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A Strange Timeline at JPMorgan Chase Includes a Meeting with Fed Chair Jay Powell  

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase

From 3 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19 of this year, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome (Jay) Powell met in the anteroom to his office in Washington, D.C. with Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase. Adding to the unusual nature of this meeting, the Chief Financial Officer of JPMorgan Chase, Jennifer Piepszak, had traveled with Dimon from New York to Washington, D.C. to attend this meeting. During the entire month of February, Powell met with no other CEO or CFO of any other Wall Street mega bank. We obtained this information from a review of the Fed Chairman’s daily calendar.

The meeting came one day after Reuters reported a “sweeping reshuffle” at JPMorgan’s investment bank and two weeks after Bloomberg News reported that the bank was, once again, under a criminal probe by the U.S. Department of Justice. This would be the fourth, publicly known, criminal probe at JPMorgan Chase during Dimon’s tenure as Chairman and CEO. A prior investigation into how JPMorgan Chase had handled the business bank account for Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff ended in two criminal felony counts against the bank in 2014, to which the bank pleaded guilty. Another investigation into the bank’s role in rigging foreign exchange trading ended in one criminal felony count in 2015, to which the bank also pleaded guilty.

A fourth criminal probe into how the federally-insured bank that is part of JPMorgan Chase had used depositors’ money to gamble in derivatives in London in 2012 and lose $6.2 billion, did not end in criminal charges. It did, however, result in a scathing 300-page report by the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations into how the bank “piled on risk, hid losses, disregarded risk limits, manipulated risk models, dodged oversight, and misinformed the public.” Dimon had initially called the matter “a tempest in a teapot.”

A peculiar timeline has emerged at JPMorgan Chase that includes the February 19, 2020 meeting with the Fed Chair but actually began in the first half of last year, long before there was any coronavirus COVID-19 crisis anywhere in the world.

This begs the question: did the U.S. have a Wall Street banking crisis similar to 2008 long before there was a pandemic crisis?

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