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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/19/12

My Fantasy with Jamie Dimon

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Message Veena Trehan
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Thousands of veterans, parents, retirees, former homeowners, and city officials swarm Jamie Dimon during the shareholders meeting, cuffing him and carrying him off.  Video is streamed worldwide on the global JamiesCryin' channel until everyone affected by his company -- or everyone -- agrees he has fixed the massive harm inflicted by the rogue bank.

Many of the stakeholders agree with the JP Morgan Chase president, board chair and CEO on one thing: the $3 billion loss is a "tempest in a teapot" in the context of the company's record. JP Morgan has ripped off states, devastated cities, and left citizens worldwide hungry and homeless in a wake of destruction that makes Kony look low-tech, and a hypothetical Chen Guangcheng cross-country drive harmless.

Corporations as people would be psychopaths "indifferent to others, incapable of guilt, exclusively devoted to their own interests", according to a movie cited in a New York Times opinion article . Perhaps this is so because the label applies to 4 percent of corporate managers, according to one study. But as we expect a 5 year old to admit to breaking a $50 vase, so should JPM accept blame, something they avoid even while paying millions in settlements to institutions and individuals of every stripe.

Now the days of "Meet the Press" t-balls and shareholder meeting softballs are over. In his ever-expanding jail cell in the police station (not the one he bought in New York City ), he'll answer to all hurt by the bank's actions. Once he's painted a full picture of JP Morgan's record and truly made amends, the his future and that of a hopefully "too small to survive" bank will be determined.  Til then he'll get shelter, unlike many robo-signed, modification-baited, former American homeowners who lost it after receiving what he once termed "debt relief" (foreclosure).

Let the accountability begin.

Shareholders Affected by the $3 billion Bad Bet.  People worldwide who invested in their retirement, childrens' education, and future by buying JP Morgan stock (or an index) walk into Dimon's stark cell.  They have some questions about the trade that is now the subject of Justice Department and FBI inquiries, Senate hearing, and three shareholder lawsuits. The  derivative-of-a-derivative bet that magnified risk instead of hedging it was permitted because of a loophole to the Volcker Rule.

Explain why less than 10 days before the trade you traveled to DC to plead for lighter regulation. Explain how you will compensate the pension funds, universities and ordinary American who own your stock for losses reflecting its $18 billion tumble.

Woman Leader Sacked. Women executives approach Jamie to ask about Chief Investment Officer Ina Drew's resignation and likely clawback of compensation.

Congrats on keeping up the time-honored tradition by scorching a high-placed women (like Lehman's Erin Callan, Morgan Stanley's Zoe Cruz, News of the World's Rebekah Brooks) with heat from a scandal in a company mostly run by men. What percent of executives at Ina Drew's level are female? Explain the involvement of everyone in the firm on this trade -- including those who lobbied against rules that would have stopped it -- and how they'll be punished. Why shouldn't the buck stop with you?

Veterans Scammed. Male and female veterans from 19 to 88 approach the scruffy, orange-jumpsuited former banker. Some wear military uniforms, others, the ragged clothing of the homeless. Their questions relate to a federal lawsuit, claiming the bank cheated military veterans on home mortgages, settled when JPM paid $45 million in March.

Why would you make owning a home tougher for the former soldiers who comprise 15 percent of the homeless population ? Why haven't you admitted to hurting our fellow service members? List every soldier your company scammed, the amount, and the consequences: all who lost their homes, committed suicide, or developed other problems. Explain how each was made whole. List all involved staff and their discipline. Describe why you should ever be allowed to deal with veterans again.

Retirement Plan Cheated. Managers of a major retirement company and hundreds of thousands of Americans surround Dimon, questioning him about arbitrators' order to JPM instructing the bank to pay American Century $373 million plus 9 percent interest. They illegally steered clients into higher profit JPM products after they acquired full ownership of a retirement plan supporting 170 corporate clients and 793,754 participants, according to a panel:

"JPM breached the contract over and over again," the arbitrators wrote. "The email strings evidencing the breaches...are voluminous and consistent, and can lead to no other rational finding or conclusion."

Did JPM plan to direct money soon after the contract was signed, as is alleged? How much did JPM profit across the company (fees, investment banking, etc.) from these activities? List everyone fired or jailed. Explain why JPMorgan should ever be able to manage anyone's retirement money.

Milan Robbed . The proceedings take on more glamour, as furious, well-dressed inhabitants of fashion capital descend on the cell. JPM and three other lenders did not disclose 101 million Euros in fees on derivatives adjusting payments on a $1.7 billion-euro bond and subsequent restructurings, according to prosecutor Alfredo Robledo . The lack of disclosure made the fees fraudulent, asserts Robledo. JPM unwound swaps and cut fees, transferring hundreds of millions back to Milan in March.  

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Veena Trehan is a DC-based journalist and activist. She has written for NPR, Reuters, Bloomberg News, and local papers.
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