JPMorgan Chase

Wall Street bankers are exploiting Citizens United to grow more powerful than ever. That’s why Bernie Sanders is fighting to BREAK UP the big banks and restore power to the American people.

Urge Congress to pass Bernie’s bill to break up the big banks

Meet Alayne Fleischmann, the JPMorgan Chase whistleblower who explains how the bank helped to wreck the economy — and then got away with it.

“For a long time I believed that the government would do their investigation and come forward with it. It’s actually taken a really long time … I’m in the position where If I keep silent and the statute of limitation runs out, or they do one of these agreements where they whitewash everything, then it’s too late.

Fleischmann joins investigative reporter Matt Taibbi for an exclusive interview on Democracy Now! today.


Welcome to the Occupations
BEN EHRENREICH on Occupy Los Angeles

on percentages, politics, and the police.

Woman Detained cc Paul Weiskel


They are occupying Riverside! They’re occupying Oakland and Omaha and Iowa City and Sacramento and Denver and Miami and Kalamazoo and and Hartford and Philadelphia and Buffalo and Austin and San Antonio and Fort Wayne, Indiana! On Tuesday morning, police in Boston arrested 141 protesters. This week cops made mass arrests in Des Moines, grabbing 30 in one swoop, plus 25 in Chicago, 11 in San Francisco, six in DC, another 21 in Seattle last week, and those 700 on the Brooklyn Bridge. Torrance is under occupation!

What a difference a month can make. Until September 17, 2011, I was buzzing along in my usual slow, steady state of localized political despair. In Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain, people had been risking and losing their lives, demanding to play a role in the construction of their own societies. And it was clear enough, if you paid attention, that they were rising up not just against particular dictatorships but against the local manifestations of a global economic system that had for decades been concentrating wealth in fewer and fewer hands, privatizing all public goods, tossing everything into the market and dicing it up into speculation-ready bits. The Greeks took to the streets, too — and the Chileans, the Italians, the Spanish, the French, the Irish, the British, the Icelanders. The forty-years-and-running neoliberal transfer of public wealth to private coffers was everywhere becoming too brutal and too brazen to ignore. While mouthing the now nearly universal rhetoric of “shared sacrifice,” governments were feeding billions directly to the banks. And people across the planet were showing them exactly what they were willing to sacrifice — their freedom, their lives — to stop the looting.

Everywhere but here. In the U.S., it seemed that Milton Friedman’s jolly acolytes had colonized (occupied, even) not only the halls of power but our very imaginations, locking us into solitary suffering, cutting off all possibility of even envisioning some collective response. Politics was for politicians — and for those who could afford to buy one. Even the fleeting, expiatory pleasures of a good riot seemed beyond us. We were pissed, surely and righteously, but beyond voting-booth fetishism, online griping, and The Secret, what options did we have? The jackals in Congress wouldn’t listen anyway. They had their orders. Better to stay home, avoid the mailman while there still was one to avoid, and pray that the Law of Attraction kept functioning long enough to keep the cable and the Internet on.

It took the Canadians, in the end, to snap us out of it. I didn’t know Adbusters was still around, but a few people did, and they began to gather in a tiny park in lower Manhattan near a certain street with a famous name, a name that spoke, appropriately, of exclusion, fortification, enclosure. There were not many people out there at first, but there were enough, apparently, to make certain other people nervous. People of the exclusive, enclosed and well-fortified variety. For the next two weeks, the mainstream press kept a studious silence while Mayor Bloomberg and the New York Police Department did everything they could to turn an isolated protest into a rapidly growing movement. Every blast of pepper spray, every baton blow to the gut, every protester beaten and dragged away on YouTube made it clear what the stakes were, and who was on what side. While the slogan of the moment — “We are the 99 percent” — can be faulted for eliding enormous differences of class, race and privilege among us masses of non-billionaires, billy clubs and zip-tie cuffs have a funny way of forging solidarity. The fallen and falling middle class is swiftly learning what the poor have known for too long: that the rich protect their wealth with violence and the state exists to help them do it. Like the picket signs say: “Screw us and we multiply.”

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Pay reparations to descendants of American slaves!

Why we should continue fighting for reparations?

We seek reparations, not only for slavery but also for the injustices inflicted on black people from segregation and lawlessness by white people with no protection of law by the government. Dead slaves have alive oppressed great great great daughters and sons! Reparations isn’t just about money it’s about making repairs also, institutional, social, cultural, mental, psychological etc, repairs of all kinds in order to improve our condition globally. Yes it is wealth transfer but it’s wealth returning to its rightful owners!

The following companies still in existence today that benefited and was involved in the African Slave Trade

Bank of America found that two of its predecessor banks (Boatman Savings Institution and Southern Bank of St. Louis) had ties to slavery and another predecessor (Bank of Metropolis) accepted slaves as collateral on loans.

Aetna, Inc., the United States’ largest health insurer, sold policies in the 1850s that reimbursed slave owners for financial losses when the enslaved Africans they owned died.

JPMorgan Chase recently admitted their company’s links to slavery. “Today, we are reporting that this research found that, between 1831 and 1865, two of our predecessor banks—Citizens Bank and Canal Bank in Louisiana—accepted approximately 13,000 enslaved individuals as collateral on loans and took ownership of approximately 1,250 of them when the plantation owners defaulted on the loans,” the company wrote in a statement.

CSX used slave labor to construct portions of some U.S. rail lines under the political and legal system that was in place more than a century ago. Two enslaved Africans who the company rented were identified as John Henry and Reuben. The record states, “they were to be returned clothed when they arrived to work for the company.”Individual enslaved Africans cost up to $200 –  the equivalent of $3,800 today -  to rent for a season and CSX took full advantage.

AIG completed the purchase of American General Financial Group, a Houston-based insurer that owns U.S. Life Insurance Company. A U.S. Life policy on an enslaved African living in Kentucky was reprinted in a 1935 article about slave insurance in The American Conservationist magazine. AIG says it has “found documentation indicating” U.S. Life insured enslaved Africans.

Wells Fargo – Georgia Railroad & Banking Company and the Bank of Charleston owned or accepted slaves as collateral. They later became part of Wells Fargo by way of Wachovia. (In the 2000s Wells Fargo targeted blacks for predatory lending.)

Where is the money going to? How will these companies do it? Simple, we want these companies to set up two massive banks, an economic development bank on the west coast and an economic development bank on the east coast, so descendants of African slaves can draw that money to get low interest loans or free money to build businesses and industries throughout the United States! Enough is enough. It is time for these companies to be held accountable for their active role in the African Slave Trade.

To Succeed we must be Unified an act Politically and Legally! This is an issue that all people should take a stand for regardless of Race Classification! This is about Justice, Admission of Wrong Doings and Atonement which will truly aid in Racial Reconciliation!

JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America Funding Cluster Bomb Manufacturers

150 financial institutions—including U.S. banking giants JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America—have been accused of investing billions of dollars in companies manufacturing internationally banned cluster bombs. The weapons contain bomblets which fan out over a wide area and often fail to explode until civilians pick them up later.

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A harbinger? JPMorgan will stop giving out student loans starting next month.

JPMorgan, which already restricted student loans to existing Chase bank customers, will stop accepting applications for private student loans on October 12, at the end of the peak borrowing season for this school year, according to a memo from the company to colleges that was reviewed by Reuters on Thursday. Final loan disbursements are expected before March 15, 2014.

“We just don’t see this as a market that we can significantly grow,” said Thasunda Duckett, chief executive for auto and student loans at Chase, in an interview.

Not making more loans “puts us in a position to redeploy those resources, as well as focus on our No. 1 priority, which is getting the regulatory control environment strengthened,” Duckett said.

One interesting stat from this piece: The federal government currently hands out 93 percent of student loans. (That said, private loans like these are still useful for students that have tapped out their limits on student loans from the federal government.) Anyway, it’s not clear if there’s deeper meaning here, but that hasn’t stopped some from looking—CNBC notes that before the 2008 financial crisis hit, some of the largest companies offering up unsustainable subprime mortgages dropped out of their business for similarly boring-sounding reasons.

Banks report record profits despite massive legal fees

The nation’s major banks reported record fourth-quarter profits Wednesday, with Bank of America announcing that its profit jumped to $3.44 billion from $732 million in the same quarter in 2012, and Wells Fargo edging out JPMorgan Chase as the nation’s most profitable bank.

The jump represents a major turnaround for Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America, the country’s second-largest bank, which was hit last year by an $11.6 billion settlement with home mortgage giant Fannie Mae.

The settlement is the result of the bank’s involvement in the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007–08, which contributed to the massive financial crisis and subsequent recession in the U.S. As a result of the crisis, more than 6 million homeowners have an underwater mortgage, meaning they are paying more than what their house is worth.

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But Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase Manhattan Bank, an JPMorgan Chase are not powerful because they worked hard. The best illustration of this point comes through a historical analysis. How did the banking system in this country get started? How did the richest people in the richest country in the world get their money?

Banking got started in this country by investing in the Triangular Slave Trade. The reason historians call it Triangular Slave Trade is that Europeans went to Africa, enslaved the people, brought them to this part of the world, and sold the people for products like hemp, sugarcane, cotton, and then those products were sent to Europe. That is why there were three angles: Africa, the United States, and Europe. The banking system—Lloyd’s of London, Barclays Bank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo-invested in that process and that is how their hegemony was established. In the last five years, almost all the banks I just mentioned have reluctantly acknowledged that they became established through the institution of slavery and the slave trade. So we see many people today questioning the system considering this simple fact: ‘Because the banks got rich by exploiting my ancestors I don’t see why I should have to pay them anything. They owe me if anything. I don’t want their money, because there is no price tag that can be placed on the suffering.’


Ahjamu Umi, from a guest lecture on March 21, 2013 at Concordia University

See also: “Wachovia apologizes for slavery ties,” CNN Money, June 5, 2005 & “American finance grew on the backs of slaves,” Chicago Sun-Times, March 7, 2014.

For more reading on the origins of the present American banking system and its foundations in the Euro-American slave trade, check out Slavery and American Economic Development (2006) by Gavin Wright and Debt, investment, slaves: credit relations in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, 1825-1885 (1995) by Richard Kilbourne.

Using the right tone with customers is not a ‘set it and forget it’ model.

-Bianca Buckridee, VP social media operations, JP Morgan Chase

Challenges to customer service through social media abound.Teams require continuous coaching and training, for example. A funny response, Buckridee notes, might get many retweets, but reps have to understand that the recipient may not appreciate the humor. It’s a good practice for team members to look at a customer’s Facebook page, timeline or Pinterest board before crafting a response. “We strive to make it look real-time, but we’re really doing a ton of research in the back.”

Despite the challenges, “social care” is a big opportunity. Customers can go to Chase’s Twitter page and actually see the individual they are engaged with. Says Buckridee: “We have customers returning to the channel saying, ‘Hey, let me know when Theo gets in,’ or ‘I want to talk to Danni; she knows exactly where I’m at and what I’m going through.’”

What’s more, Chase has a customer service team that crosses its lines of business. Customers can tweet one handle and get help for a retail account, a credit card, a mortgage, an auto loan, a student loan, investment questions. 

The Ignored Side of Social Media: Customer Service » Knowledge@Wharton
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, will be asked to testify about his bank's recent $2-3 billion loss at a Senate hearing next month. Here are some of the best quotes to come from said testimony:
  1. “On the advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer based upon my Fifth Amendment constitutional privilege.”
  2. “On the advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer based upon my Fifth Amendment constitutional privilege.”
  3. “On the advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer based upon my Fifth Amendment constitutional privilege.”
  4. “On the advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer based upon my Fifth Amendment constitutional privilege.”
  5. “Is this all we have – water?  Can I get, like, some Gatorade or something?”
  6. “On the advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer based upon my Fifth Amendment constitutional privilege.”
  7. “On the advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer based upon my Fifth Amendment constitutional privilege.”
  8. “Oh shit – did I really allow one of our European investment arms to blow through three billion dollars?  Well I guess I know why y'all want regulators up my ass, but this sort of shit happens all the fucking time.”
  9. “Oops.  Can you please strike my last set of remarks from the record?  I was thinking out loud.  It happens after I drink.  Drink Pepsi, that is.  Pepsi and rum.”
  10. “Also, on the advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer further questions based upon my Fifth Amendment constitutional privilege.”
The argument that financial institutions do not need the new rules to help them avoid the irresponsible actions that led to the crisis of 2008 is at least $2 billion harder to make today.
—  Rep. Barney Frank • Discussing a $2 billion trading loss that JPMorgan Chase had suffered recently as the result of a misguided hedge fund strategy. Frank, whose Dodd-Frank financial reform law has come under scrutiny by the banking industry for being too restrictive, is using  this as an opportunity to argue against loosening the standards — pointing out that the company argued it was going to lose $400 to $600 million from the regulations. "In other words, JPMorgan Chase, entirely without any help from the government has lost, in this one set of transactions, five times the amount they claim financial regulation is costing them,“ Frank said.
Report: Some Americans Have Lost Homes Over As Little As $400 : NPR

The report details how the process works. In most cases, companies like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America buy tax liens from the city and eventually evict the original owners. The investors then resell the house for a hefty profit. A $200,000 home, for example, might be sold on tax lien sale for $1,200.

Nationally, NCLC reports annual tax lien sales total $15 billion and the elderly and disabled are the most vulnerable.

JPMorganChase fought for a loophole that led to $2 billion trading loss

Not long after Dodd-Frank got passed, the company made arguments for a loophole in the Volcker Rule, which takes effect in July, to allow some of the types of portfolio hedging that that company used as it produced a $2 billion loss recently. “JPMorgan was the one that made the strongest arguments to allow hedging, and specifically to allow this type of portfolio hedging,” noted one Treasury Department official. Officials who worked on the law, such as Sen. Carl Levin, have made it clear that allowing for this type of activity was not their intention with the law. Now, they have a pretty clear $2 billion argument against allowing such a loophole to get through. (photo by Scott Eells/Bloomberg; edit for clarity)

America's underpaid workforce

“If you’re wondering why American consumers are still flat on their backs,” it’s not only that about 10 percent of them are unemployed. It’s also that the other 90 percent are underpaid. My source here isn’t a lefty think tank, but JPMorgan Chase, which recently told private banking clients that U.S. salaries are now at a 50-year low relative to company sales and GDP. At the same time, the average profit margins of major companies have risen to nearly 13 percent- the highest level since the 1960s. The steady shrinkage of wages and benefits, Chase has calculated, is responsible for 75 percent of the boom in corporate profit margins. “To state this more simply, profits are up because wages are down.” Why are American workers going in reverse? Simple: They no longer have any leverage. Unions have withered, and the unemployed will be only too glad to take your job, as will 2 billion Asians who’ll work for half your pay. So the money produced by everyone’s hard work gets funneled to the guys at the top, or stays on the balance sheet. For anyone who draws a paycheck, this is catastrophic. Where’s the outrage? - Harold Meyerson from The Washington Post

Chase limits customer spending after credit-card security breach at Target

JPMorgan Chase & Co. on Saturday notified customers who used its debit cards at Target stores during the retailer’s recent security breach that it was limiting the use of its cards to $100 of cash withdrawals from ATMs per day and purchases totaling $300 a day.

The new limit affects roughly 2 million accounts, or about 10 percent of Chase debit-card holders, according to a bank spokeswoman. It does not apply to credit cards.

The bank detailed the limits in an email sent to customers with the subject line: “Unfortunately, your debit card is at risk by the breach at Target stores.”

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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images