The JPMorgan settlement is a scam!

On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced that JPMorgan has agreed to a $13 billion dollar settlement over the fraudulent sale of mortgage backed securities. But, that settlement is a fraud in and of itself. Four billion dollars of that figure was actually part of a settlement announced a month earlier, and the rest can hardly be considered a penalty against the big bank. Almost half of the remaining $9 billion will go to so-called “mortgage relief,” which will be distributed over four years by an independent monitor. That brings the actual settlement amount down to $5.4 billion dollars, even before the bank writes off the total amount against their taxes.

If they're able to write off even half of the settlement, that knocks off at least another $2.6 billion, which means JPMorgan will actually pay only $2.74 billion dollars after defrauding investors out of more than ten times that amount. This settlement isn't a punishment, it's simply a cost of doing business for the too-big-to-fail financial giant. The only good news that came out of the deal is that the Justice Department did not exempt the bank from criminal charges, and an ongoing investigation could lead to more severe penalties.

The fact is, however, even in the face of criminal charges, it's unlikely that we'll see any banksters going to jail. The DOJ will simply take on more fines, and JPMorgan will get to continue operating. It's time to really hold the banksters accountable. The degenerate gambling on Wall Street won't stop until someone starts putting CEOs behind bars.


ckrob's picture
ckrob 9 years 28 weeks ago

So the banksters screwed us, get fined, and the taxpayer pays the fine since the banksters claim the fine as a tax deduction? Can I deduct a fine that I incur, say for a traffic ticket, or does a different set of laws apply to me? Isn't the corporation a person too? As I recall, the Reich-wing of the Supreme Court says that makes sense somehow.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago

Gee, if I knew that I could never go to jail for robbing banks and that all that would ensue would be that I'd be fined a small fraction of what I stole...then I'd continue robbing banks. These gigantic thieves will continue robbing us all if they never go to jail or lose ALL their ill-gotten gains.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago

I love the smell of Strontium 90 in the morning!!!
Yeah!!!! About time the Dems grew a pair of balls...they finally went Nuclear. About the only thing that was wrong with it was that it did not include appointing Supreme Court judges in their simple majority rules. Now listen to the big babies whine about the move. Those simpleton cry babies just can't stand that they are not going to continue to get their way all the time. Way to go Dems!!

Now I hope the Dems make full use of it before some more Republicans, or more Blue Dog Dems, wheedle they way, by hook or by crook, into Congress and the Presidency.

David32's picture
David32 9 years 28 weeks ago

When will we wake up and acknowledge that fines and settlements are paid for by corporate customers (read you and me) not the executives that comitt the misdeeds. It's high time that executives are held personally responsible for their mis-management and fraud.

billmag's picture
billmag 9 years 28 weeks ago

The only item I take issue with is the tax write off. From everything I have read JP Morgan Chase, which has 83 subsidiaries in offshore tax havens and like many of its counterparts, pays little or no income taxes so they miss out on this deduction.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 9 years 28 weeks ago

"Yawn." Stuff like this is getting old. Nothing ever happens to them and they know it.

Blast Dorrough's picture
Blast Dorrough 9 years 28 weeks ago

The 1%AmCrimClass are DEPENDENT on legislative fiction "legalizing" their culture of greed and corruption. To amass their immense wealth the real parasites of our crumbling Republic depend on "legalized" tax-evasion, annual welfare checks in the billions justified by legislative fiction in every imagineable form. The 1%AmCrimClass are truly Government-Made million-billionaires and probably to the man and woman trillionaires if their stashes in off-shore vaults are ever exposed for a count. Actually, Congress-Made billionaires. The only conservatism and "Liberty & Freedom" they believe in is the ability to plunder U.S.Treasury, resources, revenues and the People's Commons at will with impunity. It should ire every citizen of the 99% besides me and a few others when these reprobates crow that they are "Man-Made" and "worked hard for all they have earned." Gag, vomit, ad nauseam. This class of absolute traitors have yet to earn a single dollar of their immense wealth that isn't tainted by their culture of greed and corruption.

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 9 years 28 weeks ago

As a lowly JP Morgan 401k customer, the employer's choice, I'm wondering if my account will be raided to pay for the settlement--then my paycheck get raided again when they get a tax break.

The fines should come from the personal fortunes of those guilty--the rest of us have faced finanical devistation at their hands--they should suffer it at their own--they, and their families, should suffer the consequences of their poor decisions, as the rest of us have.

lawal69's picture
lawal69 9 years 28 weeks ago

Indeed worse than a joke. The “fines” are written off on corporate taxes as business expenses, meaning that the “fines” will be paid by US citizens and are another form of externalizing corporate costs.

  • There are many online pokies, blackjack, video poker and bombastic jackpots in my favourite that is specially made for you
PartyRecon's picture
PartyRecon 9 years 28 weeks ago

Honestly, this is old news. After the AIG execs go their bonuses after crashing the market, it was obvious that the White House had fallen to the corruption of special interests. And what is looming on the very secretive horizon? The Trans-Pacific Partnership, better known as the TPP. A trade treaty that will put the final nail in the coffin of the middle class by making it even easier to offshore jobs, end "Buy American" programs in government, put into effect the guts of the SOPA and PIPA bills that were soundly defeated in congress, drive up drug prices by extending patent protections for big pharma, deregulate the financial sector even more, roll back global environmental protections, and give over US Sovereignty to international tribunals operating under the auspices of the World Bank. If we don't figure out a way to see past red v. blue and come together as a nation to fight the very embodiment of crony capitalism that is the TPP and drive big moneyed interest out of Washington DC, we will forever be trapped as slaves to the top 2%.

Thanks for helping us see this Thom. I hope to make the show this afternoon at Powell’s!

telliottmbamsc's picture
telliottmbamsc 9 years 28 weeks ago

"A society is in serious trouble when its political pariahs have at the core of their demand a return to the rule of law. This inversion, with our political and cultural outcasts demanding a respect for law, highlights the awful fact that the most radical and retrograde forces [currently with Barac Obama at its pinnacle] within the body politic have seized control. All conventional forms of dissent, from the electoral politics to open debates, have been denied us. We cannot rely on institutions that once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible. The only route left is to disconnect as thoroughly as possible from the consumer society and engage in acts of civil disobedience and obstruction. The more we sever ourselves from the addictions of fossil fuel and the consumer society, the more we begin to create a new paradigm for community. The more we engage in physical acts of defiance - as Bill McKibben and others did in front of the White House to protest the building of the Keystone XL pipeline - the more we keep alive a new, better way of relating to one another and the ecosystem."

"We must stop being afraid. We have to turn our backs for good on the Democrats [including banksterette Hillary], no matter what ghoulish candidate the Republicans offer up for president. All the public disputes between candidates in the election cycle are a carnival act. On the issues that matter, there is no disagreement among the Republicans and Democrats. We have to defy all formal systems of power. We have to create monastic enclaves where we can retain and nurture the values being rapidly destroyed by the wider corporate culture and build the mechanisms of self-sufficiency that will allow us to survive."

The above passage is from "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt" by TRUE Americans Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco.

telliottmbamsc's picture
telliottmbamsc 9 years 28 weeks ago

Obama is quoted as saying that Jamie Dimon of JP is his "favorite banker"

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 28 weeks ago

I had the most disturbing dream last night. Yesterday the wind here in the Bay Area started to blow with a vengeance. The weather service predicted 35 mph winds with 45 mph gusts and up to 65 mph gusts in the elevations. The wind blowing through the trees sounded like a herd of horses being stampeded. I think it was these conditions that provoked the dream.

After I went to bed the dream began with me sitting in our old living room watching TV in the early evening just after supper. I was quite comfortable when I heard some rustling in the bushes outside in the front yard. I got up and went outside to see what was happening. I found two homeless men trying to make a place to lie down in my front yard. I said, "Hey, you don't belong there. Get off my property!"

The older of the two, a short slender man with grey hair in his late 50's or early 60's stepped forward and pleaded with me, "Please sir. It is so very cold outside. We just want a little cover so we can take a nap. We'll be gone in the morning. Can we stay?"

"Absolutely not." I said. "If I let you stay you'll be back tomorrow. You'll be making a habit out of it. Now get!" I waited for them to close the gate behind them till going back in the house. That was the end of that--at least for the evening.

The next evening the wind began to blow outside much like it was in reality. I was sitting like before in the front room watching TV. A strong burst of wind blew open my front door. Even though it was dark outside and early evening there was a strong light coming from outside. I went to the porch and there were now 5 homeless people standing in the yard. They were straining against the wind. There hair blowing all over their heads and faces. There was the same two I recognized from the previous evening. There was also a larger, younger man, an old woman, and an 8 year old boy.

The older man I spoke with the night before stepped forward, "Sir," he said. "I know how you feel about us on your property; but, I just had to ask you one more time. You see, with this weather I don't think we can make it through the night. If you could just find it in your heart to let us sleep on your porch tonight, we would be forever grateful. Please don't turn us away." With all the light shining from above I could make out each of their faces. Without a though I said, "Hurry, get inside. You can sleep in the house tonight."

Suddenly, 5 cots with cushions, blankets, and pillows appeared in my living room. The group quickly picked one cot apiece and sat down. They all profusely thanked me and assured me that they wouldn't be any bother. Somehow I had other things on my mind. I could see how they were dressed in tattered and filthy cloths. Their faces were crested with dirt. My first thought was that since they were in my house they were going to have to have showers and have their clothes washed before they left. How was I going to swing that, I thought?

I looked at the child and could see in his face that he was starving. I suddenly realized that they all were probably very hungry. I asked them if they were. The older man replied, "Oh no. We're fine. We just needed to get out of the cold, isn't that right?" He asked the rest who all nodded agreement. All that is except the child who just stared at me with hungry eyes. "Wait here," I said, as I went to the kitchen. The kitchen--for some reason--seemed to have two refrigerators. I opened the first one to see it practically empty. Just a couple leaves of lettuce and a few pieces of broccoli and cauliflower. The second one looked the same. Not enough to feed a small group of hungry people.

That is when I noticed the boy had followed me and was looking over my shoulder. "Get back to the other room and wait with the others." I said to him. He staid, staring at the empty refrigerators. I was very troubled with the idea that I didn't have any food to feed these people. Along with that emotion I had a deep sense of well being knowing that I let them stay--along with a deep regret that I turned them away before. Now that regret was being increased with the idea that I couldn't feed them. I decided that I was going to feed them no matter what. I was going to find something in this kitchen they could eat...

Then I woke up suddenly. The dream was over. It was about 2:20 am and I could still hear the wind blowing outside. This time it suddenly occurred to me that there were real people outside in this weather tonight desperately trying to survive in the wind and the cold. I couldn't go back to sleep.

bobcox's picture
bobcox 9 years 28 weeks ago

Hardly a slap on the wrist. An individual (person) who admitteed fraud would get several years in Federal prison. To do that to a company they would have to pay a the same as them the profits from that many years. Make the stockholders liable for that loss by not allowing thke loss by noy allowing the loss as a deductible business expense. If companies are to be considered a "person" they shoulld be penalized to the same extent as a "born of a woman" person rather than a "born of an application to a state Attorney General".

CASSIE COUNCIL 9 years 28 weeks ago

J. P. Morgan would be so-0 proud of this little jewel "Dimon". Alles was part of the 13 families who rule(d) the world. NOW< we have Chris Hayes and Thom telling it like it will be; oh, be not afraid...the Force is with you. WE are soverign people, and, WE must assert our rights--NOW. Those bad boys thrive on risk--it's their meat; the symbol of Wall ST. "The BULL" . Yes, Thom it all must come down--2016 or sOOner; to build aNew.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 28 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: Thanks for that very interesting story of your dream. And true..while there are people like that...there are also people who would murder you in your sleep.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 28 weeks ago

Excellent! May worker-owned co-ops blossom on every street corner. What better way to sever our ties from the Waltons and their ilk?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 28 weeks ago

Marc, having just read your long post about those dreams you had, all I can say is "Wow". Seemed genuinely spiritual as well as prophetic. More and more people will be reduced to homelessness as this country continues sinking into the toilet, while the character of everyone else is put to the test. Those who have empathy for others will respond accordingly, as will those of the Ayn Randian me-first persuasion show their colors.

As to your initial resistence to the requests of those homeless guys in that first dream, what comes to mind for me is how each of us has a conflict of interests, within ourselves; a conflict which lies between our natural tendency to protect turf & boundaries, as it were (a tendency shared with many mammals besides humans), and a desire to give, to assist, to bring comfort to others in need. I think it's safe to say that anyone who isn't a psychopath has experienced some version of this.

I've not forgotten that childhood experience you had, coming to the aid of someone who had relentlessly bullied you, when a bunch of your classmates turned against him. What an incredible story that was. And an incredible person you are. Namaste'. - AIW

fbacher's picture
fbacher 9 years 28 weeks ago

Re: local vs. national government

Whenever someone makes the blanket statement that decisions made locally are better than nationally I remind them of the history of corruption of the South during the 60s. Other examples exist, such as Chicago. Recently on this show we heard where DAs in small towns are not proscecuting child deaths by parents who do it for religious reasons.

Just think about it. What if we had government local to the city block. Can you imagine the variation in competance, enforcement and intepretation from decisions made even in one city, much less a country? Hell, we don't even know who is on our school boards. You want decisions made at the right level of government. Some decisions can be made locally, some at the state level and others are appropriate at the federal level. To paraphrase Einstein: "Decisions should be made at the lowest level of government possible, but not too low."

nimblecivet 9 years 28 weeks ago

California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris said nearly $300 million of the settlement will go to California to resolve allegations involving mortgage-backed securities sold to California's public employee and teacher pension funds, CalPERS and CalSTRS, between 2004 and 2008.

"JPMorgan Chase profited by giving California’s pension funds incomplete information about mortgage investments," Harris said. "This settlement returns the money to California’s pension funds that JP Morgan wrongfully took from them."

Guess they had to take what they could get.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Through compelling personal stories, Hartmann presents a dramatic and deeply disturbing picture of humans as a profoundly troubled species. Hope lies in his inspiring vision of our enormous unrealized potential and his description of the path to its realization."
David Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy, The Great Turning, and When Corporations Rule the World
From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Never one to shy away from the truth, Thom Hartmann’s collected works are inspiring, wise, and compelling. His work lights the way to a better America."
Van Jones, cofounder of and author of The Green Collar Economy