Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, had his Senate hearing on Wednesday regarding his bank’s $2 billion in trading losses (which were funded with Federal money). Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone offered a play-by-play of the hearing with his own commentary sprinkled in.
The hearing was a pathetic excuse for enforcement of banking regulations. Jamie Dimon was clearly in charge of the proceedings as senators neglected to ask him tough questions or press further into his bank’s trading practices. Dimon repeatedly avoided the topic of his bank’s losses being caused by hedging versus betting on derivative securities, and senators made no real attempt to extract a damning confession from him.
There is an obvious reason why the hearing was so anemic: the senators on the banking committee were motivated by J.P. Morgan Chase’s campaign contributions, over which Dimon undoubtedly holds much sway. The private banking sector has become completely intertwined with the Federal government through its connections with the Federal Reserve and its influence over political campaigns.
This hearing is simply the latest unheeded reminder of how corrupt our government and banking system has become. Jamie Dimon and his friends at J.P. Morgan Chase will likely not serve a moment in prison for their crimes, although baseball legends are being prosecuted for lying about steroid use. Which of these is a larger crime? How can we have any faith in our elected officials when they are so corrupt that they sit back and watch the deterioration of our country when they have the power to act?