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Recovery Begins When Addiction Ends: An Open Letter to Jamie Dimon

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By the Alternative Banking Working Group of Occupy Wall Street

Dear Jamie Dimon:

We, the Alternative Banking Working Group of Occupy Wall Street, are staging an intervention on your behalf. Unlike many in the financial industry and press, we will not be deceived by attempts at misdirection and we are not intimidated by complexity. Your days of gambling with taxpayers’ money and pressuring the regulators to let business go on as usual are over. It’s not good for you, it’s not good for us, and it’s not good for our country.

It’s been a good ride, and we’ve been impressed with how long you have managed to keep it up. The incredible complexity of the financial system helped, of course, just as it helped obscure countless other crimes and frauds.

It’s truly a work of art how you and your enablers have created a system that nobody fully understands. It’s the perfect cover for your continuing addiction to risk, power, and money, and it keeps everyone confused just long enough, well past any statute of limitation for criminal prosecution.

Now your addiction is out of control. Rather than quitting while you and JPMorgan Chase were ahead (if you ever were), you’ve been driven to inhale every last dollar, no matter the risks involved for you and for all of us. What has really worked for you personally, and has allowed you to remain credible for so long, is your intense denial as to the underlying question of what year it is.

You seem to live in a time warp where it is still 2004, the housing market is booming, along with the associated securities market, and you and your friends are printing money with no downside in sight. But it turns out that ’04 model was a bit of a lemon — or, to borrow your words, “poorly conceived, poorly vetted, and poorly executed.”

Here is some sobering news: You are, in fact, living in 2012, leading an enormous, too-big-to-fail bank, which is being continuously bailed out by the Fed’s unlimited loans at 0% interest, on the taxpayers’ dime. In a reasonable world, under these conditions, JPMorgan Chase would be a utility bank focused on the public good, and you would be merely its custodian. You would not be incentivized to take crazy risks to chase yield. Your job would be incredibly boring and your bank only very mildly profitable.

But, sadly, the addiction is still doing the talking. So we’re here to say “no more.” It’s time to put down that fifth drink and walk away from the baccarat table, because no matter how many martinis you have and no matter how much money you lose, you’re still a glorified accountant, not a secret agent. And that’s fine. There’s nothing that JPMorgan Chase, and the world economy for that matter, needs more than a very good accountant.

Perhaps you will protest that you don’t need this intervention. In fact, over the past few days you have repeatedly acknowledged your sloppiness, stupidity, and bad judgment. And though that sounds compelling and humble, as we know you expect it to, you haven’t gone far enough to demonstrate that you understand just how deeply in trouble you are. And don’t claim stupidity – “stupid” isn’t a word associated with Jamie Dimon. You need to admit that you are powerless over your addiction and that your bank has become unmanageable.

Here is what we ask of you:

First, stop gambling with our money and our futures. Stop lobbying for deregulation — we are way past that now. Stop lying to us all by doing silly things like pushing proprietary trading into the treasury office and renaming it, or by pretending that there are no losses when there very clearly are, to the tune of $2,000,000,000 and growing. And, please, stop trying to convince us that nobody at JPMorgan Chase saw this coming. Ina Drew was offering to resign in April but you kept telling the world that nothing serious was amiss, a lie which could get you serious jail time.

Second, admit that your bank is too big to take risks that neither you nor anyone in your bank understands or is able to handle, and that the only thing that will stop you from misbehaving is strong, enforced, and uncompromised regulation.

Third, resign as Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It is inappropriate, and dangerous to us, for you to oversee the banking system or the economy when you have proven incompetent at overseeing your own bank — particularly since the Federal Reserve is investigating your bank and your behavior.

Because this in an intervention, you’re going to need to get used to a lot of new folks who will challenge the bad decisions that have become habit for you. The SEC should be facilitating the first step by getting you into a full in-patient rehab program, where the Fed, the FDIC, and every other regulator who has an interest in your bank’s good health can help you make a searching and fearless moral inventory of your bank and its choices. Although the “revolving door” connecting Wall Street to the Beltway has turned our regulatory agencies into the Keystone Kops of the 21st century, your crisis should serve as a wake-up call and put an end to their denial as well.

When you reach your twelfth step, you can help the regulators write tougher regulations based on the knowledge you acquired during your efforts to undermine them.

After all, if you can’t manage the risk, then nobody can. And you’ve taken the first step by admitting that you can’t. Now take the other eleven.

Best regards,
The Alternative Banking Working Group

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99 comments

  1. Woodrow Wilson

    Dear The Alternative Banking Working Group,

    Kiss my ass and go fuck yourself.

    Love,

    Jamie

    1. Douglas

      What an arrogant bunch of idiots OWS and their minions are. Give ‘em hell, Jaime!

      1. Enraged

        “What an arrogant bunch of idiots OWS and their minions are. Give ‘em hell, Jaime!”

        How are your Chase shares doing this morning?

    2. Kathi Berke

      WTF? Woodrow Wilson, eh? One world gov’t–too big to fail indeed. Privatized profits, socialized losses. Who wouldn’t love to gamble 1/2 a trillion dollars backed by the U.S. government?

      Kiss your bent-over ass and let Jameson Diamond butt-f**k you.

      1. SubjectivObject

        Dewdles: I’ve read Woody before. And I find his sarcasm in print is hard to penetrate too. But that’s just me.

        1. Woodrow Wilson

          I’m not very good with precision tools, so I just use large blunt objects.

          Frankly, I doubt this letter ever reached Dimon’s desk, and if it did, in his mind, what I posted is most likely near verbatim what he said.

          With the Rule of Law completely and utterly destroyed, I wonder in amazment how passive our country is, given its propensity to unleash, and more importantly the access to use, instruments of massive violence upon these criminals and their enablers.

          I guess it’s really not that bad, and everything is fine.

          1. different clue

            Well, they’ve been building up their privatised public police forces (NYPD) and their private security armies ( Blackwater/Xe/Whatever, DynCorp, Triple Canopy, etc.) against the day when “thuh peepul” start trying to get violent.

    3. citizendave

      Jamie and Lloyd and the boys won’t stop until they are forced to stop. They are like the Irresistible Force, unrestrained for lack of an Immoveable Object. Can we place an immoveable object in their path? AG Place Holder? A few hundred million people?

      1. Carla

        I’ll bet a few hundred thousand people would do it. But WILL we? THAT is the question.

        1. citizendave

          “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For indeed that’s all who ever have.” ― Margaret Mead

    1. H. Alexander Ivey

      Who cares if Jamie reads it! Bravo to Alternative Banking Working Group OWS. I always enjoy reading a well stated indictment of the wicked and the hypocrites.

        1. JTFaraday

          Actually, it reads like someone has a crush on Jamie Dimon.

          If I didn’t know better, I would think that Occupy has been infiltrated by some ladies of negotiable affection…

  2. Warren Celli

    Chicken to fox;

    “Here is what we ask of you:”

    Duh!

    This is not an intervention, its a Vanilla Greed for Profit validation of an immoral Pernicious Greed for Control psychopath’s power.

    Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

      1. Warren Celli

        Ideas are only wedges, persistence drives them home;-)

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

        1. different clue

          Really? I thought procrastinertia was the strongest political force on the planet.

  3. ftm

    The interesting thing here is that Dimon is a democrat who believes without reservation he is on the side of the angels. He is also a master of his own re-invention having been unceremoniously bounced from Citi only to claw his way back to the top with JPM.

    His ego is so big that he might well consider resigning from JPM and taking up the cause of banking reform if he thought that would provide more ego-gratification than slogging along as CEO of a increasingly regulated under-performing bank.

    Doubt he’d make a good reform advocate, but would be entertaining to watch him try.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      ftm, the question is: Who has Jamie Dimon’s back? JD is the front man.

    2. Enraged

      “The interesting thing here is that Dimon is a democrat who believes without reservation he is on the side of the angels.”

      And Bachmann, Gingrich, Romney and cohort are convinced they are Christians and quite godly too. Delusions are only one of many symptoms of mental illness…

  4. jsmith

    “When you reach your twelfth step, you can help the regulators write tougher regulations based on the knowledge you acquired during your efforts to undermine them.”

    Give me a break. I’m sure this will get somebody’s attention.

    Who wrote it the DLC?

    Yeah, let’s play ball on the field that Jamie Dimon and the other banksters have created by asking for piddling reforms instead of demanding a complete and utter demolition/restructuring of the system that they stand at the top of.

    Resigning from the Fed?

    Well, gee, shucks, I guess he’ll have time to go sit on the corporate board of another gargantuan bank, huh?

    If this is what OWS has come down to – thinking that mere legislative reform is going to pull us out of the colossal mess we’re in – they may was well stop now.

    How about this letter instead?

    Dear Jamie, you f*cking criminal,

    We are starting a movement to take back all of your ill-gotten wealth, shut-down the private banks through which you and your psychopathic friends lord it over the American people and put you in f*cking prison with the rest of your criminal cohorts. Either come quietly now or this manifest rage will be visited upon you, your relatives and your progeny in the years to come.

    Signed,

    Those who outnumber you 320 million to one.

    1. Douglas

      jsmith – You seem to want violence, leave that to the cowards man. I wouldn’t mind sitting down with President Dimon, pouring a glass or two of premium Pinot Noir, and discussing some of the issues of the day. Poverty, housing, health care, out of control paranoia amongst the owner/ruler class. the po’folk, misuse of the military, and of course, the millions of fraudclosed, imprisoned and broken ‘Muricans.

      1. jsmith

        Right, huh?

        I love how in America, being angry is considered being violent.

        Seriously, I really think that this is major thrust of propaganda at the present: to convince people that even feeling anger is somehow equatable with being actively violent.

        Much like how being “violent” against inanimate objects is equatable with physically harming human beings vis a vis the protest movements.

        Burn a garbage can=smashing someone’s face in, right?

        They’re both “violence”, right?

        And to think that one of the other main goals of the modern propaganda apparatus is to make the commoners and the elite think that they are on the same side and want the same things – i.e., my stock options=your 401k.

        People have to begin to realize that there really is nothing more to talk about with the elite.

        1. Aquifer

          “Either come quietly now or this manifest rage will be visited upon you, your relatives and your progeny in the years to come.”

          Oh, so this is to be interpreted as “we will come and burn your garbage cans”? Exactly how will you exhibit your “manifest rage”?

          “one of the other main goals of the modern propaganda apparatus is to make the commoners and the elite think that they are on the same side and want the same things – i.e., my stock options=your 401k.”

          Yup, you got it, this Rome wasn’t built in a day but carefully constructed to create justification for making folks feel TINA – so before you can get folks to bring down the house they have been induced to grow old in, you better help them build another place to live. You want specific demands? Medicare for all, SS sufficient to live on in old age, adequate education for all, decent jobs at living wages, a sustainable planet, etc. This folks can relate to. So while you are burning your garbage cans, i hope there will be many who will be demanding and working for this stuff …

          Indeed, anger, nay, outrage is necessary to fuel the fires of change, but the fires must be harnessed in the kiln and the forge must be used to produce plows and not swords …

          1. Aquifer

            PS – I thought this letter was pretty neat – and, to the extent it will be printed and reprinted and read, it makes the case in language many can understand and relate to – and that is half the battle – not enough, but half ….

        2. Woody in Florida

          I know many of us are angry to some extent, and on some level might wish to punch someone in the face, but really I do not even know this guy enough to hate him. I don’t like what he is doing but it can be hard sometimes to wish harm on everyone that does things I don’t like. Still, anyone who has read enough history knows that once enough people become angry, it never ends well for the agitator, and violence is usually the method of choice for expressing said anger, usually through mobs or “320 million people”.

        3. SR6719

          jsmith,

          On the one hand, as members of the 99 percent, we’re never supposed to express any anger or even raise our tone of voice. But, on the other hand, there’s no level of barbarism or violence that the majority of American people cannot make peace with, as long as it’s directed against other countries, or as long as it’s directed by the 1 percent against us.

          Escalating barbarity against the Iraqi people in the first decade of this century ? No problem. Photographs of prisoner abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib? Don’t get angry. Girls/children raped and sodomized with the cameras rolling? Let’s have a glass of Pinot Noir. Depleted uranium? Homeless vets? Hey, Dancing with the Stars is on tonight. Melting permafrost? A fiction of the eco-terrorists. Lousy urban schools? It’s due to lousy teachers, fire them, privatize. Bailout the bankers? Let the market decide, but stabilize it with taxpayer’s dollar.

          “Never before has censorship been so perfect. Never before have those who are still led to believe, in a few countries, that they remain free citizens, been less entitled to make their opinions heard, wherever it is a matter of choices affecting their real lives. Never before has it been possible to lie to them so brazenly. The spectator is simply supposed to know nothing, and deserve nothing. Those who are always watching to see what happens next will never act: such must be the spectator’s condition.” – Guy Debord (The Society of the Spectacle)

          1. JamesW

            As an online bud said recently somewhere:

            Steve Coll is on a national book tour talking about ExxonMobil — yet appears both ignorant and oblivious to who owns ExxonMobil. Coll’s foundation, the New America Foundation, is funded by the Peterson Foundation, created by Peter G. Peterson to hide his wealth and ownership and to peddle influence.

            Peter G. Peterson was the original financial backer for his wife, who created and produces Sesame Street. There exists a strong correlation between the viewing of Sesame Street and a high quotient for gullibility as an adult.

            That is, viewing Sesame Street as a child tends to make one susceptible as an adult to blindly obey authority.

          2. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Chauncey Gardner: “I like to watch” from “BEING THERE” by Jerzy Kosinski. Is the title, “Being There,” a sly reference to the “Da-Sein” of the “German Romantic” NAZI collaborator, Martin Heidegger? It’s such a shame that Hannah Arendt was in love with him, which state compromised her ability to see the harsh reality of his praxis, his fundamental vanity and hypocrisy. History shows that German Jews were captive to the “German Romantic” dream of living the “Big Idea” of a catholic/universal UnionOfAll, to which Euro Ubermenschen cleave yet today. The Death-head brothers in the saddle long to transcend concrete mondiality.

            The Dream of Deliverance to Valhalla is not dead. It’s not even past.

      2. Doug Terpstra

        I’m with jsmith: the truth and reconciliation approach with proven sociopaths can’t work. Men like Dimon, Blankfein, Rubin, Summers, and Obama are more akin to pathological pedophiles, rapists, and serial killers than to vanilla substance abusers, so again, the tough-love intervention metaphor is weak.

        “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” – John F. Kennedy, 1962

        Although jsmith doesn’t advocate violence, I suspect it is inevitable at some level (top-down violence is already happening), just as the first American Revolution and the Civil War became unavoidable. The robbery and fraud of Wall Street and crimes against humanity by their military empire have now reached a level beyond their capacity to ever voluntarily cede power or end their own insane immoral violence, without a pointed confrontation. Hopefully, the next MFG-, JPM-, AIG- triggered financial crisis will be that (peaceful) force for change, but petitions and letters don’t have a prayer.

        This is a great letter for the record, of course, but saying “please go to rehab voluntarily and we will forgive and embrace you, and let you be a bank custodian”, obviously won’t fly. The egomaniacal Dimon will scoff at such stunning naïveté. No, before long we will require a ‘truth and retribution’ commission. The elite must be subject to fair standard of crime and punishment plus reparations as real deterrent for a just and peaceful society to evolve.

        1. DiamondJammies

          Let’s be honest, Comrade Stalin took things too far. But people like Dimon sort of make you understand where he was coming from, no?

      3. SR6719

        Douglas says: “jsmith – You seem to want violence”

        Oops, I almost had a violent thought as well, and caught myself wishing Jamie Dimon would first be tortured with red-hot pincers, then harnassed to horses to have his arms and legs dismembered, and finally have his still-living torso burnt at the stake.

        But don’t worry, as part of anger management, I’m forcing myself to listen to the Partridge Family’s “Walking in the Rain”, over and over, until these violent thoughts subside:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtmgENKr3x4

        1. JTFaraday

          You know, I was once going to post a Partridge Family video, along with some snark, on one of Phil Pilker’s posts–and then I thought better of it.

          I therefore conclude your theory has some merit.

    2. direkconek

      Fair point that Dimon’s resignation of chair of the NY Fed wouldn”t mean all that much in itself… but he still had damned well better do so!

      then we can talk about:

      –Putting the production of our currency back in the direct control of Treasury as per EO 11110 (and the Constitution for that matter.

      –Pressing charges and handing down prison bids.

      –Also, fines that will really serve as a deterrent and reminder to up and coming sociopathic greed addicts… the kind with 7+ zeroes, not just three or four.

      Side note… so yeah: The NY Fed is in &#$%^ line of sight from the northeast corner of Liberty Plaza. Remind me again why we aren’t in front it EVERY DAY?

      1. Gordon Brooks

        Can we replace the concept of fines with restitution, so that the money goes to the victims and not the bureaucrats and politicians (just look at where that paltry $26,000,000,000 settlement went)?

        And if that restitution is to be more than just the cost of business to Wall Street, we need about 12 zeros.

        1. enouf

          Can we replace the concept of fines with restitution, so that the money goes to the victims and not the bureaucrats [Bankster owned] and politicians [Bankster owned]

          Oh.. you mean something simple and sane like direct relief for the commoners, instead of nonsense like TARP and all the Fed shennanigans for the TBTF monsters? Your ideas are soooo 2008-ish ;-)

          Love

  5. David Chaney

    Chief Bank Tout Dick Bove was on the radio yesterday KCRW’s “To the point” kcrw.com, and just kept repeating that Chase is “he most profitable bank in the U.S.” and therefore gets a pass on evertything.

    As OWS states the bank gets continued unlimiited access to Fed money at 0%. I say even the least among us could make money with that deal, easpecially with the implied Federal bankstop.

    Incidentally, I lost a building yesterday that had a Chase loan. When Chase began foreclosure, I had been current on the loan for 2 years.The Bank foreclosed when the loan term expired. Had been a WaMu loan, so of course, it was one of the $39 Billion in free loans the FDIC gave Chase. Bought by an investement group that Chase to which Chase is undoubtedly providing a credit line. Their lawyer – who had been after me for four years (poor little short Napoleonic conflict of a worm0 – their receiver, the bank, made out like Flynn. A child could’ve made money. If you get something for free and sell it for $600,000 you may be smart, but the clincher is you are connected. The fact that they could’ve made $300K more with me calls into question their intelligence.

    The saddest thing is that no investment group is going to care for the building, the neighbors, and my neighborhood the way I did for 12 years. That is what galls me most about Bove’s assertion – when making money becomes the only metric for American business, we witness the current tragedy which contiinues to unfold.

    Repeat after me, Jamie Dimon does have addiction. He also has, as Yves pointed out, a raft of enablers: the FDIC, the Fed,, Timmy Two Step Geithner, and sadly, and to my everlasting chagrin, President Obama. Shame on the way he has thrown Americans under the Bank BlunderBus.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      MorganChase, Jekyll Island, the Georgia Guidestones. The fix is in, so long as the system survives.

    1. Ray Duray

      Susan,

      You wrote: “Didn’t FDR commission Joseph Kennedy to redesign the SEC?”

      Not exactly. You see, when FDR hired Joe Kennedy to run the SEC and create the body of regulations based on the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Kennedy was the first Commissioner.

      So his work was “de novo”. He wasn’t redesigning anything. He was creating the agency’s agenda from the mandate of the New Deal leadership.

      He was also justifiably accused of being a fox hired to create the rules of the hen house.

  6. Norman

    Sycophants & me to er’s, is this great KABUKI or what? I suppose hope is eternal, but short of a true revolution ala the French version, I think this is truly unwieldly, especially with the up coming election season before us.

  7. Maximilien

    See, the thing about addction is, you can’t just take away the drug and then say to the addict, “There, everything’s going to be fine from now on.”. In the case of Jamie Dimon, if he can no longer make huge bets with other people’s money, but doesn’t have anything else to do, then he’ll probably just take to phone-scamming seniors.

    No, you’ve also got to give the addict something to replace the drug and get him out of the environment that both triggers and reinforces the addiction. His continuing to work on Wall Street in any capacity (however helpful) will almost guarantee a relapse.

    He and his fellow bottomed-out chronic gamblers need to be put on a heavy maintenance dose of caffeine (to replace the high of gambling) and then shipped to Africa: there to live in thatched huts and help the desperate people there dig wells, plant crops, and build schools.

    Call the program Bankers Without Borders.

    1. chris m

      you made a good point initially, but without addressing the solution found in any 12 step program.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Necessary: to forsake the addictive substance, and the addicting environment (the “criminogenic environment” with its “perverse incentives”), which includes addicted “drinking/ snorting/whoring/looting/lying buddies” who constitute the Agents who collude to Work the System.

      Ask any M.D., for starters: There is NO “recovery” from cocaine addiction. Once an addict, always an addict, whether “using” the substance or not. The addiction to “hot/fast/cheap money” is likely worse than cocaine addiction, especially since the Fed dispenses an endless supply of the addictive substance to banksters “for free.” The whole system is a network of organized crime rackets of/by/for “junk” lords, suppliers, dealers, addicts, and punks, and their “protection/laundering” racket accomplices.

      As long as this be so, We the People are cooked.

      1. Ms G

        How about a padded romper room with fake Bloomberg terminals (made by Mattel) with colored buttons, a fax machine, a blackberry, etc. but none of the machines have a connection to real-world communication systems or information. He can sit in there all day and make crazy leveraged bets on World Systems across the universe. His roommate(s), including Lloyd and Mike Bloomberg, can take turns every evening doing the accounting of the days’ takes, VAR, bonuses, etc. — on iPads that also are not connected to anything. They can even have a closed-circuit communications system on which they can all pretend they’re having high level “secret” chats with people at the White House, the Fed, the OCC, etc. about bending and deleting regulations to allow more Giant Squiddy type schemes!

        Of course at night they’d have to sleep in old fashioned army cots after a dinner of canned tuna but hey, let’s not forget that the Financier Play Pen is a real-real correctional facility, not a private island near Fiji.
        The Financiers’ PlayPen TM (an innovative concept brought to you by Prisons Corporation of America to accomodate former Titans of Financed unmasked as two-bit fraud salesmen).

          1. Ms G

            Excellent location. Now we just have to get Congressional approval. Or maybe a VIP ticket to the 0% Fed Window — this is one way the Fed could make amends (take its own 9th Step) in this whole affair.

            Qu’en pensez vous?

      2. enouf

        Nothing promotes and perpetuates hedonistic behaviour in a Bankster Junkie quite like a ZIRP-backed dealer ;-)

        Love

    3. enouf

      You forgot the heavy doses of Anti -Psychotic, -Sociopathic, -Anxiety, -Schizophrenic concoctions foisted upon the commoners through BigPharma / BigInsurance (which i’m sure JippyMo has stakes in).

      Love

  8. Shyla

    I replaced Dimon and the company name and forwarded the letter to another TBTF CEO that appears to suffer from the same affliction. Hopefully the letter is public domain, with the source and creators credited and can be forwarded to and fro, ad infinitum. Occupado!

  9. Doug Terpstra

    “In a reasonable world, under these conditions, JPMorgan Chase would be a utility bank focused on the public good, and you [Jamie, would be in a supermax prison for life]“. Fixed.

  10. JIm

    Tough Love

    I would argue that the United States has entered a post-democratic phase, where the formal elements of representative democracy remain in place (a national congress, 2 political parties and elections) but with declining voter turnout and declining traditional party participation occurring amid increasingly tighter controls over alternative electoral options as well as an overall increase in enhanced government surveillance. A major consequence of such post-democratic trends is a growing concentration of power through the increased collusion and co-ordination of circulating elites operating at the apex of the market and the state, making traditional parties of left and right largely indistinguishable in terms of policy positions both foreign and domestic.

    Supportive intervention, in such a context, may no longer be appropriate—what is now needed is tough love.

    In order to explore the tough love option it might be worthwhile to focus for a moment on the success of some hedge funds in extracting financial and even political pain (think British pound)on the present structure of power. As this is being written there are still supposedly a few hedge funds (Blue Mountain, Hutchin Hill and Lucidius Capital partners) in the process of taking hundreds of millions from JPMorgan Chase.

    Part of the reason hedge funds are able to have this type of success is because they have much accumulated experience in the world of money flows and interact on a daily basis with the apex institutions of the state and market.

    But more importantly, it may also be the case the hedge funds often appear to be able to position themselves on a given trade so that they maximize the probability of a payoff through the construction of a path that ends in a cul de sac for their trading opponents.

    The process of path construction that leads to such a cornering of opponents seems to involve a series of concrete steps: first in-depth political and economic analysis to create innovative indicators of both short and long-term trends, second, the use of sophisticated legal talent to minimize loopholes of escape for particular state and market traders and finally the guts to implement a particular move based on the choice of the right financial instrument at the right time.

    Would it be possible to position a democratic political movement in a stance of maximum leverage that could induce a serious conversation with apex State and Market players on the goal of restructuring their economic and political power?

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Jim the “Finance Coup d’Etat” has taken place. See how:

      Joseph Vogl: “Sovereignty Effects” (INET Conference Berlin, April 12, 2012, Panel: Which Way Forward?), anchored by Gabriel Naude’s work published in 1639: “Considerations politiques sur les Coups d’Etat” and:

      “THE DUAL STATE: A Contribution To The Theory of Dictatorship” by Ernst Fraenkel, translated by E.A. Shils in collaboration with Edith Lowenstein and Klaus Knorr (1941 by Oxford University Press, Inc., 2006 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.).

      For a review of classic frauds used still, see: John Kay’s address at the INET Plenary Conference, Berlin 2012, during “Breakout Session I: How Can We Create a Financial System That is Socially Useful?” on Saturday 14 April 2012.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Let’s answer “yes,” as a secular Pascal’s Wager.

      I have no interest in investing time or energy in the construction of a fresh 1%; the history of the 20th Century is replete with examples.

  11. LeonovaBalletRusse

    “well past any statute of limitation for criminal prosecution” — this canard keeps flying. Why? So long as the crimes are continued and/or covered up, the statute of limitations is extended.

  12. patricia

    Once upon a time in a town far far way, there lived a family of ogres. They once were humans but over a number of generations, they ate fungi that they grew in dungeons and they developed large ears, small eyes, canine teeth, short legs, and small horns. Moreover, their minds developed strangely. All they wanted was to eat more fungi from those dungeons and in order to satisfy their ever-growing hunger, they dug more and more dungeons until there was a network underneath the whole town.

    Eventually, parts of the town caved in and people fell into the dungeons. The ogres found that dead people made great fertilizer for their fungi, so they revised their dungeon-digging so that more and more of the town collapsed into them. One day the remaining townspeople met with the ogres. “You are addicted to fungi,” they said. “We’ve been telling you and telling you. Soon there will be no more town.” “We will help you,” continued the townspeople. “Just admit you are out of control and we will help you detox and enjoy meat and potatoes again.” “If you don’t,” they finished, “You will destroy everything.”

    The ogres laughed. “There are plenty of towns,” they said. “We are hungry.” And they ate the people who came to them because they were annoyed. To their great surprise, they enjoyed the flesh so much that they realized the people were right. The fungi were much less tasty than meat. So they left the dungeons and began to eat people from other towns.

    One day a group of people from last remaining town came to the ogres. “Please stop,” they said. “Soon there will be no people left. If you will just accept that you are addicted to human flesh, we will help you. We will teach you to enjoy fruits and vegetables again.” Of course the ogres ate the people, but they also ate the vegetables that the people had brought to tempt them. And once again they were surprised. The vegetables tasted very good. Particularly the mushrooms! So they went back to the fungi and ate carrots and potatoes with it. They had an occasional hankering for meat too, so they began to eat animals. They ate and ate.

    One day, a group of wolves came to visit the ogres. “You are destroying everything,” they said. “The only reason we are still here is that we are quicker than you. We are smart, too, and know that you will never stop.” And the wolves killed the ogres. They tried eating them, but they tasted so foul that instead they made a huge bonfire and had a party. And since there were no other animals left, they became vegetarians.

    Moral of the story: Zebras don’t change their stripes

  13. bluntobj

    I’d like to comment on this statement:

    “When you reach your twelfth step, you can help the regulators write tougher regulations based on the knowledge you acquired during your efforts to undermine them.”

    Large banks and corporations have been lobbying and crafting legislation and regulation for how long now? Regulation and legislation that is now the financier’s best tool of competitive advantage? That creates a burden so heavy and opaque only the largest competitors, the ones who drafted them in the first place, have the resources to operate through it?

    Brer Rabbit, let me throw you in the briar patch.

    I would hope by now that the idea that regulation is the answer to overreach is thoroughly discredited.

    Regulation has always been a tool of competitive advantage and/or the means to secure power over private enterprise.

    A better system might be one of strict liability, criminal penalties, widespread rapid information sharing for review, judgement, and analysis, and a ceiling on the idea of “economies of scale”; basically a much lower threshhold on judging monopolistic behavior aimed at keeping a much wider range of competitors in the market.

    There is a much larger pool of issues, of course. IMHO, the ability of governing bodies to transfer competitive advantage based on monetary donation, unsophistication, and political favors should be should be the key item removed from the scope of governance.

  14. chris m

    if all commentators would simply embrace the spitirtual principles of honesty, open-mindedness and willingness, all would be well on their way.

  15. Enraged

    “A better system might be one of strict liability…”

    Strict liability is still defined by comparison with existing standards, isn’t it? Which means regulations… No two ways around it.

    1. bluntobj

      Strict liability is based on law, in this idea it’s based on the criminal code, which is a collection of laws.

      Regulations are different than laws.

      Regulations are promulgated by an agency of the US government that is given power by the executive under an umbrella set of laws drafted by congress.

      Regulations have the effect of laws, but are not formulated by elected representatives, and may be interpreted, enforced, or not enforced by the relevant agency. They may be changed, amended, retracted, or created by that agency without congressional action.

      This is where competitive advantage flows from; regulators have discretion in how and what they enforce.

      Strict liability would be founded on laws established by elected representatives, and would not be open to interpretation by those charged with oversight and enforcement.

      1. enouf

        I really like this path of “strict liability” you raise–and i hope you also are open to the idea of strict definitions (i.e., Law v. Acts/Statutes/Rules/Codes/Regulation/Ordinances/Legislation .. many if not all of these are given (through a secular humanist religion) “the force of Law” when in fact, none of those mentioned are “Law”.

        To me;
        - Corporations are Unlawful
        - Insurance is Unlawful
        - Usury is Unlawful

        While i know many are now looking at me as if i have 3 heads, ..please think about it a bit.

        p.s. (hint) There is nothing Lawful about the ability to “Defer Liability” in any shape or form; and if you look at atleast the 1st 2 items of the 3 i listed, you’ll notice how both operate on that axiomatic premise–and both would disintegrate into thin air should that insane belief cease to exist amongst the masses.

        p.s.s. It should be obvious how the 3rd item i list fosters/promotes/rewards bad actors whom hide behind that Limited/Deferred Liability (phony, wizard behind the curtain) veil.

        p.s.s.s. What we today know as “Corporations” started out centuries ago as actually being what we now call “co-op”s, or “cooperatives”–Legal Fiction Entities created *temporarily* for the sole purpose of some major Social/Public Works project that was Beneficial (substantive) to ALL sovereigns whom dwelled upon the land.

        Love

  16. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Felix Salmon does a ‘FelixTV’ relevant for this thread:
    ://www.reuters.com/video/2012/05/15/reuters-tv-jpmorgan-the-real-scandal-felix-tv?videoId=235055583&feedType=VideoRSS&feedName=FelixSalmon&videoChannel=117757

    Basically, shows that JPM is siphoning $$ from little depositors off to London to speculate. Addiction, indeed.

  17. jiminy

    It’s cute, but pretty weak tea.

    An intervention is made to help somebody you love deal with their illness.

    An arrest is done to ensure safety of the society from a predator: a criminal.

    Jamie Simon doesn’t need help, he needs prison.

  18. Markar

    Waste of time OWS. Want to stop this madness and stop JPM in it’s tracks? Convince your minions to buy as many oz of (physical) silver as they can. Make it go viral.

  19. jiminy

    Basically, OWS is trying to say something that sounds acceptable to authority. Being reasonable, non-confrontational, not too anti-capitalist. Dimon will slit your throat and crap down your neck. Losing strategy.

  20. sunny129

    I don’t believe a THING unless I see Jamie doing a per walk along with Corzine!

    These are like mega mafia DONS with ‘dirty secrets of those’ in power to regulate them.

    If there was a trifle integrity in the regulatory system, we wouldn’t be even arguing what JPM and their cronies have done to our society. Remember this arrogant Jamie called ‘Mr’ Volker’ – infantile!?

    1. Taboo Strether

      That’s the wrong occupy ows, this occupy includes the upstanding elite “deletantes” that don’t want to see things implode over their futures too. Consider the following line, and how it’s been used before:

      “It’s truly a work of art how you and your enablers have created a system that nobody fully understands”

      Most of us can understand the Mafia’s shell game. Since the tongue in cheek letter once again mentions the incestous nexus of DC and Wall Street power which means capture and a different set of laws. But why no mention of a decade of hugely expensive foreign conflict? You liars know Dimon was intimately involved as was the Fed. Why absolutely no mention of millions of homeowners who were outright fucked? Surely Occupy, that’s the elephant in the room.

  21. David Chaney

    “Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions. Where there is an excess of liberty, the effect is the same, tho’ from an opposite cause.”

    – James Madison, National Gazette, March 29,1792.

    Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/#ixzz1vBOBlesH

  22. kw

    Great article but not so great comments. Yves – time to put a “flag” on comments? Is it really necessary to comment with sodomy and other assorted f words? Really disappointing to see and maybe a sign that your readership needs a reminder that profanity is unnecessary.

  23. EVmarc

    I think the greeks are way ahead of OWS
    from http://tarpley.net/2012/05/12/greeces-syriza-left-bloc-5-point-program-for-austerity-rollback/

    Greece’s Syriza Left Bloc 5-Point Program for Austerity Rollback, Union and Worker Rights, Democracy and Social Justice, Punishment of Banker Felons, and Debt Freeze — A Benchmark in the Worldwide Struggle to Break the Power of the 1%
    The Syriza radical left bloc led by Alexis Tsipras, the biggest winner in last Sunday’s Greek vote, has advanced a highly effective program of class-based demands including: the rollback of wage, pension, and public employee austerity cuts; the rescinding of anti-union and anti-worker measures; democracy and social justice; investigations and indictments for financial crimes; and a debt freeze on onerous payment obligations of the Greek state. This winning program of resistance against the infamous troika of IMF-European Central Bank-European Commission contrasts with the programmatic impotence of the anarchist-dominated Occupy Wall Street, and should be carefully studied by every serious opponent of 1% rule worldwide.

    Greece urgently needs a debt freeze within the euro. Last week’s elections open the perspective of a European anti-austerity bloc capable of defeating the neo-Bruening policies of Merkel, who may already be on her way out, and of seizing control of the European Central Bank for a policy of credit creation for job creation based on European-wide infrastructure.

    Since neither zombie banks nor national budgets can finance a European economic recovery, the ECB must be forced to issue a series of trillion-euro tranches of 0%, 100-year credit to buy bonds devoted exclusively to great projects of infrastructure modernization. In this way, the required 40 million productive jobs at union wages can be created.

    If Greece holds another round of early elections within a month or two, the latest polls indicate that Syriza can attain the majority needed to form the next government. Threats to expel Greece from the euro are scare tactics designed simply to intimidate Greek voters.

    The crisis of the world finance oligarchy has started a new downwar lurch with the exhaustion of the €1 trillion of 1%, 3-year loans wasted by ECB boss Draghi of Goldman Sachs on the hopelessly insolvent Eurozombie banks. Banksters are apoplectic about the prospect of a Greek moratorium.
    audio http://tarpley.net/world-crisis-radio/ May 12 2012
    Greeks beat the 2 party system of the criminal bankster zombie bankster neo liberalism
    new anti austerity party
    will win more next election

    1. Aquifer

      “I think the greeks are way ahead of OWS”

      Which is why, IMO, OWS would do well to have a political arm – i hope they realize that. To my way of thinking the Green platform, which has been around since before Occupy was a gleam in its mother’s eye, and Occupy, as it has been unfolding, are a hand in (green) glove match. I hope Occupy comes to that conclusion as well, the sooner the better …

      Methinks that what the critics of what they call a milquetoast endeavor on behalf of Occupy don’t seem to understand, and which is something that i learned over years of activism on a local level, is that, if you want to bring the public along with you, a public that is uneasy with TPTB but doesn’t really know why, you start with some observations that all can pretty much agree with, make some specific “requests” that are quite “reasonable” but significant, i.e ones you know won’t be acceded to. Then when TPTB don’t comply, you point this out to the public at which point you can ratchet it up another notch ….

      All the folks who want to knock down the door with a battering ram have to realize that unless they have the public behind them, their own behinds will be sticking out once they get inside, and we know what happens then …

      1. different clue

        Given the Green Party’s support for Nader to get Bush elected, and given the Green Party’s actions which contributed to the death of Senator Wellstone and his family;
        the Green Party is one bucket of fecal waste material from which I doubt that I shall ever drink.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Je repete: Blaming Nader for Gore’s defeat is like blaming the last pebble down the hill for an avalanche. Gore [genuflects], one of whose major accomplishments in political life was giving his own Cheney, the odious Joe Lieberman, his first national platform, ran a rotten campaign, starting with running away from Clinton and the (for that time, excellent) economy.

          The constant cries of “Nader!” do, however, serve an important function: They allow the Ds to continue to blame anyone but themselves for their failures. IT’S ALWAYS SOMEBODY ELSE’S FAULT; the Ds can never fail, they can only be failed. Mean Republicans. The press. People who are stupider than they are. And so on. This tendency is fully on display in your comment.

          1. different clue

            As you know, I was referrencing Nader’s goal, not necessarily his effectiveness in achieving his goal of getting Bush elected.

            By the way, I notice you had nothing to say about my referrencing the odious Green Party’s running the odious McGaw
            against Wellstone in his tight race, preCISEly in ORder to get
            Wellstone defeated. In fact it had a hand in getting Wellstone killed as well. Since you had nothing to say, you wisely said nothing . . . in hopes you wouldn’t notice.

            In other words . . . I hear you ringin’, but I ain’t hoppin’.

          2. different clue

            change “in hopes you wouldn’t notice” to ” in hopes I wouldn’t notice” up there.

  24. B Comenius

    Jamie Dimon is trapped in a system that induces certain behaviors. If he doens’t do this job for the major controlling shareholders of JPM with Board seats and votes, he will be ousted. Now of course, he may be ousted for screwing up. But, this is the Faustian Bargain. Psychological research today shows that many men in these high positions in finance are in fact mentally ill. They suffer from lack of empathetic brain function, and therefore test as psychopaths or sociopaths. No amount of moral argumentation can sway them to change their behavior. They do not see the needs of others. They do not see ethical bonds that are intrinsic to a functioning society. They only see themselves against the world. The controlling shareholders of these banks also see that they see themselves that way. That is why they were selected to perform these functions. These scientific discoveries are the essence of the Psychopathy in Finance discussions we’ve had at OWS Alternative Banking group. We discussed the powerful work of Dr Martha Stoudt, Dr Philip Zimbardo, Dr Andrew Lobaczewski that details these pathologies now so relevant to our collective experience, yet that work is hardly noticed by our media and educational institutions.

    We need to focus on the System itself and the incentives and disincentives for behaviors that system engenders. The System is what needs changing. There are plenty of people who will perform these functions and rise to the occasion of the incentives and disincentives engendered by this System. Shifting the conversation to Jamie Dimon or anybody else only provides a fetish.

    Jamie Dimon has his demons. He fell into this job in no small part because of them. We need to get beyond that for our own sakes. He is incapable of responding on any moral basis. He even told his own daughter that this 2008 crisis was “just a normal economic cycle”. “Why is everybody so surprised?” she asked! He lied right to her face. This is what psychopaths do. They all would like us to believe it’s all “just a normal economic cycle”. They trained us to believe that.

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