You are viewing the NationofChange archives. For the latest news and actions, visit the new www.NationofChange.org.
Saturday, December 20, 2014 / PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM FOR POSITIVE ACTION
Get Email Updates | Log In | Register

Article image
Robert Reich
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Thursday 17 May 2012
Even if Obama didn’t want to criticize Dimon, at the very least he could have used the occasion to come out squarely in favor of tougher financial regulation.

The Dog That Didn’t Bark: Obama on JPMorgan

Article image

The dog that didn’t bark this week, let alone bite, was the President’s response to JP Morgan Chase’s bombshell admission of losing more than $2 billion in risky derivative trades that should never have been made.

“JP Morgan is one of the best-managed banks there is. Jamie Dimon, the head of it, is one of the smartest bankers we got and they still lost $2 billion,” the President said on the television show “The View,” which aired Tuesday, suggesting that a weaker bank might not have survived.

That was it.

Not a word about Jamie Dimon’s tireless campaign to eviscerate the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill; his loud and repeated charge that the Street’s near meltdown in 2008 didn’t warrant more financial regulation; his leadership of Wall Street’s brazen lobbying campaign to delay the Volcker Rule under Dodd-Frank, which is still delayed; and his efforts to make that rule meaningless by widening a loophole allowing banks to use commercial deposits to “hedge” (that is, make offsetting bets) their derivative trades.

Nor any mention Dimon’s outrageous flaunting of Dodd-Frank and of the Volcker Rule by setting up a special division in the bank to make huge (and hugely profitable, when the bets paid off) derivative trades disguised as hedges.  

Nor Dimon’s dual role as both chairman and CEO of JPMorgan (frowned on my experts in corporate governance) for which he collected a whopping $23 million this year, and $23 million in 2010 and 2011 in addition to a $17 million bonus.

Even if Obama didn’t want to criticize Dimon, at the very least he could have used the occasion to come out squarely in favor of tougher financial regulation. It’s the perfect time for him to call for resurrecting the Glass-Steagall Act, of which the Volcker Rule – with its giant loophole for hedges — is a pale and inadequate substitute.

And for breaking up the biggest banks and setting a cap on their size, as the Dallas branch of the Federal Reserve recommended several weeks ago.

Wall Street’s biggest banks were too big to fail before the bailout. Now, led by JP Morgan Chase, they’re even bigger.  Twenty years ago, the 10 largest banks on the Street held 10 percent of America’s total bank assets. Now they hold over 70 percent.

This would give Obama a perfect way to distinguish himself from Mitt Romney — who has pledged to repeal Dodd-Frank altogether if he’s elected President, who has also been raking in more than $20 million a year through financial games, and who shares the same prevailing Wall Street view of the economy as profits to be maximized while people are minimized (to Romney, corporations are people).

But the Obama campaign has so far chosen to attack Romney’s character rather than his place in the new American plutocracy, with ads highlighting the jobs that were lost when Romney, as head of Bain Capital, took over a Midwest steel company.

It’s the same personal attack Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry leveled at Romney. But Gingrich and Perry had little choice. They didn’t want to criticize the system that allowed Romney to do this because their party celebrates no-holds-barred free-market capitalism.

Obama does have a choice. He can assail Romney’s character but he can also take on the system that allows private-equity managers, as well as Wall Street’s biggest banks, to continue to make huge profits at the expense of average Americans. Romney is the poster-child for the excesses of that system, just as is Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase.   

We are still at the very early stages of the 2012 campaign. There’s still time for Obama to come out swinging – not only at Romney but also at the system of which Romney is a part, and to base his campaign on policies that will make that system work for ordinary people.  Let’s hope he does.

This article was originally posted on Robert Reich's blog.



Author pic
ABOUT Robert Reich

 

ROBERT B. REICH, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. Time Magazine has named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including his latest best-seller, “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future;” “The Work of Nations,” which has been translated into 22 languages; and his newest, an e-book, “Beyond Outrage.” His syndicated columns, television appearances, and public radio commentaries reach millions of people each week. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, and Chairman of the citizen’s group Common Cause. His widely-read blog can be found at www.robertreich.org. Robert Reich's new film, "Inequality for All" is available on DVD
and blu-ray, and on Netflix in February.

Are there any spare balls

Are there any spare balls available for the white house?

If you look at recent history

If you look at recent history in terms of how power ebbs and flows between the people and their leaders the current situation makes a little more sense. There has been a major shift in power at the expense of the American people who now are third in a pecking order that has the corporates at the top and the politicians in the middle. Even though it feels good to abuse Obama he is no longer the dog but the tail...and we come after that.
The core problem then is that the people heading the corporates are abusing their new found power and it is these people who we should be holding to task rather than Obama. What seems desperately needed is for the money to be taken out of politics so that the corporates are returned to their rightful spot which is beneath the people in the power structure.

"They didn’t want to

"They didn’t want to criticize the system that allowed Romney to do this because their party celebrates no-holds-barred free-market capitalism."

From Tea Party Loses in Fight with Big Business by Jim Lobe
"Of the dissenters, [to a bill extending the Export-Import bank and giving it effectively more money] 19 were Republican:" Out of 47 Republicans in the house. So more than half voted for a highly interventionist bill. So I don't even have to go outside the publication you work for to prove you're wrong on this Mr. Riech. I mean I know your job probably doesn't pay much, but it surely pays enough for your to read the website you work for. If you don't know anything about what the Republican party stands for that's OK, just don't mention them. If you do mention them though, learn the basic facts that are know to every teenager who watchs CNN for god's sake.

"Nor any mention Dimon’s

"Nor any mention Dimon’s outrageous flaunting of Dodd-Frank and of the Volcker Rule by setting up a special division in the bank to make huge (and hugely profitable, when the bets paid off) derivative trades disguised as hedges. "

So you're criticising him for opposing regulation while simultainously criticising him for showing that the regulation didn't work. Smart.

Look regulation has been tried over and over again. It failed. Glass-Steagall was a corrupt attempt by the worst offenders in the 1929 crash (the Rockefellers)to crush their competitors (the house of Morgan). There is ZERO evidence that it's safer to separate commercial and investment banking. Bank after bank without this connection between commercial and investment banking crashed, and others survived only by government handouts and guarantees. Yet it's banks that have the connection that are somehow blamed. It's time the left stopped carrying water for special corporate interests and actually found out what is going on.

Oh and BTW this is all a storm in a teacup. So a bank lost $2B on the derivatives market, that just means shareholders lost and someone else gained. Unless you love JP Morgan shareholders who gives a damn?

Obama was Wall Street's guy

Obama was Wall Street's guy in 2008 and for him to bite the hand that fed him millions of dollar would be, well, downright rude. This time around, Mitt is their guy, but Obama is, I am sure, hoping for a bit of the leftover gravy to drop on his plate anyway.

Obama was Wall Street's guy

Obama was Wall Street's guy in 2008 and for him to bite the hand that fed him millions of dollar would be, well, downright rude. This time around, Mitt is their guy, but Obama is, I am sure, hoping for a bit of the leftover gravy to drop on his plate anyway.

A lot of these comments

A lot of these comments sounds like a lot of people are playing the "Trojan" horse of the Republican Party. In other words you support Romney by attacking Obama from the left. A distinction that clearly makes no difference. Oh and by the way whats preventing Professor Reich from taking on Chase and Dimon?

I seem to remember hearing

I seem to remember hearing that Obama got HUGE campaign contributions from Wall Street. Add to that the 'family tree' of Geithner and Bernanke - and Obama's completely ineffectual approach to all of this so far - where's the surprise? I don't want Romney, but then, I too often think we do have him, with Obama's face.

Twenty years ago, the 10

Twenty years ago, the 10 largest banks on the Street held 10 percent of America’s total bank assets. Now they hold over 70 percent.
***************
And just think...now those huge banks are being overseen by the Granddaddy of them all, The Federal Reserve. Didn't we just stick the fox right in the middle of the hen house? For those of you unaware of the family ties... do a little background research on JP Morgan... "What, they are among the owners of the privately owned, Federal Reserve, you say?" People are being set up by the monster bankers, and if our bought off Government doesn't soon stand up to the bankers, the top 10% banks will hold 100% of the wealth. Look around, the evidence is everywhere.

Um... no they're not the

Um... no they're not the owners of the privately owned Federal Reserve becaue the Federal Reserve is not privately owned it's government owned. The myth that it is private sprung up because of it's deliberately confusing ownership structure. The so-called 'shareholders' don't get the profits, they get a fixed interest payment, they don't control the board or appoint the chairman, the President does with Senate confirmation. By the standard definition of "ownership" under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) the banks don't own the Fed.

It isn't just the people

It isn't just the people being set up, it's the entire planet.

Norman Allen's picture

The banksters want all of the

The banksters want all of the world's assets, then they can have slaves to do whatever they tell them without a peep or squeal...

It really does not matter who

It really does not matter who we vote for. Neither Romney or Obama will be in charge anyway. We have to get rid of the people in Washington who are not elected that have been there for many many years. They are the ones running everything, we just choose a talking head. Everyone should see this by now. If not than they are not paying attention. They have everyone running around trying to "save" something, someone, anyone but themselves.

Pleeezze, it was all over

Pleeezze, it was all over when Obama appointed Geithner.

Stop being surprised; we were all sold out in Jan 2009 and every day since then.

Geithner's economic plan is this: Do whatever keeps Wall Street's confidence even if it bankrupts the entire world.

Corporatist Obama refuses to

Corporatist Obama refuses to look back and criminally prosecute his thieving Wall Street "Savvy Businessmen" billionaire buddies while dishonestly telling us that there is only 1 justice system and that we all play by the same rules.

Then Obama appoints only 55 people to help investigate the Wall Street thieves (Kabuki theater) after the public is outraged that nothing is being done about the megafraud taking place that sank the world economy (peddling "Shitty Product" as fraudulenytly AAA-rated investments) and made lots of people homeless (using falsified, forged mortgages the banks didn't own any longer in fraudulent foreclosure proceedings).

Obama's hero Ronald Reagan appointed thousands of investigators in each region of the country to criminally prosecute the Saving & Loan thieves and put 1200 S&L crooks in federal prisons.

We can't stand 4 more years of Obama, Holder, and the fascist corporate kleptocracy/plutocracy they protect-- they have to go as soon as possible.

Out of your hat please pull

Out of your hat please pull the magic rabbit.

Yes Once Obama is gone maybe

Yes Once Obama is gone maybe we can see that corruption whether it is Dem or GOP is bad. Dems have to wake up and smell the coffee, then they'll hear the bell tolling for them -- the toll is a funeral dirge. I said that Geithner would destroy his Administration and he has done it.

The sole hope (yes, I am dreaming here) is for all Dems to turn on the Obama-Geithner dual and promise to turn the country to turn prosperity with Keynsian economics if the Dems take back all Congress with 60% plus -- which Geither refuses to apply

I now believe the only thing

I now believe the only thing Obama has not lied about was his admiration of Ronald Reagan. Obama is ideologically a Reagan Republican. He's not a Reagan Democrat. A Reagan Democrat would be too far left for Obama.

We were desperate to rid the nation of George W Bush. This was one thing the nation was united in. We never wanted another President asshole, spoiled brat, liar like Bush. Just imagine, in electing Obama we elected Bush's stealth smarter little brother.

Just horrible.

odumba the puppet clown isn't

odumba the puppet clown isn't able to say a single word that isn't scripted and given to him. He proves daily what a ignorant mentally damaged clueless puppet he is. Since only a traitor wages war on his fellow citizens. He needs to pay a very personal price for his betrayal of the American people.

Until bastille day comes and the parasites are given their just dues, nothing will change, the parasites will continue to steal and the USA will continue to fail.

A bit harsh and your

A bit harsh and your repertoire could use some current analogy.

Bastille day -- a tad over

Bastille day -- a tad over the top

Comment with your Facebook account



Comment with your Disqus account

Top Stories

comments powered by Disqus

NationofChange works to educate, inform, and fight power with people, corruption with community.

If you would like to stay up to date with the best in independent, filter-free journalism, updates on upcoming events to attend, and more, enter your email below:

7 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Support NationofChange

Our readers often tell us why they’ve decided to step up and become supporters. Here are some of the top reasons people are giving.

1. You’re keeping independent journalism alive
The corporate owned media has proven that it can’t be trusted. In a media landscape wrought with spin and corruption, NationofChange stands in very scarce company.

2. You’re sticking it to the rich, powerful, and corrupt
When you have money in this country you can get away with damn near anything, and they do. NationofChange isn’t afraid to expose these criminals no matter how powerful they are.

3. Your donation is 100% tax-deductible
NationofChange is a 501(c)3 charity. People tend to assume that many other organizations are (most nonprofits are NOT) but it’s that 501(c)3 status is a bit more rare than you think.

Read the rest...