first-name basis…and she must regain the courage to let incompetent capitalists fail so that competent capitalists can arise to take their place.

    If America is to regain her former glory, she must regain the integrity to prosecute guys like Jon Corzine and the courage to let guys like Jamie Dimon fail.

    Eric Fry
    for The Daily Reckoning

    Read more: The “Corzine-Dimon Syndrome” http://dailyreckoning.com/the-corzine-dimon-syndrome/#ixzz1v0ISupR9

  15. @Enraged: U.S. population is so overdosed with fluoride, and other deadly pollutants, while starved of facts, that it can’t do a thing, just as it never could, or never did!!!.

  16. With 290 million firearms in this country of 320 million, I bet we’ll start hearing firecrackers one of these days. No Sir! Not just for the 4th of July!!!

    http://crooksandliars.com/richard-rj-eskow/dimons-jpmorgan-chase-why-its-sca

    May 15, 2012 07:00 PM
    Dimon’s JPMorgan Chase: Why It’s the Scandal of Our Time
    13 commentsBy Richard RJ Eskow

    Most observers are missing the point. When CEO Jamie Dimon announced that JPMorgan Chase had incurred at least $2 billion in losses from risky, unsecured, derivatives-types trading, it uncovered the scandal of our time once and for all.

    The Chase disaster gives us a much-needed glimpse into our corrupt political system, its Wall Street paymasters, and the media voices that allow people like Dimon to escape scrutiny.

    The JPMorgan Chase story is also the story behind the financial crisis that has thrown millions of people out of work. It’s the story behind our ever-growing wealth inequity. It’s the story behind Washington’s inability to prosecute criminal bankers, regulate reckless ones, and propose the economic solutions the rest of us urgently need.

    Predictably, the pundits who aid and abet people like Jamie Dimon are dismissing this story’s importance, pointing out that $2 billion (it could become much more) pales against the $19 billion in profit Chase reported last year.

    But it was potentially $2 billion earned through crime. And more importantly, this story isn’t just about Chase’s errors and crimes. It’s much bigger than that.

    Besides, $19 billion in a single year? That’s a big part of the story, too.

    The Case Against Chase, its CEO, and its accomplices is too big to cover all at once. Here are the aspects of this under-reported story we plan to address in the days and weeks to come.

    The Firm

    Depending on the day and the measurement used, JPMorgan Chase is now the largest or second-largest bank in the world. Its Japan operation alone has been cited by that nation’s regulators as a systemic risk because of its size.

    If Chase began to collapse because of risky betting, the government would be forced to step in again.

    Jamie Dimon knows that. It’s a lot easier to gamble when you know somebody else will be forced to bail you out if you lose too much.

    Chase, like the other mega-banks, has systematically engaged in criminal activity for years. At the same time, it has used its vast wealth to corrupt our political and regulatory systems. And it has been aided and abetted by willing collaborators in the media, every step of the way. It gave up nearly three quarters of a billion dollars in settlements and surrendered fees to settle one case alone—that of bribery and corruption in Jefferson County, Alabama.

    Chase has paid out billions to settle charges that include perjury and forgery (in its systemic foreclosure fraud and abuse), investor fraud, and sale of unregistered securities. And these charges were for actions that took place while Jamie Dimon was the CEO.

    The first of Dimon’s executives have offered their resignations in this latest scandal. But investigations of everyone from Lucky Luciano onward have focused on the boss, not just the underlings. Laws like the Securities Act and Sarbanes-Oxley provide strict legal guidelines for corporate CEOs and their staff. There’s strong evidence to suggest those laws have been stretched to the breaking point—and beyond.

    The Boss

    We may someday look back at Jamie Dimon’s increasingly shrill cries of persecution as a cry for help or a plea to be caught. He has not only fought the regulation of Wall Street banks, he’s used extreme language to characterize criticisms of bank activities as a) mean, b) an attack on all forms of business, and c) bigotry that is no different from racism.

    Dimon has used his visibility—and his lavish public relations budget—to obtain highly flattering profiles of himself in major U.S. publications. And he’s used that public platform for, among other things, arguing for unwise ideas in public policy areas where he has no expertise. Most of those ideas involve forcing the American people to suffer additional financial hardship in order to pay for the damage caused by Dimon and his colleagues.

    Just last week Dimon was arguing for the “Simpson/Bowles plan” authored by two private individuals, which would impose the same kind of austerity on the United States as that which is currently wreaking economic and poetical havoc on Europe.

    If nothing else, Dimon is consistent: He can’t respond to reality any more effectively in the policy arena than he can in the banking sector.

    Dimon argues against regulation by saying that bankers are moral and sophisticated enough to manage their businesses without oversight. But he’s been making those arguments to a nation that’s standing in the wreckage his colleagues left behind the last time they were allowed to play with trillions without adult supervision.

    And he has somehow managed to argue simultaneously that no other bankers are as smart as he is, and that nevertheless they should be unregulated because guys like him are so smart. That doesn’t make sense.

    The Flacks

    Despite Dimon’s illogic and the criminal track record of his organization, he has been flattered, quoted, and profiled in major news publications at roughly the same frequency as Lindsay Lohan has been in entertainment mags, and for the same reason: He makes good copy if you don’t dig too deeply.

    The day before the scandal broke, in fact, Dimon punked CBS host David Gregory on Meet the Press by pontificating on political and other matters in a pre-taped interview, knowing that this story was about to break the next day. We won’t knock Dimon for not breaking the story (there are rules about handling information at a publicly traded company, although Dimon never seems to have cared much about them before).

    But it was an embarrassment to Gregory just the same.

    The flackery didn’t start after this story broke. The supposedly ‘hardball’ coverage of this ‘”error” typically amounted to little more than the kind of damage control Dimon and his PR team were no doubt hoping they’d get. The incident was described as an “embarrassment,” a “mistake,” an “error.”

    Few news outlets discussed the size of JPMorgan Chase and other too-big-to-fail banks, which continued to grow even after the passage of a financial reform law. They failed to discuss what would happen if the bank got into serious trouble.

    And they glided lightly over the fact that crimes may have been committed. When they did, they were quick to characterize this scandal as the work of overzealous or crooked underlings.

    That’s what they said in Alabama, too.

    The Influence Peddlers

    Banks have paid Washington lobbyists $50-60 million per year for the last few years—and they’ve gotten their money’s worth.

    Real financial reform was hamstrung under Dodd/Frank by behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing. Even that bill’s modest reforms are being undercut by Republicans from Mitt Romney downward, who are determined to avoid even the pretense of regulating the nation’s reckless and criminal bank enterprises.

    The White House had yet to indict a single banker for the events leading up to the financial crisis, although billions have been paid out it settlement fees for criminal activity.

    When you look at it in context, $150-200 million over three years is one of the best investments Wall Street has ever made.

    The Watchdogs

    The Federal Reserve rescues failed bank executives—often breaking its own rules to do it—and yet cites the same rules when it refuses to help other businesses, or individual consumers, in ways that would do much more to restore the economy. No wonder: The Fed’s board includes many of the same bankers who broke the economy … including Jamie Dimon.

    Intransigent pro-bank regulators refuse to carry out their own agencies’ mandates if it would discommode Wall Street. And Administration officials meet routinely with double-dealing bankers like Lloyd Blankfein from Goldman Sachs, according to visitor logs, while rarely laying eyes on foreclosed homeowners or other ordinary citizens.

    Some of the bank executives they meet with are their own colleagues. There are so many people moving from Wall Street jobs to high government positions—and back again—that our country’s center of economic power now resides somewhere on the Amtrak route between New York and Washington. (I’m guessing Metropark, NJ.)

    The Solutions

    Some people have called for reasonable steps in the wake of this scandal: Tighten banking regulations. Strengthen the Volcker rule. Restoring Glass-Steagall. Force Jamie Dimon to resign from the board of the New York Fed.

    Each of these moves would be a start—but they would only be a start. But the story of Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase illustrates a far deeper, far more systemic problem. It highlights the broken and corrupt matrix of relationships between rich (and often lawbreaking) bankers, politicians and regulators in Washington, and supplicating figures in the national media.

    This is an opportunity to explain what’s wrong with our system and pursue ways of fixing it. Let’s seize the moment now—before it’s too late and they break the economy again.

    Tags: bank corruption, Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase, Wall Street

  17. I’m no economist but I’d say anyone can take “huge” risks and make and lose a bundle with other people’s money. Except that it can only last so long… Eventually, people run out of money or out of patience. Or both. And then, watch out!

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/05/what-scares-me-isnt-2-billion-loss-jp-morgan-made-what-scares-me-is-the-record-19-billion-in-profits.html

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012
    “What Scares Me Isn’t $2 Billion Loss JP Morgan Made, What Scares Me is the Record $19 Billion in Profits”

    Even with all the focus on JP Morgan’s loss bomb in the past few days, some critical elements of the story have not gotten the scrutiny they deserve. By way of background, Amar Bhide, who is currently a professor at Tufts, has run a prop trading operation (admittedly some time ago) and has written extensively both on the financial services industry and entrepreneurship.

    Bhide takes issue with Dimon’s description of the funds that the Chief Investment Office (part of the bank’s treasury function) as “deposits” but rather as market funds. He also contends that no one can be running a major risk-taking trading operation along with a huge, sprawling international bank. A major trading operation requires that senior management be on top of position risks, and the organizational and operational demands of running a super big bank make that impossible. Finally, he argues that the risks JPM and other banks are taking are much greater than is commonly recognized, and JP Morgan’s profit level in the face of unfavorable conditions for financial firm is proof of unduly high risk levels.

  18. hee hee…ok.

  19. @Carie,

    So was I…

  20. File this under the “One small step for man, one GIANT step for MANKIND” department:

    Attorney for the bank: “Your Honor, the County judge has deemed these claims frivolous in nature. We are simply trying to get the case dismissed as the debtors sought to do earlier since they failed in their service of process.”

    Counsel for Debtor: “Your Honor, we still don’t know who counsel represents, and they are seeking to have the Debtors’ claims dismissed ‘with prejudice’, not a mere dismissal. Their action is offensive in nature. The lawsuit is property of the Bankruptcy Estate and may serve to pay all these creditors in full.”

    Judge: “MOTION TO LIFT STAY DENIED. Counsel, I expect to see your adversary proceeding promptly! COURT IS ADJOURNED!”

  21. “The fundamentals of the whole economic condition are divine in nature and are associated with the world of the heart and spirit…” “The disease which afflicts the body politic is lack of love and absence of altruism…”

    (from bahai.org)

  22. uh, enraged…you HAD to know I was being facetious…

  23. @Carie,

    Too high a price to pay. plus… i doubt that onyone of us here has it in himself to screw everyone in sight for the sake of money. Otherwise, we’d either be in jail or very rich (until they become synonymous… 🙂

    Somewhere, we know that survival of the species doesn’t lie with money but with relationships, regardless how tense or dysfunctional at times. Because, in the end, we’ll help people who treated us well and those will be the relationships the future is made of. Those who brought us to our knees will have to fend for themselves.

    Don’t envy the money mongers: looking at their psyche, we can already tell that there isn’t much human left in them…

  24. Yeah, the 99% haven’t figured out how to be sneaky, smarmy, and criminal with their money, like the 1%…guess we need to work on that.

  25. rich people need incentive to be rich? look at the tax rates over the 1900-2000 years. do the rich believe in capitalism? no. they believe in capitalism for the 99%, but they hire lobbyists and attorneys to squeeze the turnip. they want a better-than-fair shake. it isn’t the middle class that offshore their $. most of the tax deductions are not taken by the middle class.
    the rich have this figured out. it is the 99% that don’t.

  26. Short sales are their own special kind of hell…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/15/allan-danforth-sues-jpmorgan-chase-foreclosure_n_1517560.html?ref=business

    JPMorgan Allegedly Forecloses On Home Two Months After Its Purchase

    That $2 billion trading debacle isn’t all JPMorgan Chase has to deal with this week.

    Allan Danforth of Kansas City claims that he bought a house in a short sale in September 2010 from homeowners whose mortgage was held by JPMorgan, KMBC reports. Then two months later and without warning, JPMorgan foreclosed on the home, changing the locks and taking away his furniture, appliances and family items. Danforth is now suing JPMorgan for trespassing and theft.

    Danforth’s suit is likely no more than an afterthought to a bank struggling with a large-scale problem — a $2 billion trading loss that’s injured the company’s reputation and prompted some shareholders to propose CEO Jamie Dimon give up his role as chairman.

    Short sales, in which properties are sold for less than the amount owed, have become promoted as an increasingly promising alternative to foreclosure, but Danforth’s experience suggests the process can still leave something to be desired. All together, there were more short sales than foreclosures in January, according to data from Lender Processing Services cited by Bloomberg, and many housing experts viewed that as a promising sign that foreclosure alternatives were being pursued.

    In addition, critics allege that banks’ mortgage paperwork has been disorganized — so disorganized, in fact, for banks to be able to acknowledge receiving new paperwork. Foreclosures have subsequently been criticized as at times impersonal and sudden, with little opportunity for borrowers to negotiate with banks.

    In another example of foreclosure confusion, a realtor sold Terry Jordan of Mississippi the wrong foreclosed home after she already had started renovations, according to WREG. The realtor blamed the bank, which he said had given him the wrong information.

    Other Kansas City homeowners also are suing a major bank because of foreclosure. Vicki and Richard Sutliffe, a couple in Kansas City, are suing Wells Fargo because the bank allegedly offered mortgage modifications with no intention of making them permanent, according to Courthouse News Service. A judge recently dismissed part of their lawsuit…

  27. ://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/15/jpmorgan-chase-london-whale_n_1518581.html?1337105548

    H.R. 3238, known as the “Swap Jurisdiction Certainty Act,” is working its way through Congress and is due for a vote in the House Committee on Agriculture on Thursday

  28. Jamie Dimon should self inflict Hara-Kiri

  29. They’re so f…ing tight-fisted, we’re gona have to pry their hands apart with a crawbar to get our money back! They might as well all be dead: at least, they wouldn’t put up such a fight!!!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/15/justice-department-jpmorgan_n_1518255.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl1%7Csec3_lnk1%26pLid%3D161018

    FBI Opens Inquiry Into JPMorgan Chase’s Trading Loss
    Reuters | Posted: 05/15/2012 12:00 pm Updated: 05/15/2012 1:29 pm

    * Annual mtg comes days after revelation of big trading loss

    * N.Y. official, Bair call for clawbacks on compensation

    * Dimon apologizes again for ‘self-inflicted’ mistakes

    By David Henry

    TAMPA, Fla., May 15 (Reuters) – The FBI has opened a probe into trading losses at JPMorgan Chase & Co, stepping up the pressure on the bank after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve said they were also looking into the wrong-way bets that led to the losses.

    Yet at the same time, shareholders backed embattled Chief Executive Jamie Dimon at the bank’s annual shareholders meeting in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday, voting against a proposal to split the CEO and chairman roles.

    Though shareholders mostly gave Dimon a pass, pressure mounted on the bank to reclaim some of the millions of dollars it paid to the executives who oversaw the trades. Di mon said JPMorgan would pursue more disciplinary action against those who were responsible.

    “We will do the right thing. That may well include clawbacks,” he told reporters after the annual meeting.

    The timing on any such move was not clear, though, and the various regulatory probes could add complications. A source familiar with the FBI investigation, opened by the agency’s New York office, described it as being at a preliminary stage.

    After two trading days of heavy losses, JPMorgan shares were up 3 .9 percent to $37.20 in afternoon trade. Even so, the stock is down more than 8 percent si nce the trading losses were disclosed, wiping out $13 .5 billion of market capitalization.

    “It affects my opinion of the entire financial industry,” said Dennis Hong, principal with Altimeter Capital, a hedge fund that manages about $250 million.

    “It’s really shocking because JPMorgan has been known as the most conservative in terms of managing their business risk. They may be losing their way,” Hong said at an event in Boston.

    AFFIRMS ‘CASE FOR … REFORM’

    In Washington, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said JPMorgan’s losses strengthened the case for reform.

    “I think this failure of risk management is just a very powerful case for … financial reform,” Geithner told an event sponsored by the Peterson Foundation.

    “The test of reform is not whether you can prevent banks from making mistakes … the test of reform should be: ‘Do those mistakes put at risk the broader economy, the financial system or the taxpayer?'”

    Protests outside the annual meeting were relatively limited. Half a dozen Occupy Tampa protesters did media interviews and occasionally chanted, “hey hey ho ho, big banks have got to go.”

    Nonetheless, retail shareholders expressed incredulity at the size of the losses.

    “I am amazed that they think $2 billion is a bump in the road,” said A. Reihl, an 85-year-old shareholder who said she has owned the stock for more than a decade. “This is not the time to be taking risk.”

    Father Seamus Finn of the Washington-based Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility described the outcome of the meeting as “pretty poor.”

    “I don’t think we got any more clarity out of Mr. Dimon about what he got out of these recent experiences and what they’re going to do,” he said.

    CLAWBACKS

    New York City Comptroller John Liu, who oversees the city’s $400 million stake in JPMorgan, on Tuesday joined those calling for a “clawback” of compensation from executives responsible for the trading losses, including Ina Drew, chief of the hedging unit that racked up the losses.

    She announced her retirement on Monday. Reuters was unable to reach Drew at her New Jersey home on Monday evening.

    In its 2011 annual report, JPMorgan said its stock-based compensation awards were subject to clawback provisions. It said in its proxy filing that it could conduct a clawback review “as a result of a material restatement of earnings or by acts or omissions of employees.”

    JPMorgan can cancel unvested awards or require that the value of distributed shares be repaid when “the employee engages in conduct that causes material financial or reputational harm to the firm or its business activities,” according to the proxy.

    “We don’t know the facts and culpability, but it appears she (Drew) did have a responsibility here along with a number of others,” Sheila Bair, former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, said in an interview with Reuters Insider. “Clearly, the whole purpose of clawbacks is if you make a bad bet that results in losses, compensation should be clawed back.”

    SPLIT PROPOSAL REJECTED

    While regulators probe the losses, most shareholders at the brief annual meeting seemed more concerned with the bank’s mortgage servicing practices and with the proposal to split the roles of chairman and CEO.

    That nonbinding proposal received 40.1 percent of the votes cast in favor. By way of comparison, 44 percent of AT&T Inc shareholders and 46 percent of Honeywell International Inc shareholders voted to separate the roles at their companies in meetings held last month.

    “Obviously, all the media attention, all the political yammering of the past week, undoubtedly had some influence on people who had not voted up to that point,” said Marshall Front, chairman of investment manager Front Barnett Associates in Chicago, whose firm voted against the proposal.

  30. It’s not the money…it’s the thoughts and belief system these people have regarding the reality of the purpose of money that is the problem…criminal sociopathic materialism devoid of any kind of compassion for humanity is the real problem.

  31. Unfortunately Mr Garfield your solution will never happen in a society ruled as you pointed out, by the crazy pursuit of control of money

    Why can’t all the collective intelligence of like minded people in this country devise a solution to this destruction. And who, for starters, are homeowner victims going to vote for in Nov. the two biggest puppets of the banksters? Get ready for chapter “Next” of bringing down civilization as we knew it

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