New Orleans There are many small town papers that used to thrive by feeding their readers the daily police reports. These days reading the financial pages is more than an adequate substitute, since every day we seem to get another perp walk in the criminal conspiracy now called modern banking.
I know it’s tedious to keep returning to our old nemesis, JP Morgan Chase, but let’s face it, under Jamie Dimon and their pursuit of being the biggest bank in the land; they seem to be unable to keep from also being the baddest bank in America. This time they are trying to enter an agreement to prevent criminal charges for their role as the main Madoff bank enabling his massive Ponzi scheme for over 20 years. Internal emails seem to abound about suspicious while the bank counted their millions and helped him along the way while doing so. The arm so clearly understood what the hand was doing that Chase’s private bank refused to take Madoff as a client even as the main bank was his counting house. Now, late in the game they seem willing to promise that they won’t let this happen again, but will report suspicious activity in the future, but most of us must realize that these big, bad boys will be breaking that agreement even while ink is drying on their signatures.
Meanwhile Bank of America went to a jury trial to try to prove that they didn’t defraud the government by selling packages of bad mortgages directed by the executive, Rebecca Mairone, who was running that part of the show for Countrywide, which is now part of their diminished empire. Bad move, team! Mairone ran something it turned out that they called the “hustle,” a nickname for HSSL or the “high-speed swim lane,” which seems to have been a steamed up boiler room operation that pitted bankers in a competition to see who could originate loans more quickly, credit be damned, so that they could bottle the slop up and sell it off on the government’s secondary market.
The jury was disgusted, so “guilty as charged.” The government is asking for almost $900 million as a penalty to be paid by Bank of America, though the judge will decide of course. There’s also every indication that there will be a line forming for stockholder and other class actions now given the guilty verdict.
The jury also found Rebecca Mairone guilty as the day is long. Her lawyers say, it’s not over yet. Luckily, she still has a job in banking. You may wonder where she’s working now? JP Morgan Chase of course where the biggest of the bad boys run wild and free.