The Smartest Grifters In The Room

JP Morgan made 4 billion last quarter which was down 50% or so from pre-pandemic earnings. The fine from that 920 million penalty only included a little over 400 million. The rest was restitution and disgorgement of profits. The violations happened over 10 or so years. They did not find the violations themselves. They violated the trust in the markets and affected the opportunities for others to profit or lose money with whatever ethics there are in the marketplace. NO ONE went to jail. No executives except the “outliers” lost their jobs or had to claw back their bonuses. This is what I judged the Obama administration for in previous blog piece. No one was held accountable for the devastation to the markets, to the fiscal status of municipalities, to individual lives which affected our collective lives during the housing crisis. No one except those violated by the fine print in their mortgage or who were not bailed out by the Fed. That is no one except the common woman and man.

Now imagine if a person with a gambling disorder had the ability to go to the Fed for a no interest loan or a bailout, and never ever went to prison. The smartest grifters in the government and in the chamber of commerce would get all huffy about personal responsibility and disruptions to the marketplace. I am not suggesting that we are not accountable for our actions. I am suggesting that we need an equal playing field. I am suggesting we look at gambling at all levels (yes, jp morgan is gambling-in fact they are gambling with other peoples money-their depositors money) as equal. I am fairly certain we are going to find that not all the sporting events that are now legal to bet on will be played fairly.

As an aside there is an article in The Hill today about the very topic of keeping banking and trading separate by going back to Glass-Steagell. Glass-Steagell was legislated in the early 1930’s. It separated banking and trading. It was repealed during the Clinton administration. It was championed by Robert Rubin when he was Secretary of the Treasury. He was a stalwart Democrat. He was also a Goldman Sachs alum. The current Secretary of Treasury also worked at Goldman as did his father who had worked with Rubin. (Disclosure: I worked at Goldman on the options exchange until 1981). Politics does not override greed. I am a liberal in philosophy way to the left of the Clinton’s. I will never forgive or forget what his administration did to the poor, the criminal justice system, and to the financial markets. For the record I did not vote for him in either election.

One thought on “The Smartest Grifters In The Room

  1. Gambling for me is a more than a problem. I believe in helping others stop. I will support those who want to help others. Gambling screwed me up and running away from my past will not help me others, However telling my story may help others.


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