More from a piece at Erica Payne_The Daily Agenda:
The Senate Banking Committee’s Charade Last Week
- Senator Richard Shelby, Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee, asked JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon – one of his largest donors – if he would prefer to go into a closed session – to give his testimony to the committee privately. Then asks Dimon to explain what a “synthetic credit portfolio” is. Ends questioning by asking Dimon what he’s learned from the experience.
- Sen. Bob Corker told Dimon: “You’re obviously renowned, rightfully so I think, as being one of the most, you know, one of the best CEOs in the country for financial institutions.” Sen. Bob Corker has received $61,000 in contributions from JP Morgan since 2007. Corker later called the $2-5 billion and counting trading loss a “blip on the radar screen.”
- Sen. Mike Johanns (who’s received $147,204 from the financial services industry since 2007) gushed to Dimon, “your enterprise (is) big and powerful… you’ve got a lot of firepower. You’re just huge.”
- “I really appreciate you voluntarily coming in to talk with us,” said Sen. Jim DeMint, apparently forgetting for the moment that Mr. Dimon received about $400 billion from the Federal Reserve and that the deposits he holds are guaranteed by the FDIC. “We can hardly sit in judgment of your losing $2 billion,” said the senator, “We lose twice that every day in Washington.”
- You guys know the industry better than anybody sitting up here,” said Sen. Jon Tester, who received $45,000 from JPMorgan from 2007-12.
- Senator Reed asked, “How do we build in rules that prevent well-intentioned people from doing detrimental things?”
- Dimon returned the Committee’s adoration with warm words: “Me and lots of other folks, we’ll do whatever you want, we’ll even get apartments down here.”
- Wall Street Journal reports that Dimon “personally approved” of the risky trading strategy that lost his firm billions; Dimon denies allegation on the stand and says he was “aware” but did not personally approve.
Here’s what some of the top financial sector experts had to say about last week’s testimony:
- S&L investigator Dr. Bill Black said: “After this hearing, we have no answers for virtually anything. He refused to say what they did or when they did it. When the story keeps changing and contradicting itself, it’s probably not true. . . Shelby asked if Dimon would prefer a closed session. We make the CIA or FBI disclose sensitive information if people’s lives are on the line. But with the big banks, no problem.”
- Dr. Robert Johnson, former chief economist for the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, said the senators basically asked Dimon, “How may we help you?” He also had predictions for the aftermath: “There is an illusion of precision, and they are behind that curtain working furiously. I would imagine given the size of the bank that over the next quarter they will evoke a tremendous amount of accounting ingenuity to try and create offsets, create derivatives to bring revenue forward and look profitable.”
- Professor of Economics Stephanie Kelton said the Senate testimony was like “watching a slow pitch softball game… they really pulled out the kid gloves.”
And it’s still more important to you People on the right to get the black guy out of the White House than to put a stop to crap like this? I’m beginning to wonder if this country even DESERVES to be saved from itself.