Bernie Madoff has said all along that JP Morgan knew about — and knowingly profited from — his Ponzi schemes.
So JP Morgan has agreed to pay the government $2 billion to avoid investigation and prosecution.
While this may sound like a lot of money, it is spare sofa change for a big bank like JP Morgan.
It’s not just the Madoff scheme.
Here are just some of the recent improprieties by big banks:
- Shaving money off of virtually every pension transaction they handled over the course of decades, stealing collectively billions of dollars from pensions worldwide. Details here, here, here, here, here,here, here, here, here, here, here and here
- Pledging the same mortgage multiple times to different buyers. See this, this, this, this and this. This would be like selling your car, and collecting money from 10 different buyers for the same car
- Committing massive fraud in an $800 trillion dollar market which effects everything from mortgages, student loans, small business loans and city financing
- Pushing investments which they knew were terrible, and then betting against the same investments to make money for themselves. See this, this, this, this and this
The executives of the big banks invariably pretend that the hanky-panky was only committed by a couple of low-level rogue employees. But studies show that most of the fraud is committed by management.
Indeed, one of the world’s top fraud experts — professor of law and economics, and former senior S&L regulator Bill Black — says that most financial fraud is “control fraud”, where the people who own the banks are the ones who implement systemic fraud. See this, this and this.
The failure to go after Wall Street executives for criminal fraud is the core cause of our sick economy.
And experts say that all of the government’s excuses for failure to prosecute the individuals at the big Wall Street banks who committed fraud are totally bogus.
The big picture is simple:
- The big banks manipulate every market they touch
- The government has given the banks huge subsidies … which they are using for speculation and other things which don’t help the economy. In other words, propping up the big banks by throwing money at them doesn’t help the economy
- The big banks own the D.C. politicians … so Congress and the White House won’t do anything unless the people force change