by Zero Hedge - January 27th, 2011 3:36 pm
Courtesy of williambanzai7
DOGS FIGHT AT DAVOS
REUTERS--Jamie Dimon, credited with having steered JP Morgan through financial turmoil in 2007-08, had earlier in the day lashed out at persistent bank bashing nearly three years after the global credit crisis began, saying it was "unproductive and unfair".
But when he rose at a later session of the World Economic Forum to ask Sarkozy to get the G20 to avoid overregulation of banks, the French president launched into a broadside accusing financiers of behaviour that he said had caused the crisis. "The world has paid with tens of millions of unemployed, who were in no way to blame and who paid for everything," Sarkozy said to Dimon. "It caused a lot of anger."
The French leader also renewed his call for a financial transaction tax to fund development but acknowledged that many G20 countries opposed such a levy. He suggested a small pioneer group of states might go ahead with a tiny levy or some other form of innovative financing to lead the way.
Dimon praised governments for intervening to save the financial system in 2008. But he said the G20 group of major economies, which Sarkozy chairs this year, should take a deep breath before imposing more regulation. "Too much is too much," he said. The outspoken Dimon had earlier told a separate panel not all lenders made the same mistakes in the run-up to the crisis. "Not all banks are the same and I just think that this constant refrain ‘bankers, bankers, bankers’ is just unproductive and unfair. People should just stop doing that." He echoed comments by Barclays CEO Bob Diamond, who told a UK parliamentary committee this month that "the period of remorse and apologies for banks" needed to be over. MARKET OR MADHOUSE"
Sarkozy was having none of it. "The world was stupefied to see one of five biggest U.S. banks collapse like a house of cards," he told a plenary session of the Davos Forum. "We saw that for the last 10 years, major institutions in which we thought we could trust had done things which had nothing to do with simple common sense. That’s what happened."
by ilene - November 8th, 2010 8:03 pm
There’s definitely something to Simon Johnson’s new theory that it’s no longer about "Too Big To Fail" but rather "Too Global
In a big piece at The New Republic, the former IMF economist and professor argues that the key to escaping the Dodd-Frank resolution authority is to become so big internationally that governments around the world see the need to ensure your survival.
This June, Dimon returned from a two-week visit to China, India, and Russia, and announced an even more aggressive expansion. Senior executives were ordered to look beyond Western Europe—where most of JP Morgan’s foreign investment banking is focused—and seek opportunities in emerging markets. In addition to Brazil, Russia, India, and China—the emerging powerhouses known as the BRIC countries—JP Morgan is looking at Southeast Asian nations, such as Vietnam and Indonesia, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. The bank plans to triple its private banking assets in Asia over the next five years and hopes to make Asia the source of half its non-domestic business. “We are going to get the whole company behind [the international strategy],” Dimon told The New York Times.
If Dimon is successful, he will create a bank that is not just too big to fail, but too global to fail. There is no conspiracy here: JP Morgan is simply responding to the available incentives. This international push is terrific corporate strategy and completely legal under our reformed financial system. But it also happens to be very dangerous for the rest of us.
It’s not just JPMorgan, he reckons. All the big banks will begin pursuing the strategy of getting so global that a US-only wind-down isn’t a reasonable end, come a crisis.
FDIC Authorizes $1 Billion Lawsuits Against Failed-Bank Executives; Token Search for Low-Profile Scapegoats
by ilene - October 10th, 2010 4:41 pm
FDIC Authorizes $1 Billion Lawsuits Against Failed-Bank Executives; Token Search for Low-Profile Scapegoats
Courtesy of Mish
The FDIC has only brought one case to date against executives of failed banks. Supposedly more charges are coming.
Bloomberg reports FDIC May Seek $1 Billion From Failed-Bank Executives
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has authorized lawsuits against more than 50 officers and directors of failed banks as the agency aims to recoup more than $1 billion in losses stemming from the credit crisis.
The lawsuits were authorized during closed sessions of the FDIC board and haven’t been made public. The agency, which has shuttered 294 lenders since the start of 2008, has held off court action while conducting settlement talks with executives whose actions may have led to bank collapses, Richard Osterman, the FDIC’s acting general counsel, said in an interview.
“We’re ready to go,” Osterman said. “We could walk into court tomorrow and file the lawsuits.”
The FDIC, which reviews losses for every bank failure, has brought only one case against officers or directors tied to recent collapses — a suit filed in July seeking $300 million in damages from four executives of IndyMac Bancorp Inc.
The FDIC “brings suits only where they are believed to be sound on the merits and likely to be cost-effective,” according to an agency policy statement that dates from the savings-and- loan crisis of the 1980s. That requires considerations of whether an individual, if sued, has the means to pay or an insurance policy to cover all or part of the claim.
“It doesn’t make sense to file a lawsuit if at the end of the day you have a low chance of recovery,” Osterman said.
“It’s in both our interest and theirs to try and settle this matter before it gets into the court and we get into expensive litigation,” he said.
Political Stunt to Placate the Public
I see this as little more than a political stunt to placate the public. These cases are unlikely to go to trial, on purpose, and not for the reason the FDIC says.
The FDIC does not want to rattle the banking system, so they won’t. Instead they will settle most if not all of these cases for peanuts.
To make it look legit, the FDIC might pursue a couple of scapegoat cases, IndyMac being one of them, but don’t expect anything more.
by ilene - July 15th, 2010 4:46 pm
Courtesy of Tyler Durden
Something is rotten in the state of Rochdale. One of the most bullish banking analysts ever, Dick Bove, just crucified not only JP Morgan’s earnings report, but also said Jamie Dimon "missed it completely on housing", and lastly, has turned extremely bearish on the overall economy, saying there is a 40-60% chance for a double dip, which at last check is probably more bearish than David Rosenberg. Bove throws up all over JPM "good" results, stating it is all a function of loan loss reductions, which the bank is in no way entitled to take at this point, when there is so much negative macro data piling up. As NPLs are likely to continue deteriorating in the future, should the economy weaken further, JPM would have to not only replenish existing accounting gimmicks such as boosting Net Income via balance sheet trickery, but to put even more cash to preserve a viable capitalization ratio. As Bove is the quintessential contrarian indicator, we are preparing for a month long sabbatical to a Buddhist monastery in Tibet to thoroughly reevaluate our perspectives on the universe.
Bove asks: "if the economy is going to expand, how is it going to expand when the money supply is shrinking. If you can’t come away with a strong feeling that this economy can plough right through a decline in money supply and continue to grow, then you better not be reducing reserves by $1.5Bn in a particular quarter." On the economy: "There is a "40-60% shot we are going to double dip. If they can’t get money supply to turn around and go up there is a very high probability we double dip." The reason: "The Fed has lost total control of money supply and it’s in the hand of the banks. The banks make money supply going up by lending money. If you want to force the banks to increase their capital ratios, they can’t increase their loans. If they don’t increase their loans, you don’t get an increase in the money supply. If you don’t get an increase in the money supply, it is very difficult to see how the economy can be robust going forward." And some shockingly harsh words on Jamie Dimon: "I would say Jamie Dimon missed it completely…
by ilene - June 9th, 2010 7:45 pm
Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant
Play with rats, get the Black Plague. That’s all I’m saying. It’s about damn time someone ask the question "What the f*#k were the auditors THINKING?!"
PricewaterhouseCoopers is facing an inquiry by accounting regulators into its failure to notice that JP Morgan was paying up to £16 billion of clients’ money into the wrong bank accounts.
Last week the Financial Services Authority fined the investment bank £33.3 million — the largest penalty that the City regulator has imposed — for breaches of client money rules under which customers’ funds became mixed with the bank’s own cash over a seven-year period.
PwC, JP Morgan’s auditor, is now likely to be drawn into another inquiry by the two professional bodies that oversee accountants, the Financial Reporting Council and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
In addition to serving as principal auditor, PwC was retained by JP Morgan to produce an annual client asset returns report — a yearly certification to prove that customers’ funds were being effectively ring-fenced and therefore protected in the event of the bank’s collapse. But PwC signed off the client report even though JP Morgan was in breach of the rules.
If you recall, JP Morgan likes to play with client money. Illegally.
Remind me why we even have auditors again?
by ilene - May 26th, 2010 12:29 pm
Courtesy of James Kwak at Baseline Scenario
“Geithner’s team spent much of its time during the debate over the Senate bill helping Senate Banking Committee chair Chris Dodd kill off or modify amendments being offered by more-progressive Democrats. A good example was Bernie Sanders’s measure to audit the Fed, which the administration played a key role in getting the senator from Vermont to tone down. Another was the Brown-Kaufman Amendment, which became a cause célèbre among lefty reformers such as former IMF economist Simon Johnson. ‘If enacted, Brown-Kaufman would have broken up the six biggest banks in America,’ says the senior Treasury official. ‘If we’d been for it, it probably would have happened. But we weren’t, so it didn’t.’”
That’s one passage from John Heileman’s juicy article in New York Magazine. It provides a lot of background support for what many of us have been thinking for a while: the administration is happy with the financial reform bill roughly as it turned out, and it got there by taking up an anti-Wall Street tone (e.g., the Volcker Rule), riding a wave of populist anger to the point where the bill was sure of passing, and then quietly pruning back its most far-reaching components. If anything, that’s a testament to the political skill of the White House and, yes, Tim Geithner as well.
There are two other things in the article I thought worth commenting on. Here’s one:
“Obama could be forgiven for expecting greater reciprocity from the bankers—something more than the equivalent of a Hallmark card and a box of penny candy. He had, after all, done more than saved their lives directly by continuing the bailout policies formulated by Paulson and Geithner. He and his team could credibly claim to have kept the world economy from falling off a cliff. Yet with the unemployment rate still near double digits, Obama had (and still has) received scant credit from the public for what was arguably his signal accomplishment. At the same time, the one thing that almost every slice of the electorate would have applauded wildly—the sight of the president landing a few haymakers on Wall Street’s collective jaw—was an opportunity that the president had largely forsworn.”
by ilene - May 5th, 2010 5:00 pm
There are a lot of reasons to like the idea of a consumer financial protection agency. My colleagues Barbara Kiviat and Michael Grunwald have made the more substantive ones here, here and here. But I think I have stumbled across possibly the most telling data point yet on why the CFPA is likely a good idea: Jamie Dimon is scared of debating Elizabeth Warren on the topic. It’s not because Dimon is not passionate about the topic. Privately, Dimon and other JP Morgan exeuctives have been strongly making their case in Washington against starting a new agency, even one housed at the Fed, to monitor consumer protection in the banking business.
But when White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel called a top J.P. Morgan executive to ask for the bank’s support in creating a new consumer-protection agency, the executive—former Commerce Secretary William Daley—said no, according to people familiar with the conversation. His boss believed that sufficient consumer safeguards were already on the books.
Nonetheless, I have put some phone calls in and Dimon is unwilling to take Warren on in person and debate the topic. Dimon is a smart guy. So the fact that he is scared to debate Warren on the topic means that he knows he can’t win. Here’s why:
First a recap. Elizabeth Warren is a Harvard law professor that also heads up the Congressional Oversight Panel, which has monitored the TARP program with hearings and studies. A few years ago, after studying a number of abusive lending practices regularly engaged in by the nation’s largest banks, she came up with the idea of launching a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. In Warren’s vision, it would be federally funded and separate from other regulators. It’s only job would be to assess whether the loans and other products sold by banks are fair and safe for consumers. Much like the FDA does for drugs. Obama loves the idea. And so it has been batted around as part of the reform effort, and is included, in a weaker form, in Dodd’s reform bill. Here’s what FDIC chief Sheila Bair had to say about Warren and her proposal in the TIME 100 this week:
by ilene - April 24th, 2010 4:41 pm
Courtesy of David DeGraw, AmpedStatus Report
This report was originally released as a six-part series. The first part was published on February 15, 2010. The last part was published on February 27, 2010.
- I: Casualties of Economic Terrorism, Surveying the Damage
- II: The Rise of the Economic Elite
- III: Exposing Our Enemy: Meet the Economic Elite
- IV: The Financial Coup d’Etat
- V: Overcoming the Divide and Conquer Strategy
- VI: How to Fight Back and Win: Common Ground Issues That Must Be Won
> Download full report with graphics and links.
> Download printer-friendly version.
but the success of its disappearing act depends on equally strenuous efforts
on the part of an American public anxious to believe in egalitarian fictions
and unwilling to see what is hidden in plain sight.”
– Michael Lind, To Have and to Have Not
It’s time for 99% of Americans to mobilize and aggressively move on common sense political reforms.
Yes, of course, we all have very strong differences of opinion on many issues. However, like our Founding Fathers before us, we must put aside our differences and unite to fight a common enemy.
by ilene - April 4th, 2010 1:59 am
Courtesy of Simon Johnson at Baseline Scenario
There are two kinds of bankers to fear. The first is incompetent and runs a big bank. This includes such people as Chuck Prince (formerly of Citigroup) and Ken Lewis (Bank of America). These people run their banks onto the rocks – and end up costing the taxpayer a great deal of money. But, on the other hand, you can see them coming and, if we ever get the politics of bank regulation straightened out again, work hard to contain the problems they present.
The second type of banker is much more dangerous. This person understands how to control risk within a massive organization, manage political relationships across the political spectrum, and generate the right kind of public relations. When all is said and done, this banker runs a big bank and – here’s the danger – makes it even bigger.
Jamie Dimon is by far the most dangerous American banker of this or any other recent generation.
Not only did Mr. Dimon keep JP Morgan Chase from taking on as much risk [as] its competitors, he also navigated through the shoals of 2008-09 with acuity, ending up with the ultimate accolade of “savvy businessman” from the president himself. His letter to shareholders, which appeared this week, is a tour de force – if Machiavelli were a banker alive today, he could not have done better. (You can access the full letter through the link at the end of the fourth paragraph in this WSJ blog post; for another assessment, see Zach Carter’s piece.)
Dimon fully understands – although he can’t concede in public – the private advantages (i.e., to him and his colleagues) of a big bank getting bigger. Being too big to fail – and having cheaper access to funding as a result – may seem unfair, unreasonable, and dangerous to you and me. But to Jamie Dimon, it’s a business model – and he is only doing his job, which is to make money for his shareholders (and for himself and his colleagues).
Dimon represents the heavy political firepower and intellectual heft of the banking system. He runs some of the most effective – and tough – lobbyists on Capitol Hill. He has the very best relationships with Treasury and the White House. And…
by ilene - April 2nd, 2010 1:28 pm
Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant
Pic credit: LOLFed
What a cry baby. In last year’s letter, Dimon whined that the company only made a paltry $6 billion in 2008 when they should have made more like $15 billion and would have were it not for that meddling financial crisis and what-have-you. Cry cry cry.
J.P. Morgan Chase cut consumer access to credit and canceled credit cards in response to legislation signed into law by President Obama last year, the bank’s chief executive Jamie Dimon said. The credit card reform act, which went into effect in February, could cost the bank up to $750 million in annual profits, he added.
Despite the losses, "we believe that many, but not all, of the changes made were completely appropriate," Dimon said in his annual letter to shareholders, which was released late Wednesday.
Dimon said enacting the bill in the middle of a recession reduced access to credit for some consumers. The act prevents credit card companies from raising interest rates arbitrarily and charging certain fees. It also mandates that all of a cardholder’s payments be applied to the balance carrying the highest interest rate.
J.P. Morgan is expected to take a hit of $500 million to $750 million from the new rules, according to Dimon, who added that the bank will no longer offer cards to 15 percent of its customers because they pose too much of a risk in light of the regulations. The bank has reduced credit lines, canceled cards that had not been used for a long time, and substantially reduced offers for introductory rates and promotional balance transfers.
Dimon is also feeling some bankster remorse for using the FDIC’s guarantee program to issue some $40 billion in unsecured debt, claiming that JPM never needed it and shouldn’t have touched it because of the stigma associated with bailed out banks.
Cry. Me. a F*&king. River. You. Whiny. Asshat.