Here’s Matt Taibbi shedding more light, in his inimitable way, on how Wall Street executives, with the help of the D.C. establishment, cheat and bribe their way to a level of wealth and privilege few of us can even imagine:
J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon – the man the New York Times once called “Obama’s favorite banker” – had an excellent method of guaranteeing that the Federal Reserve system’s doors would always be open to him. What he did was, he served as the Chairman of the Board of the New York Fed.
And in 2008, in that moonlighting capacity, he orchestrated a deal in which the Fed provided $29 billion in assistance to help his own bank, Chase, buy up the teetering investment firm Bear Stearns. You read that right: Jamie Dimon helped give himself a bailout. Who needs to worry about good government, when you are the government?
Dimon, incidentally, is another one of those bankers who’s complaining now about the unfair criticism… Is Dimon right? Do people hate him just because he’s rich and successful…? Maybe we should ask the people of Jefferson County, Alabama, what they think.
That particular locality is now in bankruptcy proceedings primarily because Dimon’s bank, Chase, used middlemen to bribe local officials – literally bribe, with cash and watches and new suits – to sign on to a series of onerous interest-rate swap deals that vastly expanded the county’s debt burden.
Essentially, Jamie Dimon handed Birmingham, Alabama a Chase credit card and then bribed its local officials to run up a gigantic balance, leaving future residents and those residents’ children with the bill. As a result, the citizens of Jefferson County will now be making payments to Chase until the end of time.
…People like Jamie Dimon aren’t really citizens of any country. They live in their own gated archipelago, and the rest of the world is a dumping ground.
Footnote: Read Taibbi’s article for information on other thieving CEOs. I excerpted the stuff about Dimon because Chase is the monster bank that owns my house, and because of the disgustingly sympathetic piece about Dimon that ran last year in NYT Magazine.