William K. Black in an article entitled "Why Aren't The Honest Bankers Demanding Prosecution Of Their Dishonest Rivals? (OurFuture blog) said:
The anti-regulators got their wish – they took the regulatory cops off the beat. The banking regulatory agencies ceased making criminal referrals, the SEC ceased bringing even their wimpy consent actions against the massive accounting control frauds, and the Justice Department ceased prosecuting the accounting control frauds during the run up to the crisis. The results were multiple echo epidemics of fraud, a hyper-inflated bubble, and the Great Recession. If Baker and Moore think these fraudulent CEOs constitute the “productive class” – then capitalism was killed by the producers. The financial frauds, however, were not productive. They were weapons of mass financial destruction. Their fraudulent CEOs were motivated by the most banal of motivations that every major religion warns against – unlimited greed, ego, and a radical lack of empathy for their victims. The most pathetic figures in the crisis, however, are not the CEOs but their shills. Why aren't the honest bankers leading the charge to prosecute their fraudulent rivals?. . . . . . . . . . .
Want to Solve All Your Problems, Rupert Murdoch? Become a Banker
By Richard (RJ) Eskow -HuffPost Business
Rupert Murdoch's got problems. His employees are being arrested, he's losing his latest acquisition, and he's just been called to testify before Parliament. But there's an easy way for Mr. Murdoch to protect himself from these inquiries and save his company at the same time: Turn the News Corporation into a Wall Street bank. There won't be any prosecutions, and the government will even sweeten the deal with billions of dollars in easy money. And if Murdoch follows the trail blazed by bankers like Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase, soon they'll be begging him to acquire more companies.
Murdoch and Dimon. One runs an organization that, as we now know, broke the law so many times it could be called a criminal syndicate. And the other is Rupert Murdoch. Yet Murdoch's fighting for his corporation's future while Dimon's name is being floated as a possible Treasury Secretary. Murdoch's losing his chance to expand market share, while our government helped Dimon's bank become more too-big-to-fail than ever by grabbing up Morgan Stanley.
Now that's juice. Murdoch's been a power broker on three continents and his Fox empire has reshaped this country's political landscape, but Dimon's taken the power game to a whole 'nother level.
Rupert and Jamie
The first arrests in the Murdoch organization's wiretapping and police bribery scandal included the Prime Minister's former press secretary (undoubtedly inspiring twinges of Brit-envy in the White House press corps). Now the probe has moved beyond lower-level reporters and editors. Murdoch's been called before a Committee of Parliament, along with a key aide and his heir-apparent son. The House of Commons and the Prime Minister have withdrawn their support for Murdoch's bid to take full ownership of satellite TV network BSkyB.
By contrast, despite its long list of proven crimes nobody at Dimon's bank has been arrested. Apparently arrests, like the financial consequences of one's actions, are for borrowers only. And Dimon only appears before our elected representative for cozy private get-togethers, not public inquiries.
We are two people divided by a common... well, common law. Great Britain's ruling center-right coalition is putting Murdoch on the spot, while our center-right coalition puts Dimon on a pedestal. Murdoch's trouble are front-page stuff. Dimon only makes headlines when he's posing for flattering soft-focus prose portraits, venting his pique at mild rebukes of his crime-ridden industry ("Bankers! Bankers! Bankers!"), or basking in those periodic Treasury Secretary rumors. (2008: "Dimon is the leading candidate ..." 2009: "Jamie Dimon, Treasury Secretary?" 2011: "Chasing Jamie -- Why Dimon might replace Geithner.")
Another story, headlined Jamie Dimon Seen As a Good Fit for Treasury, said fawning things like "Dimon... achieved rock star status during the financial crisis," "people familiar with Dimon's thinking said he 'would love to serve his country," and "... the timing might be right for Dimon." That story appeared in the New York Post -- Rupert Murdoch's New York Post.
It's a small world, alright. And the higher you rise, the smaller it gets.
News Corp. and JPMorgan Chase
Isn't this comparison unfair? There's a growing body of evidence that Murdoch employees wiretapped phones, tormented innocent families, and bribed police officers. JPMorgan Chase's record can't be that bad, can it?
Actually, it's worse. JPM has a long history as a serial corporate offender, and its crimes helped bring about a major financial collapse (although, come to think of it, so did the policies promoted by Murdoch's news organizations.) And we're not just talking about relatively genteel crimes like financial fraud. JPMorgan employees also committed down-and-dirty Tammany Hall-style crimes like bribery and bid-rigging. Bank employees spread $8 million around Jefferson County, Alabama to win municipal contracts, for example, and it took a settlement worth three-quarters of a billion dollars in fines and foregone fees to settle he case. (That's "billion," with a "b.")
Dimon's bank paid $25 million to settle another case involving the sale of unregistered securities -- which is a crime -- in the state of Florida. It paid more money to settle charges that it illegally propped up a failed mortgage lender, along with some other banks. (In this kind of fraud the lender has already failed, but banks make it look as if it hasn't. Think of it as a financial Weekend at Bernie's. In this case a lot of investors putting their money into a fiscal corpse, which means they were defrauded with help from Dimon's bank.)
JPMorgan's in-house foreclosure operation was described as a sleazy operation where "Burger King kids" -- untrained young people -- were hired to foreclose on homeowners. And just this week a story that got buried in the national media was prominently featured in local newspapers in towns like Boise, Idaho and Charleston, West Virginia:"JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $211 million after admitting one of its divisions rigged dozens of bidding competitions to win business from state and local governments."
When it came to graft, Dimon's dawgs were kickin' it old-school style. The national papers may yawn -- to them bank crime's just another "dog bites man" story -- but $500,000 in settlement money is a big deal to a hard-working state like West Virginia, one of many that's been left to fend for itself in the wreckage of Wall Street's crime spree.
Free to be ... Jamie and me
"We try to do the best we can every day," Dimon said of his colleagues. (Except on the days we're bribing, bid-rigging, or committing fraud, of course; hey, nobody's perfect.) That sense of entitlement isn't just a personality trait. As we now know, it's government policy. An important story in the New York Times recently confirmed that it's been the government's official policy not to investigate criminal wrongdoing in America's banks. It's relying instead on a Wall Street self-policing plan that "outsources" law enforcement to the suspected perps.
As an experienced investigator asked, "What do you do when the bank itself is run by a criminal enterprise?"
Murdoch must be asking himself how he can get a piece of that action. Just become a bank like Goldman Sachs did, with the encouragement and support of regulators, so it could be saved with TARP and Federal Reserve money. No doubt the "bipartisan" Beltway crowd can be persuaded that Murdoch and Fox are "too big to fail," too.
Read the full article here