The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt (1/30/1882 to 4/12/1945) 32nd President of the United States (1933–1945), served for 12 years and four terms until his death in 1945, the only president ever to do so.
No prosecution of the Banksters that brought down our economy (under the bush administration) by the Obama Administration is one of the main criticisms that Liberals such as myself have regarding the current president (that, plus their abuse of the 4th amendment and the drone attacks that are creating more terrorists than they kill)... now, recently a settlement against JP Morgan Chase for 13 billion dollars was reached by the Justice Department for JPM's role in the crisis that brought our country to the brink.
The Justice Department says that JP Morgan Chase knowingly mislead investors by selling them securities that were backed by very risky mortgages, and JPM agreed to pay 13 billion in fines and compensation, even though most of these mortgages were acquired when JPM purchased Bear Stearns and WaMu (purchases coordinated by our government)... in order to save them and prevent a complete collapse of the banking system. Given that they were "helping us out", some Conservative pundits are now complaining about a "shake down" and alleging that JPM is being "robbed at gunpoint".
However, as pointed out by Jon Stewart on the 10/23/2013 airing of The Daily Show, that is the way things work in our system... if one company is purchased by another company the purchasing company assumes responsibility for any malfeasance that the company they are purchasing may have committed. In fact, Jamie Dimon (CEO of JPM) told investors that "any liability related to the assets themselves will come with us" and then he set aside 28 billion dollars for "litigation expenses".
So, what explains the Daily Show clips of various Conservative pundits mischaracterizing the settlement as follows? ... host of CNBC's The Kudlow Report Larry Kudlow called it a "shakedown" and an "arbitrary and political hosing", Andrew Napolitano of Fox Nooz said it is a "sophisticated shakedown", Fox Business Network "senior correspondent" Charlie Gasparino claimed "the Obama administration is at war with American business", "Money Honey" Maria Bartiromo characterized the settlement as a "witch hunt"; and CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer speculated that "the Justice Department feels like it needs some scalps" and that "this was a jihad against JP Morgan Chase".
These pundits know better. They know the truth (that JPM is economically responsible for the malfeasance of the companies they purchased) but they LIE. This is proven with another clip Jon Stewart plays of the Mad Money's Jim Cramer describing the JPM deal to buy Bear Stearn and WaMu back when it occurred...
Jim Cramer: There is no word in the English language that captures the ruthless brilliance of Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, accomplished this weekend. Dimon masterminded a deal that is amazing for JP Morgan. It makes me want to say... BUY, BUY, BUY! Dimon totally outfoxed the FED. [snip] There is no denying it was a steal. I'd even call it theft in the best sense of the word, or maybe a shakedown, if the legal department would let me. It's practically criminal, and I mean that as a positive. (3/18/2008 broadcast of CNBC's Mad Money hosted by Jim Cramer).
Are these people nothing but shills for the plutocrats, or what? And, as Mr. Stewart points out, a portion of the settlement is tax deductible. 13 billion may seem like a lot of money, but it should be a hell of a lot more (even Dimon thought so), and some of these fraudsters should be going to jail (but absolutely nobody is)! The Obama Administration hasn't collected any scalps, and for that I say shame on them (although I'm sure a McCain or Romney administration would have done the same or less). What this proves is that when you're rich and powerful the law treats you a lot different than it would an ordinary schmo.
Also, that Jim Cramer is an idiot. Remember, that this is the guy who said Bear Stearns was "a solid stock a few days before the investment bank closed its door" and advised his viewers (if they were investors) that they should not move their money from Bear because that would be "silly". But the fact is "the collapse and takeover of Bear Stearns wiped out billions of dollars in shareholder value in a matter of days [and that] large mutual funds... saw the value of their Bear Stearns holdings plummet" (source: NPR).
- Further Reading
- Jon Stewart to financial TV reporters: f*ck all y'all by BruinKid, Daily Kos 10/24/2013.