Chase Bank Reportedly Closes the Accounts of Porn Stars, Fails To Grasp the Incredible Irony

In case you missed it, it's been reported that Chase recently sent out letters to dozens of porn stars informing them that their accounts with the bank will be closed as of next month. One actress confronted the bank about it and claims she was told flat-out that her line of work was the reason for the sudden shutdown. Keep in mind, this is JP Morgan Chase we're talking about here.
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In case you missed it, it's been reported that Chase recently sent out letters to dozens of porn stars informing them that their accounts with the bank will be closed as of next month. One actress confronted the bank about it and claims she was told flat-out that her line of work was the reason for the sudden shutdown. Keep in mind, this is JP Morgan Chase we're talking about here.
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David Foster Wallace famously lamented the rise of irony and cynicism as the new default setting in American art and culture, and it was always tough to argue with him. If snark and sarcasm are the response mechanisms of the lazy, our society is practically comatose at this point in its history. But then how do you argue against something as painfully offensive -- and almost laughably ironic -- as what Chase bank is reportedly doing right now to dozens of actors and actresses who work in the adult film industry? Sincere indignation just seems like far too legitimizing a response to something as absurd as this.

In case you missed it, it's been reported that Chase recently sent out letters to various porn stars informing them that their accounts with the bank will be closed as of next month. Each letter claims that the shutdown is the result of a "review" of the account, but it offers no further details. Porn actress Teagan Presley confirmed that hers was one of the impacted accounts and said that when she contacted the bank about the action it was taking, an employee told her flat-out that she was being cut off because of what she does for a living. She says the bank said it plans to close her husband's account as well. Another adult film actress, Layton Benton, has also sounded off about the inexplicable account shutdowns, saying that she didn't find out hers was affected until she tried to use her ATM card and it was declined.

Presley took to Twitter to complain about the treatment she and her fellow porn stars are receiving.

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And that brings us nicely to the great irony in all of this.

Chase bank is a subsidiary of JP Morgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States, which acquired both Bear Stearns and, yes, Washington Mutual right at the beginning of the 2008 financial collapse that basically cratered the U.S. economy. At the time, Bear and WaMu were going under because they'd sold toxic mortgage securities to unsuspecting suckers here at home and around the globe as well as to the government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. JPMC got the two banks for a steal, obviously, but the problem was they took on both Bear and WaMu's outstanding financial obligations and legal exposures. This, along with the fact that JP Morgan Chase was likewise instrumental in unloading crap assets on the masses -- it was bailed out by taxpayers to the tune of $25 billion because it was one of the financial institutions deemed "too big to fail" -- and you get a landmark 2013 fine against the bank by the federal government that totaled $13 billion dollars. The settlement was a lot of money, sure, but it was really a drop in the bucket to JP Morgan Chase and accepting it practically ensured that none of JPMC's executives would ever go to prison.

Meantime, just a couple of months earlier in 2013, a London-based derivatives trader for JP Morgan Chase, Bruno Iksil, nicknamed the "London Whale," got in hot water for racking up $6 billion in losses and then trying to hide the damage. Two of his underlings were actually indicted on criminal charges in the scandal and the bank had to pay out another $920 million in fines. Untouchable JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon notoriously referred to the entire thing as a "tempest in a teapot," which drew a sharp rebuke from the U.S. attorney prosecuting the case, who in fact called it "a perfect storm of individual misconduct and inadequate internal controls." Dimon, by the way, went on to get a 74% raise for his work in 2013 -- what was undeniably one of JPMC's worst years ever -- which amounted to around 20 million dollars. A lot of Wall Street watchers believe the raise was a direct "fuck you" to the government and the justice department, a way of saying, "Yeah, you just fined us billions, but we've still got enough spare cash lying around to do this." Now as Matt Taibbi once said, "Suck on our yachts."

But among the more minor of irritations for Chase bank last year was this: it was sued by a softcore porn studio called MRG Entertainment. The suit alleged that the bank violated fair lending laws because it wouldn't sign off on a loan to the company for "moral reasons." Moral reasons.

And now it's apparently closing the accounts of a couple hundred adult film stars.

So what have we learned here? Simple. Fuck a few people on film and JP Morgan Chase wants nothing to do with you. Fuck everyone and you are JP Morgan Chase.