MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
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With somewhere around $20 billion in fines for civil and criminal violations, JPMorgan Chase is making history. Of course, as most narcos know, you've got to factor in losing some money to making a lot of money. That means the leaders of the so-called banks too big to fail -- like their drug cartel counterparts -- are doing just fine indeed.
That is just the case with Jamie Dimon. After a year of virtually non-stop settlements with the US government for various violations of regulations and the law (but no criminal indictments or personal fines against Dimon, or prosecuted criminal charges against the JP Morgan Chase), his board felt that a 77 percent increase in his salary to $20 million a year was in order. News of the raise came last week as 90 percent of Americans are still feeling an economy dragging them down.
As a New York Daily News January 26 editorial noted with scorn:
With too-big-to-fail arrogance on steroids, the board members of scandal-tainted JPMorgan Chase have boosted Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon’s salary by 77% to a fat, happy and offensive $20 million.
The entire lot of them are beyond shame.
On Dimon’s watch, JPMorgan has paid out an unprecedented $20 billion in legal settlement and penalties for banking violations that stretched from improperly gorging on the sub-prime mortgage crisis to abetting Bernie Madoff’s vast thievery.
Because the bank had plunged into such costly disrepute, the board last year slashed Dimon’s pay to $11 million. That was presented as severe punishment. He would have to get by on only $11 million while suffering the humiliation of knowing that peers at other financial institutions were taking home more than he was.
Now, despite reportedly vehement opposition by some board members, a majority is returning Dimon to the $20 million-a-year club.
BuzzFlash at Truthout has written so frequently about the crime scam on Wall Street, with the Congress and White House enabling financial fraud of such magnitude that the whole corrupt incestuous relationship betwen politics and the financial titans casts a dark shadow over democracy -- a torrential storm about to wash away the last vestiges of the US experiment in majority rule.
In a recent book, "Narcoland," on the corrupt war on drugs -- which is basically a tragic bloodletting farce that the narcos and the US and Mexican governments all utilize for their own purposes -- Italian journalist Roberto Saviano (who specializes in reporting on the mafia) writes in the introduction:
"Narcoland" also shows how contemporary capitalism is in no position to renounce the mafia. Because it is not the mafia that has transformed itself into a modern capitalist enterprise -- it is capitalism that has transformed itself into a mafia. The rules of drug trafficking [described in "Narcoland"] are also the rules of capitalism.
The mafia, the narcos, the banksters, put them together at an exclusive resort for a weekend conference and they could exchange best practice techniques. Separated only by a thin blue line created to foster the illusion of a lawful ruling elite, the three groups have more in common with each other than with the average American. They all know how to ruthlessly scam and enrich themselves without remorse.
So Jamie Dimon's raise proves yet again that wealth beyond imagination brings immunity from prosecution and a warm reception at the White House -- and the cultivation of a national appetite for reversing the old progessive adage and making our official national motto: "to protect the comfortable and afflict the needy."
(Photo: Jon Starbuck)
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