Saturday, June 13, 2015

The banksters probably aren't even half as smart as they think they are -- and a lot less smart than Elizabeth Warren


"The problem is not that I don't understand the global banking system. The problem for these guys is that I fully understand the system and I understand how they make their money. And that's what they don't like about me."
-- Sen. Elizabeth Warren, on HuffPost's "So That Happened" podcast

by Ken

Can you guess which financial-sector genius Senator Warren was responding to on the HuffPost podcast?

If you guessed Jpmorganchase's Jamie "I'm So Smart, I Make Myself Sick" Dimon: right the first time. And as ThinkProgress's Bryce Covert put it in the title of his post yesterday: "A Bank CEO Said Elizabeth Warren Doesn’t Understand Wall Street. Her Response Was Perfect." Yes indeed, absolutely perfect.

It's a timely reminder both of how arrogant these bankster bastards are and of how much less smart they are than they think they are. Jamie D thinks he's some kind of genius. What he actually is is an insatiably greedy scumbag who gets his way most of the time by parlaying that greed along with his utter lack of principle and the financial clout of his company, especially in league with his international brethren. If you have the collective clout to back up your greed, and the requisite ruthlessness, yes, you can get used to getting what you want, and think you actually deserve it.

With reference to that phrase I just used, "the international brethren," no, there aren't a lot of sisters in the International Bankster Fraternity. And it occurs to me that this very likely has something to do with why it comes so easily to a half-witted slimesack like Jamie D to assume he's so much smarter than the senator. After all, she's only a grr-l.

However, as Bryce pointed out in his post (links onsite):
Warren’s résumé comes with nearly 20 years of experience teaching corporate law at Harvard University, publishing nine books, chairing the Congressional Oversight Panel that oversaw the bank bailouts in 2008 (of which JP Morgan was a beneficiary), and coming up with the idea for and helping to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has already helped consumers avoid numerous predatory lending schemes and recouped more than $4.8 billion through its enforcement actions.
None of that happened because the senator doesn't understand the international banking system, but -- as she said -- because she does. And it seems to altogether likely that, as she said, that's why she makes the international banking fratboys so darned mad. Outsiders aren't supposed to be familiar with their secret handshakes -- and financial pillaging and plundering. The nerve of her!

And they're certainly not wrong about her having plenty of nerve -- thank goodness! From what we know of her history, that nerve didn't come quickly or easily, but was built up, and earned, over decades of close scrutiny of the actual practices of the financial-services industry. By and large the people who put that kind of time and effort into figuring out how all those pieces fit together expect some kind of payoff for their labors, and usually the only way to score that kind of payday is by getting on the bankster payroll in one fashion or another. I think it would be safe to say that Jamie D and his brethren don't trust the financial bona fides of people who aren't on their payroll.

Talk about somebody who doesn't know her place! Here's Bryce again (and again, links onsite):
She has also become widely known for her tough critiques of the banking industry. She has questioned why the government didn’t break up the biggest banks, like JP Morgan, when it offered bailout money in 2008 and joined a group of Senators in 2013 to propose reinstating a Depression-era rule that separated commercial and investment banking. She’s been a staunch supporter of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill and stood in opposition to Republicans’ attempts to roll parts of it back.

She’s long criticized regulators’ reluctance to go after the biggest banks for their misconduct. She questioned the Securities and Exchange Commission, Justice Department, and Federal Reserve on the lack of prosecutions for banks’ misdeeds that led up to the financial crisis, saying, “If large financial institutions can break the law and accumulate millions in profits and, if they get caught, settle by paying out of those profits, they do not have much incentive to follow the law.” She proposed a bill that would have made settlements between banks and these regulators more transparent in an effort to tamp down on the government’s exaggerations. Just last week, she sent a letter to the SEC chairman voicing her disappointment in the agency’s failure to enforce existing rules governing the financial industry and its slow pace in writing new rules as mandated by Dodd-Frank.

And she’s also stuck it to JP Morgan itself. In 2013, the bank announced that one of its traders in London, who came to be known as the “London Whale,” had made a series of bad bets that ended up costing the bank $6 billion. The bank was eventually made to pay $900 million in fines and “admit its traders acted recklessly” when it was found the trades violated rules against banks making such bets with their own capital and against market manipulation.

As the episode unfurled, Warren said it made the case for a return to “boring banking” and the institution of the Volcker Rule, which would separate investment and commercial banking, in order to alleviate the risk such trades pose to the industry as a whole.
Now the bankster boys aren't that stupid. They're well familiar with the shenanigans they've grown used to getting away with, which would be pretty much everything this side of murder -- aka "the international banking system." Which apparently makes them that much madder when this darned grr-l talks about this stuff publicly, and even tries to do something about it. How disrespectful!

Yes, the lack of respect rankles the brethren. Bryce recalls that in March Warren Buffett took aim at Senator Warren, not for her lack of understanding but for her lack of tact, for being, as Bryce put it in the title of a post he wrote at the time, "Too 'Angry' and 'Violent' With Rich People." Oh, the horror! Bryce goes on to note:
Banks have also been fighting viciously against her, threatening to withhold campaign donations to all Senate Democrats to protest her. JP Morgan told Democrats that donations hinged on a friendlier atmosphere for banks.
As Howie has pointed out frequently, the banksters have had no difficulty finding takers for their bitching, with Sen. Chuck Schumer enthusiastically taking up the cause of creating that "friendlier atmosphere for banks" by lining up as many Democratic Senate candidates as he can who, if elected, would be there to offset the unfriendliness of troublemaker senators like Elizabeth Warren. Which just goes to show that she must be doing something right!

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