Four years later, we learn why Jamie Dimon's JP Morgan Chase settled US fraud allegations for $13B


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/07/too-big-to-jail.html


#2

Gangsters got nothin’ on Banksters :rage:


#3

Too big to jail?


#4

Shut the hell up, libtards! He’s a job creator!


#5

The line between the two has never really been clear to me.


#6

He could create some jobs in the prison industry too.


#7

Exec #1: Hey guys, maybe we should be more careful with these securities, I guess?

Exec #2: On the other hand, this coke isn’t going to snort itself.

Exec #1: Good point!

snuffles ensue.


#8

$13B to stay out’a prison? Seems legit.


#9

Yeah, I’m getting tired of fines for criminal acts for the wealthy and jail for the poor. When justice is unevenly applied contempt for the system grows.


#10

I really really can’t find ANY reason to justify a judiciary system where you can just pay enough money and you don’t even have to get to court to answer for your crimes.

That’s fucked up beyond… well… use your imagination, 19 billion should help.


#11

AND you get to keep the profits and your job too.


#12

Beyond the character of the individuals involved, there is zero incentive for anything resembling moral behavior in any aspect of the financial services industry. None.

Two stories:

When I bought my first house in a little town somewhere in New York, six years before the collapse, our Countrywide mortgage broker arranged a home equity line of credit for us (HELOC), which we then used as part of the down payment on the house, thus increasing that down payment enough so that we wouldn’t have to pay PMI (mortgage insurance). Think about that for a minute.

Got it? They gave me a line of credit on a house I hadn’t purchased yet, and used it to buy the house.

I didn’t have my “Waaaaaitaminute…” moment until after we sold the place. When everything went tits up in 2008 I knew exactly how brokers were able to convince millions of people - especially first-time home buyers - to buy houses they couldn’t afford, and then sell them endless HELOCs afterwards.

Around the same time, I was consulting for a reinsurance company, documenting the software that the brokers used to perform risk assessment on potential business. Basically you put in a bunch of numbers and the software gives you a thumbs up/thumbs down based on evaluated risk. While working with one of the programmers, I eventually got around to documenting the purpose of a single field which, he explained to me, allowed the broker to override the final value that determined the thumbs up/thumbs down. I commented: “So…they’re basically making all this shit up?” And he agreed.

A couple of years later, it turned out that the company was massively short on the reserves required by law - as in, $50 billion or so - and it was short because a significant portion of its portfolio turned out to be a much higher risk than the bonus-seeking brokers anticipated. They were able to write all those contracts because they just flicked that little switch from Hell No! to Ka-ching! There was an SEC investigation, executives bailed out on their lovely golden parachutes, and the company eventually merged, de-merged, and is still shambling around as some sort of revenant.

I was a low-level tech writer in a small corner of the IT department. And I could see there was sketchy shit going on.

There is no possible way that Dimon or any other executive is not fully aware of all the high-risk immoral bullshit their companies do. They get hired to not get caught, full stop. And if the money’s good enough, they can get caught, pay $13 billion, and keep right on doing different high-risk immoral bullshit with full awareness.

Stein’s Law remains in full force: if something can’t go on forever, it won’t. But there are apparently endless particular ways of doing “something,” and so here we are, tra-la.


#13

The same system allows it to be covered up, too. What’s worse than the payoffs and cover-ups is brainwashing people to believe that financial crises are caused by irresponsible borrowers, rather than the illegal activities of lenders.


#14

When everything went tits up in 2008 I knew exactly how brokers were able to convince millions of people - especially first-time home buyers - to buy houses they couldn’t afford

Here’s an interesting article that says speculators were more to blame for the crash:

What concerns me now is that flipping is rising in popularity again, and I’m seeing the real estate speculation increasing in towns all around me.


#15

I suspect it’s a both/and rather than an either/or kind of thing. That said: “couldn’t afford” doesn’t mean “poor.” The friends I know who walked away from their underwater* house were bringing in around $20K a month.

*Financially, not…you know, actually.


#16

J.P. Morgan?


#17

It was neither the poor nor “flippers”; neither wrote their own notes, after all. The underwriters didn’t even bother with the most basic due diligence, that simple.


#18

Good point, that’s another version of “blame the borrowers, not the lenders.”


#19

Nebulous line.

“Here. Let me hold that money for you.”


#20

Have you inside your memory the scene of the crime
If you don’t have a clue then you’re running out a time
Struggle continues while di sun shine
Past and the truth two of them you have to combine
Because books dem a burnt and documents are shredded
Cover ups are covered up in the name of the law
Presidents and royalty caught red handed
And you won’t know about it for fifty years or more