Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, October 14, 2013 7:56 pm

JPMorgan Chase just posted its first quarterly loss in a decade.

Yes, the nation’s largest bank lost $388 million. Alex Pareene of Salon explains why that matters:

… in one important sense, this loss doesn’t really “count.” The loss didn’t happen because the things JPMorgan does to make money stopped making money, the loss happened because JPMorgan has spent a fortune — a truly staggering amount of money — defending itself against legal inquiries and paying fines for bad behavior. This quarterly loss is the result of the bank needing a couple billion dollars to spend on lawyers and fines and fees, with a few billion set aside this quarter as “part of a $23 billion pot the bank has set aside to cover mounting legal costs.” Take away those costs, and you have a bank that is making almost as much money as usual. “Excluding litigation expense and reserve release,” according to Reuters, “the company posted a profit of $5.82 billion, or $1.42 per share.”

As Felix Salmon has said, a fantastically profitable bank is a bank that is extracting rents from the economy. A bank that would be fantastically profitable if it weren’t for the expense of dealing with myriad investigations into its corrupt and criminal activities is a bank that would seem to have reached the limits of its rent-extraction strategy.

So crime is baked into JPMorgan Chase’s business model. The nation’s largest bank apparently is little more than a continuing criminal enterprise, as defined under the RICO act, if it has to put billions, with a “B,” aside in just one quarter for legal defense. But nothing bad will ever happen to JPMorgan Chase because Barack Obama’s Justice Department can’t be bothered to investigate world-historical swindles, and nothing will happen to CEO Jamie Dimon because CEOs aren’t responsible for the crimes of the corporations they are so handsomely rewarded to run. Ever.

Sunday, February 28, 2010 9:58 pm

17 million reasons why Jamie Dimon needs to STFU

Filed under: I want my money back. — Lex @ 9:58 pm
Tags: , ,

The grossly overpaid CEO of JPMorgan Chase believes that the government has treated his company unfairly even while keeping it, you know, alive:

Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, says he believes Washington has become increasingly erratic and unfair in its treatment of the banks over the last few months, and he now has some regrets about participating in the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program.

“F.D.I.C. is going to cost us a lot of money. TARP cost us a lot of money. This bank tax, my first reaction was, ‘That will cost us a lot of money,’” Mr. Dimon said Thursday at the bank’s annual Investor Day conference in New York. “I think we are getting into the capricious, arbitrary and punitive behavior.”

So it wasn’t enough for us to keep his company running and his personal gravy train on the tracks. No, we have to do these things exactly the way he wants us to.

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