Monday, April 6, 2015

This Is What Guillotines Are For

Some mornings I wake up and think, fuck it, break out the guillotines. We’re all going to hell anyway, we might as well get some gratification on the way down. I just stumbled across an excerpt from Elizabeth Warren’s book A Fighting Chance, in which she describes the following exchange she had with the Second Biggest Prick in the Known Universe Jamie Dimon*
When the conversation turned to financial regulation and Dimon began complaining about all the burdensome rules his bank had to follow, I finally interrupted. I was polite, but definite. No, I didn’t think the biggest banks were overregulated. In fact, I couldn’t believe he was complaining about regulatory constraints less than a year after his bank had lost billions in the infamous London Whale high-risk trading episode. I said I thought the banks were still taking on too much risk and that they seemed to believe the taxpayers would bail them out -- again -- if something went wrong.
Just a side note, Jamie Dimon reputedly has a sign in his office that says “No Whiners.” He is the epitome of the faux tough guy master of the universe Wall Street dickwad, an image which is undermined by the fact that he is the biggest whiner in the whole tribe, and he goes by the name Jamie, Jamie. What kind of a grown man calls himself Jamie? Jamie was the fat little mama’s boy who never got picked for a team at recess. “No fair, guys, we had Jamie on our team last time. It’s your turn!” Jamie sucked up to the teacher at ratted out the other boys.  Anyway,  let’s cut straight to the good part:

Our exchange heated up quickly. By the time we got to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, we weren’t quite shouting, but we were definitely raising our voices. At this point -- early in 2013 -- Rich Cordray was still serving as director of the consumer agency under a recess appointment; he hadn’t yet been confirmed by the Senate, which meant that the agency was vulnerable to legal challenges over its work. Dimon told me what he thought it would take to get Congress to confirm a director, terms that included gutting the agency’s power to regulate banks like his. By this point I was furious. Dodd-Frank had created default provisions that would automatically go into effect if there was no confirmed director, and his bank was almost certainly not in compliance with the those rules. I told him that if that happened, “I think you guys are breaking the law.”
Suddenly Dimon got quiet. He leaned back and slowly smiled. “So hit me with a fine. We can afford it.”
Let’s face it, this is who guillotines were made for.

*Who’s number one? Dick Cheney, of course.


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