JPMorgan Chase

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Elizabeth Warren expertly shuts down Jamie Dimon’s mansplaining 

Elizabeth Warren doesn’t take lip from anyone, especially bankers. Jamie Dimon, the billionaire chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., criticized the Massachusetts Democratic senator Wednesday by questioning her comprehension of the world of finance. Warren fired back with fervor — proving this isn’t her first time dealing with the banks.

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

http://act.endcitizensunited.org/page/s/too-big-to-fail

Happy Anniversary Lehman Brothers, And What We Haven't Learned about Wall Street Over the Past Five Years

While attention is focused on Syria, the gambling addiction of Wall Street’s biggest banks is more dangerous than ever.

Five years ago this September, Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, and the Street hurtled toward the worst financial crisis in eighty years. Yet the biggest Wall Street banks are far larger now than they were then. And the Dodd-Frank rules designed to stop them from betting with the insured deposits of ordinary savers are still on the drawing boards – courtesy of the banks’ lobbying prowess. The so-called Volcker Rule has yet to see the light of day.

To be sure, the banks’ balance sheets are better than they were five years ago. The banks have raised lots of capital and written off many bad loans. (Their risk-weighted capital ratio is now about 60 percent higher than before the crisis.) 

But they’re back to too many of their old habits.

Consider JPMorgan Chase, the largest of the bunch. Last year it lost $6.2 billion by betting on credit default swaps tied to corporate debt – and then lied about it. Evidence shows the bank paid bribes to get certain counties to buy the swaps. The Justice Department is investigating the bank over improper energy trading. That follows the news that the anti-bribery unit of the Security and Exchange Commission is looking into whether JPMorgan hired the children of Chinese officials to help win business. The bank has also allegedly committed fraud in collecting credit card debt, used false and misleading means of foreclosing on mortgages, and misled credit-card customers in seeking to sell them identity-theft products. The list goes on.

JPMorgan’s most recent quarterly report lists its current legal imbroglios in nine pages of small print, and estimates resolving them all may cost as much as $6.8 billion. That’s not much more than a pittance for a company with total assets of $2.4 trillion and shareholder equity of $209 billion.

Which is precisely the point. No company, least of all a giant Wall Street bank, will eschew a chance to make a tidy profit unless the probability of getting caught and prosecuted, multiplied times the amount of any potential penalty, is greater than the expected profits.

Have we learned nothing since September, 2008? Five years ago this month Wall Street almost went under. We bailed it out. Millions of Americans are still suffering the consequences of the Street’s excesses. Yet the Street’s top guns and fat cats are still treating the economy as their own private casino, and raking in even more than before.

The fact is, the giant Wall Street banks are ungovernable – too big to fail, too big to jail, too big to curtail. They should be split up, and their size capped. There’s no need to wait for Congress to do it; the nation’s antitrust laws are adequate to the job. There is ample precedent. In 1911 we split up Standard Oil. In 1982 we split up Ma Bell. The Federal Reserve has authority to do it on its own in any event. (Would Larry Summers take such an initiative?)

Legislation is needed, however, to resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act that once separated commercial banking from casino capitalism. But don’t hold your breath.

Happy fifth anniversary, Wall Street.

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.

 

policymic.com
The U.S. Is Finally Holding Banks Responsible for the Financial Crisis

The Justice Department is widening its investigation of the subprime mortgage crisis — and they are paying for it with a fittingly ironic source.

Last November, JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay $13 billion in a global settlement over issuing mortgage-backed bonds before the financial crisis. While $4 billion of that will go to the Federal Housing Finance Agency to resolve claims, U.S. attorneys are now hoping to use some of the money to speed up prosecution of other lenders.

Now that’s karma.

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cnbc.com
The student loan bubble is starting to burst

The largest bank in the United States will stop making student loans in a few weeks.

JPMorgan Chase has sent a memorandum to colleges notifying them that the bank will stop making new student loans in October, according to Reuters.

The official reason is quite bland.

“We just don’t see this as a market that we can significantly grow,” Thasunda Duckett tells Reuters. Duckett is the chief executive for auto and student loans at Chase, which means she’s basically delivering the news that a large part of her business is getting closed down.

The move is eerily reminiscent of the subprime shutdown that happened in 2007. Each time a bank shuttered its subprime unit, the news was presented in much the same way that JPMorgan is spinning the end of its student lending.

Welcome to the Occupations
BEN EHRENREICH on Occupy Los Angeles

and JASPER BERNES, JOSHUA CLOVER, and ANNIE McCLANAHAN
on percentages, politics, and the police.

Woman Detained cc Paul Weiskel
BEN EHRENREICH

Uprising

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.”

Keep reading

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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Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

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.
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

dealbook.nytimes.com
Banks Did It Apple's Way

Nathaniel Popper:

JPMorgan Chase’s chief financial officer, Marianne Lake, took the stage at a financial conference on Tuesday under strict orders not to mention her company’s involvement in Apple’s new payment system.

But when Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, at a news conference in California at the same time, finally brought up Apple Pay, one of Ms. Lake’s deputies in New York took a green apple out of her bag and put it on a table on the stage, signaling that Ms. Lake was free to discuss the service.

Subtle. In other tradecraft:

From the beginning, the project was top secret, with what one person involved called a “code name frenzy.” The card companies had code names for Apple and Apple for the card companies. At Visa, the code name was another consumer electronics company, chosen to avert attention from employees who were not involved. Visa soon had about a thousand people on the team.

Would love to know which other consumer electronics company was served up as the red herring.

All in all, pretty amazing how much pull Apple proved to have over another massive industry. That’s was being the most valuable company in world gets you, I suppose.

legaltimes.typepad.com
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.”
npr.org
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