Another Bank Punishment That Isn’t

Have you read the sensational headlines about the “record-breaking” $13 billion settlement levied by the impotent Justice Department against J.C. Morgan Chase for its part in bilking investors out of billions and bringing the U.S. economy to its knees?

Sound to you like justice is finally being done? Or maybe you’re one of those who thinks the government is leaning too heavily on Jamie Dimon’s empire? Wrong on both counts.

“In fact, this deal is actually quite a gift to Chase. It sounds like a lot of money, but there are myriad deceptions behind the sensational headline.”  ~Matt Taibbi, Nobody Should Shed a Tear for JP Morgan Chase

Turns out this is just another in a long line of faux enforcement actions taken by various agencies that are supposed to protect the public, but really end up kowtowing to the big corporate banks.

“In fact, the deal that has just been completed between Chase and the state represents the end, or near the end, of a long process by which people who committed essentially the same crimes as Bernie Madoff will walk away without paying any individual penalty.”  ~Matt Taibbi

Yep. That’s what I was afraid of. For one thing, the deal only specifies that about $4 billion be devoted to “mortgage relief,” which sounds to the uninformed like it will help head off the bank’s massive foreclosure machine but really means the banks find creative ways not to do that very thing.

Amazing how the banks keep throwing money at the fake enforcers with one hand and raking it in even faster with the other. These settlements (with no admission of wrongdoing and no jail time for any of the executives) perpetuate the false notion that our government is holding banks accountable. It’s not.

Congress Plays With Livelihoods; Fox “News” Yammers On

On Fox News last week, a prominent far-right pundit said the shutdown is irrelevant because the “worst thing that happens is some museums close.” Another prominent far-right radio host boasted yesterday that the shutdown is “a dream for conservatives.”

Yeah? Well tell that to the people whose homes washed away during the recent flooding in Colorado. Or the ones whose towns will be cut off from essential resources if the roads that access them aren’t rebuilt before winter sets in.

“The federal government is partially shut down, although, you know, for most people, it might be an inconvenience…”

Yeah? Well tell it to these people in Estes Park, Colorado, who have busted their backsides putting their businesses back together after catastrophic flooding so they didn’t miss the fall tourist season when they make up to 60 percent of their annual income. With Rocky Mountain National Park now closed, they’re doubly screwed.

“Despite the closure of thousands of parks, monuments, museums, and government offices across the country, the furlough of 800,000 employees is really just a “slimdown,” where Washington temporarily trims the fat off day-to-day government business.”

How many times do we have to call on Congress to grow up and do its job? To work for the American people instead of playing stupid, selfish power games? It’s sure getting old.