Jamie Dimon, President and CEO of JPMorgan is now officially a billionaire after JPMorgan shares neared a record high. We know this because the media has decided it is a big story – an American tale of one man who rose to the top and reaped the rewards of his labor.
Of course the media fawning over Dimon’s success is the same media that failed to report on his company’s illegal, fraudulent activity that helped incinerate the global economy over night after the toxic financial products it knowingly sold customers collapsed. Not only did JPMorgan lose billions of dollars of customer’s investments, it went to the tax payer for a hefty bailout to the tune of $94.7 billion. The SEIU labeled JPMorgan as one of the worst offenders in the subprime lending orgy that lead to the crash in 2008, declaring:
JPMorgan Chase had a hand in the worst of the subprime lending excesses, providing financing to the nation’s two largest subprime lenders, Countrywide and Ameriquest. This financing provided the companies with the capital they needed to originate subprime mortgages. JPMorgan Chase also owned a major subprime lender, Chase Home Finance, and has acquired two banks with large subprime operations: Washington Mutual (which owned #5 Long Beach Mortgage Co.) and Bear Stearns (which owned #17 Encore Credit Corp.). Together, these five firms issued over $295.3 billion in subprime loans from 2005-2007.
While Dimon was accepting government money to save his business, he made sure to pay himself $20 million a year for his services. A long time critic of the government’s ‘over regulation‘ of his industry, Dimon never seemed to see the irony in taking money from it.
In America, the rules are different for the mega rich. As Dimon found out, you can commit fraud and theft as long you have money – a neat trick that he used as he bought off the federal government when it began to look into serious evidence from a whistle blower that JPMorgan had engaged in “massive criminal securities fraud”. Of course Dimon would not regard knowingly selling his customers garbage as stealing from them. When you are a mega bank, it’s just business as usual.
And now Dimon is personally a billionaire, there’s not a chance he’ll ever pay for his crimes because he is now too big to fail.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.