He is doing his crony capitalist duty to ram the second coming of the Catfood Commission down your throats. Stop whining that you're in pain just because his bankster mob broke a few of your precious financial bones. If the economy sucks, it's your fault too, people. Stop blaming him, because it makes
Dimon, who simultaneously acts as both CEO of JPMorganChase and board member of the NY Fed, (and thus regulates himself) flew to the Midwest on his private corporate jet this week, only to board an armored bus, the better to connect with his minions and customers in the heartland. (He did similar tours in foreclosure-riddled California and Florida last year.) They are a combination of chutzpah, browbeating and damage control. They're a way to connect with folks, and in the proudest godfather tradition, make them an offer they can't refuse. Convince them with a threatening smile that the interests of Wall Street and Main Street intertwine. Physically ingratiate yourself into their geographical space.
Dimon's exact itinerary has been kept very much on the QT, and his folksy meetings with customers and wage slaves have been closed to the media. But Mark Williams of the Columbus (Ohio) Post-Dispatch somehow managed to infiltrate one of the Chase road-shows to listen to Dimon's shrill, finger-pointing harangue:
"It’s because of us. We scapegoat each other. We point fingers,” Jamie Dimon said yesterday while visiting with customers of the bank’s Kingsdale office in Upper Arlington, as well as the branch’s current and former employees.And shades of John McCain's infamous 2008 remark that the "fundamentals of our economy are strong" and Barack Obama's infamous 2012 gaffe that "the private sector is doing fine":
I actually think the underlying economy is not bad,” Dimon told about 200 people gathered in a tent set up next to the branch.
Consumers and small and large businesses have healthier balance sheets than before the recession, he said.
“I can’t prove it in real time,” Dimon said of his thesis.
But Dimon pointed to last summer’s debate in Washington over raising the debt ceiling and critical comments made of banks and other businesses as examples of how such episodes sap the confidence of consumers and businesses to invest and expand.
“We’ve done it to ourselves,” he said. “I just hope something breaks the back of this political environment.”Hear that, peons? You and Jamie are in the same cozy little club and you did it to yourselves by buying a subprime-mortgaged house and using one of his usurious credit cards. If you want him and his corporatists to stop hoarding their obscene profits, you have to pay him back, with interest compounded hourly and ad infinitum. You have to give up your Social Security cost of living increases and wait till you're 70 to retire while they foreclose your underwater homes. That's the cudgel that will break your environmental back.
|Oops... Wrong Finger|
Of course, there is another practical reason that Dimon is venturing into the heartland: Market share. JPMC is only Number Four in market share in the midwest. There are scads of small bankers in flyover country just waiting to be sucked up in the voracious Wall Street maw. From a Milwaukee Sentinel pre-show interview:
Dimon insisted that even for a megabank with $2.3 trillion in assets, a market such as Wisconsin is important.
"We contribute $1.5 million in philanthropy in the state, a lot of which is in Milwaukee," he said. "We make community development loans. We bank some of the bigger companies - like we're one of the banks to Harley-Davidson. So we really bring a lot, even though we're not local the way you think of a local bank."And, echoing the mantra of Bain-style vulture capitalism:
"We want to make customers happy. So if they don't do a good job integrating and bringing their products and services to Milwaukee, yeah, it will give us an opportunity," Dimon said. "I don't wish for other companies to fail. But, of course, if they're not good at what they do, we'll win share."Charity, motorcycles and corporate raiders -- what a way to win heartland hearts and minds, eh Jamie? John Gotti, the teflon don, used to give neighborhood street parties in between hits, too. Anyway, the new Dodd-Frank rules are way too cumbersome for the itty-bitty community banks to handle, so it's much better to let the mega-banks just eat them for lunch:
"Unfortunately, I think a lot of the new rules make it very tough for community banks," Dimon said "We're one of the biggest bankers to banks, including community banks. I think it will be easier for some of the big firms to accommodate all these new rules and regulations and capital. So in spite of the fact that they said they'd try to favor small banks in all this legislation, the law of unintended consequences usually means that's not what happens."And he makes sure to blend some sweet rah-rah patriotism into the arsenic to make it easier for the doomed local economies to swallow. This guy deserves the gold medal for Bullshit Artist of the Year:
The underpinning of the American economy is actually quite good, and I wish our politicians would say what I'm about to say," Dimon said. "We have the best military, the best universities, the best businesses, the best capital markets - the widest, deepest, most transparent, even though we've had some problems in it. . . . Consumers are in far better shape than they were in. Corporations large and small are in far better shape. We've got a pretty good hand."You can say that again, Jamie. You got dealt an exceedingly good hand, with nary a slap on the wrist from your political cronies in Congress and the DOJ for that unexplained "loss" of $5 billion or $9 billion in the London Whale deal.
You and your Wall Street mob are not content to simply throw us under the bus. You get on the bus, and you run us over, again and again and again.