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20 May, 2020 16:41

Jamie Dimon’s ‘inclusive economy’ is fool’s gold as wealth inequality hits new highs

Jamie Dimon’s ‘inclusive economy’ is fool’s gold as wealth inequality hits new highs

Covid-19 was a “wake-up call,” but not in the way JPMorgan's preachy CEO Jamie Dimon believes. He now wants an "inclusive economy," having made a billion dollars while 36 million unemployed Americans can't afford crumbs.

In poker, a “tell” allows one player to gain a strategic advantage over another by observing and analysing repetitive unconscious patterns of behaviour that can predict, with a high degree of confidence, what the player’s next move will be. Whenever someone, an official, politician, banker or lawyer tells us, “We take these matters very seriously and we intend to conduct an investigation that ensures that this will never happen again,” it’s highly likely you are being lied to.

Always remember, numbers never lie – governments, politicians and bankers always do.

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Ahead of JPMorgan Chase’s annual shareholder meeting, Jamie Dimon wrote a heart-warming memo with niceties including his view of the coronavirus crisis as a “wake-up call” that could be utilized to rebuild and create an economy which would allow better lives for “dramatically more people.”

Dimon went on to say in the memo: “The last few months have laid bare the reality that, even before the pandemic hit, far too many people were living on the edge… Unfortunately, low-income communities and people of color are being hit the hardest, exacerbating the health and economic inequities that were already unacceptably pronounced before the virus took over… An inclusive economy – in which there is widespread access to opportunity – is a stronger, more resilient economy; this crisis must serve as a wake-up call and a call to action for business and government to think, act and invest for the common good and confront the structural obstacles that have inhibited inclusive economic growth for years.”

Wait a second… was this the same Jamie Dimon who profited by over a billion dollars during his career at JPMorgan Chase and was at the helm of JPM when it received $25 billion from the 2008 TARP funds?

So, what’s a CEO to do when they get a $25 billion bailout and $30 billion in guarantees from the Federal Reserve? If you are Jamie Dimon, you commit $138 million to buy two new Gulfstream 650 luxury jets, which Gulfstream describes as the “fastest, widest and most comfortable private jet ever with superior cabin amenities.”

JPMorgan also built a new hangar for these planes at Westchester County Airport that included reclaimed wood, quarry tile and a roof garden where they could grow vegetables. Dimon is a true visionary – that vegetable garden on top of the hangar for JPMorgan’s Gulfstreams could help with the company’s environmental credentials and was probably a plus in JPM’s greenwashed environmental, social and governance “ESG” claims.

Dimon used these jets to fly to Davos, Switzerland to hob-nob with the influencers and stars year after year – business trips that were surely tax-deductible. In other words, you, the muppet taxpayer, picked up some, if not all, of the cost for JPM’s jets, flights and ancillary expenses, such as $55 Caesar salads, $43 hot dogs and $47 burgers.

In 2008, Jamie-on-the-spot was there to purchase Bear Stearns at the bargain-basement price of $236 million. Dimon said the purchase was at the behest of Washington. “JPMorgan bought Bear Stearns because the US government asked us to.” That purchase was conditional on the Federal Reserve providing $30 billion in taxpayer-backed guarantees to JPMorgan. What a great deal. Dimon got out his JPMorgan ladle, skimmed the cream off the top, and left the garbage for the Federal Reserve (read taxpayer) should things go wrong.

In Davos in 2011, a furious Jamie Dimon hit out at “banker bashing,” telling the media at the World Economic Forum that blanket criticism of the banking industry was unfair. Dimon continued, “I can acknowledge the need for massive reforms after what happened. But to suggest we're supposed to just bend down and accept it because we're banks – that's not fair.”

In 2019, Katie Porter, US Representative for California's 45th congressional district, grilled Dimon on how JPMorgan employees can live on negative $567 per month, $567 a month of more debt, in the same year CEO Dimon’s compensation was $31 million (you can watch it here).

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So, what happened to make Dimon suddenly appear to champion the cause of the less fortunate? In early 2020, it was reported that the 64-year-old Dimon was rushed to a Manhattan hospital where he underwent successful emergency surgery for an acute aortic dissection. Are we to believe this was Dimon’s “I’ve seen God” moment and the reason for this supposed change of heart?

I bet not. It’s all just another load of bat guano – hopefully not from the Wuhan L4 Lab.

Despite all the 2008-2012 promises from the Federal Reserve that these bailouts are one-offs and that these temporary emergency measures will be removed soon and new regulations put in place – debit, credit and leverage are bigger and more grotesque than in 2008. In fact, the moral hazard and wealth inequality gap created and caused by the huge bailouts in 2008, led to a 12-year massive credit orgy that kicked the can down the road until Covid-19 came along so the central bankers, politicians, banks and massively over-leveraged corporations could come back and fleece America worse than they did in 2008.

Mr Dimon, you earned a billion dollars, and Main Street and the entire middle class have been screwed for the next several generations, including the 40 million Americans who are now jobless. Do you honestly believe you can placate the pitchfork-wielding peasants with your by pontificating about an “inclusive economy”?

Maybe you can throw them some vegetables from the roof-top garden of JPMorgan’s Gulfstream hangar at Westchester County Airport.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.