Obama Can’t Knock the Hustle
How did we end up with such smart scoundrels? Even after it was known that Jamie Dimon’s bank blew more than $2 billion on the same suspect derivatives trading that has bankrupted the world’s economy, Barack Obama still had praise for the intellect of his political backer and the integrity of the bank he heads: “JPMorgan is one of the best-managed banks there is,” the president told the hosts of ABC’s “The View” in an interview televised Tuesday, adding, “Jamie Dimon, the head of it, is one of the smartest bankers we got. And they still lost $2 billion and counting.”
A lesser bank would have gone under and needed to be bailed out, Obama argued: “That’s why Wall Street reform is so important.” But even when fully implemented, Obama’s tepid reforms would not have stopped this scam and will not stop the others that are sure to follow. Being one of the smartest bankers means you are among those who best know how to skirt the law or, if that cannot be done, how to successfully lobby to gut it.
Dimon understands and performs this drill well, for he was in cahoots with his mentor, Sandy Weill, in engineering a series of mergers and acquisitions that would have violated the Glass-Steagall law, which for decades had prohibited commingling investment and commercial banking. The two business executives were able to get Congress and President Bill Clinton to reverse Glass-Steagall, a change that made legal the creation of Citigroup, the too-big-to-fail bank that eventually was saved from bankruptcy only through an immense taxpayer bailout.
The best and the brightest in this case are the bane of the nation because their genius lies in outwitting all efforts to hold them accountable. Dimon, the most recent in a parade of now-disgraced Wall Street golden boys, was nonetheless just awarded $24 million in compensation for 2011 by JPMorgan. Like his mentor Weill, who ran Citigroup into derivative trading hell, Dimon will no doubt suffer little legal unpleasantness or social ostracism stemming from his dodgy behavior. Weill will soon be inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences as an outstanding business leader and philanthropist.
The fact that Dimon first rose to banking prominence as he worked alongside Weill to reverse Glass-Steagall did nothing to tarnish his reputation in Obama’s eyes. Although Dimon was instrumental in establishing Citigroup, he had a falling out with Weill and left the bank before the great crash. In his subsequent reincarnation at JPMorgan, now the country’s biggest financial conglomerate, Dimon was a major supporter of Democrats and had more access to the president than any other Wall Street leader.
Dimon was not shy about turning to Obama, whom he had backed with campaign contributions, to complain about the Dodd-Frank regulations. With the JPMorgan CEO exercising his easy access to the president and his Treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, the new regulations concerning bank derivatives trading were rendered meaningless. What did Obama think would happen when he appointed Dimon’s chief Washington lobbyist, William Daley, to be the presidential chief of staff back in 2010, when the Dodd-Frank regulations were being promulgated?
As an Associated Press investigative report documented, Dimon led the Wall Street pack in the number of personal meetings and telephone calls with Secretary Geithner while the Obama administration was calibrating its response to the banking meltdown. Dimon has been a Class A director of the New York Fed since 2007, when Geithner was president of that institution, and the two worked closely then on details of JPMorgan’s takeover of Bear Stearns with a $55 billion Fed loan. That’s in addition to the $25 billion in TARP funds JPMorgan received.
Dimon’s close ties to Obama, whom he knew well when both were based in Chicago, were at moments tested by Obama’s feints into populism, but fellow Chicagoans Daley and Rahm Emanuel, who preceded Daley as chief of staff, made it clear that disagreements between the White House and Dimon were merely rhetorical. How much more influence could Dimon have wanted than having his former lobbyist controlling the president’s schedule?
It was a charade: Dimon pretended to welcome some banking regulation and Obama responded with the weakest of reforms.
Crunch time came this past February when JPMorgan executives, including Ina Drew, the recently resigned head of the bank’s unit that was behind the billions in losses, met with Federal Reserve officials to secure guarantees that the portfolio trading that later got the company into trouble was in fact legal. That so-called portfolio hedging, which Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said “is a license to do pretty much anything” and violates the intent of the law, has now in fact been accepted by both the Treasury Department and the Fed as legal. As a result, there is a regulatory loophole that Levin called “big enough ... that a Mack truck could drive right through it.” Evidently one did.
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Iceland’s Amazing Peaceful Revolution – Still Not in the News (backstory)
12 May 2012 10 Comments
in Activism, back stories, conscious evolution, corporatists, creating society, evolution, Humanism, money in politics, Occupy Wall Street, populism, progress, progressive ideals, wealth inequalityTags: creating society, democratic, Iceland, peaceful revolution, social evolution
The people of Iceland have overwhelmingly risen up and forced their government puppets of the banks to resign. Primary banks have been nationalized. The debt scam imposed by Great Britain and Holland money printers was declared null and void. A public assembly has been created to rewrite Iceland’s constitution.
The best part is, all of this happened without violence or bloodshed. A whole country’s revolution succeeded against powers that created the current global crisis without a shot being fired. A very good reason exists for the apparent failure of television and newspapers to provide any publicity on this unprecedented event: what would happen if the rest of the EU and the United States took this as an example?
The following is a summary of the facts:
2008 – The main bank of Iceland is nationalized.
The Krona, the currency of Iceland devaluates and the stock market halts. The country is in bankruptcy
2008 – Citizens rise up at Parliament and succeed in forcing the resignation of both the prime minister and the effective government. New elections are held.
Yet, the country remains in a bad economic situation. A Parliament act is passed to pay back 3,500 million Euros to Great Britain and Holland by the people of Iceland monthly during the next 15 years, with 5.5% interest.
2010 – The people of Iceland again take to the streets to demand a referendum. In January of 2010, the President of Iceland denies approval, instead announcing a popular vote on the matter by the people.
In March, a referendum and denial of payment is approved by popular vote of 93%. Meanwhile, government officials initiate an investigation to bring to justice those responsible for the crisis. Many high level executives and bankers are arrested. Interpol dictates an order to force all implicated parties to leave Iceland.
An assembly is elected to write a new constitution (based on the Denmark’s) to avoid entrapments of debt based currency foreign loans. 25 citizens are chosen — with no political affiliation — out of the 522 candidates. The only qualifications for candidacy are adulthood and the support of 30 people. The constitutional assembly started in February of 2011. It continues to present ‘carta magna’ from recommendations provided by various assemblies throughout the country. Ultimately, it must be approved by both the current Parliament and the one created through the next legislative election.
In summary of the Icelandic revolution, we saw:
-resignation of the entire corrupt government of the country
-nationalization of the bank
-referendum enabling the people to determine their own economic system
-incarceration of responsible parties, and
-a rewriting of the Iceland Constitution by its people
This is significant stuff.
Have we been informed about this through the main stream media?
Has any political program on radio or TV commented on this?
The Icelandic people have demonstrated a way to beat the international money printers and controllers of information. The last thing entrenched usurers would want is for you to think you could also free yourself from their chains.
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