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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Don't Look Now -- Banks Are Still Ruining America: 6 Harsh Lessons from the JP Morgan Fiasco


JP Morgan Chase is part of an entwined system of too-big-to-fail institutions that are ripping us off.

Photo Credit: ShutterStock.com
Now, we know this was all a sham.JP Morgan, the white knight of banking, supposedly weathered the 2008 crisis with little difficulty. It was not in danger of collapsing like Lehman Brothers and it did not really need bailouts in order to survive, or so it proudly proclaims. Furthermore, its CEO, Jamie Dimon, was known as “Obama’s banker,” a relatively liberal financier who cared both about his bank and his country.
The truth is that there are no good banks and bad banks among the giants of finance.That’s just a feel-good story that gives us false hope that individuals and individual institutions can fix a system that is rotten to the core.
JP Morgan Chase is no different than other big banks, except that it is the biggest. It is part of an entwined system of too-big-to-fail institutions that are ripping us off. Leading up to the 2008 crash, it was up to its eyeballs packaging and selling mortgage-backed securities that were designed to fail. It helped pump up the housing bubble, profited while it was inflating and profited again while it burst. It was forced to pay a $153 million fine last year for “misleading big investors about the riskiness of mortgage-related securities it was selling just as the home-loan market was melting down.”
JP Morgan helped to crash our system in 2008 and profited handsomely from the bailouts it claimed it really didn’t need (but thank you very much, we’ll take them anyway). And now it's back in the gambling business just like all the other big banks and hedge funds. And should another crash come, we’ll again be asked to pick up the tab -- it's still “too big to fail” according to the conventional wisdom.