JPMorgan Chase CEO Gets Warm Hill Welcome from Senators Flooded with Millions in Wall St. Donations:
JPMorgan spent $7.6 million on lobbying last year. According to the watchdog group Open Secrets, Jamie Dimon has a long record of contributing campaign donations to lawmakers on the Senate Banking Committee. Recipients have included:
1) committee chair Tim Johnson;
2) Democrat Mark Warner;
3) Meanwhile, at least one current staffer on the Senate Banking Committee is a former lobbyist for JPMorgan Chase,
4) at least five former committee staffers now work at JPMorgan.
5) Michael Bennet, the Democrat from Colorado, received $2.5 million;
6) Robert Menendez, Democrat from New Jersey, $2.3 million;
7) Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, $5.6 million;
8) the top Republican (from Alabama) on the banking committee, Richard Shelby; $2.5 million;
9) Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, $3.4 million;
10) Roger Wicker, Republican in Mississippi, $1.5 million.
11) Kate Childress, a JPMorgan lobbyist since 2008, was also a former aide to Chuck Schumer, who sits on the Banking Committee.
12) You've got Mel Martinez, who was a senator in the United States, is now the JPMorgan Chase executive in charge of Florida, Central America and the Caribbean.
13) You've got P. Michael Nielsen, a lobbyist with a firm run by former Senator Bob Bennett, who was also on the Banking Committee. He's been retained by JPMorgan for help with federal probes.
14) And it goes on and on.
NOMI PRINS: We have a Senate Banking Committee that's comprised, except for six members, actually, of people who have gotten contributions in some manner from JPMorgan Chase. These people know that partially why they are sitting there in those seats is, unfortunately, not because they were simply voted in, but because they had the money to basically market themselves and stay in and connect to their real friends, which are the banking community they're supposed to be legislating against.
NOMI PRINS: -What seemed to be an overriding purpose for this hearing was a judgment on regulation of the industry, where Jamie Dimon was sort of used as the pin for the senators that were talking about the need to __not__ further regulate or more harshly regulate the banking industry.
This was 20 percent of the firm's assets. Twenty percent of the largest bank in the world's assets were tied up in these trades. The trade was a substantial portion of the assets of the firm. It was not a little trade that blew up. It was not something that, you know, he calls a mistake. It was a dedicated transaction, which he did not explain yesterday, for which, in a derivative's way, in something called a synthetic derivative's way, which is the most risky way of putting on the trade they were putting on, the position that they were taking, as we are seeing, they basically lost money by betting that North American corporate credits were going to improve over that period of time, and they did not. And the way that they bet that was a very expensive and risky way to do it. So, for Jamie Dimon to indicate that he kind of didn't know until he did know is not—it cannot be true.
In terms of real structural change and regulation to make these banks smaller, to make them more accountable, to separate, you know, the deposits and loans of individuals from these types of trades that can go on in a chief investment office and lose billions of dollars, or even make billions of dollars, but have that kind of risk swing, is all because of the relationships, the monetary relationships and revolving door between the banking industry and Congress.
TAXPAYER BAILOUTS OF J.P. MORGAN:
1) In 2008, 2009 J.P. Morgan Chase benefited from half-a-trillion dollars in low-cost federal loans,
2) $25 billion in TARP loans, of TARP funds,
3) untold billions indirectly through the bailout of AIG that helped address their massive exposure in repurchase agreements and derivatives.
4) JPMorgan Chase benefited from an acquisition of Bear Stearns, for which the government is still backing to the tune of $29 billion of guarantees for the assets in that acquisition,
5) and it received some very favorable terms, and in negotiations, to acquire Washington Mutual.
6) So, the result of that entire period was for JPMorgan to have emerged to become the largest bank in the United States.
7) So for Jamie Dimon to sit there and say, "You know what? No, this was all just because I was really good, and it was—I was taking one for the team on Wall Street; otherwise—you know, they arm-twisted me. You know, they had a gun to my head. I couldn't help it; I had to take the money," is absolutely ridiculous.