I hate (sometimes) at such a late date to add one more essay to my regular mix which is overfull already, but when you run across a source whose writing is so clearly en pointe (even when it's 4 AM), you just have to give in and quote them.
Because it's just too fantastic a loss not to.
And it's not too late to take action against these thieves, friends.
From our buddy at the who sees the owners/our rulers (and not obliged noblessedly at all) with startlingly finely-honed vision:
Over the last few months, I fear that I have begun to detect a serious change in Republican behavior. I have noticed, in states like Wisconsin, Kansas and Indiana, less and less concern for any effect of their behavior, except as is either serves the hyper-rich, or contributes to keeping the blinders on the 20% or so of the electorate needed to run grassroots electoral campaigns.
In these states, as well as in the other usual right-wing states, there seems to be a new attitude of open disregard for the disastrous effects that they are causing to the environment, the economy, or anything else, as they rush to either satisfy the inextinguishable greed of hyper-rich psychopaths, or to pass a bundle of deliberately offensive, hate-filled legislation, to satisfy the also inextinguishable ocean of anger that they have synthetically generated to preserve their "base" of people who are willing to work to destroy their own lives, if only it hurts someone else.
This is what I fear: The Republicans, through decades of corrupt behavior, have now reached the point where they simply do not need anything like a majority of voters to support them, in order to capture and retain power. The tsunami of funding coming from no more than a couple hundred people is now greater than the political resources of the entire rest of the country, and other than the "base," which they need to maintain the illusion of democracy, they can simply stop any pretense that they give a damn about the rest of us.
And you can count on this: another few years and they won't need the suckers who go out and work for them any more; the electorate will be so reduced and rigged that those couple of hundred rich guys can do it all on their own.
At that point, perhaps only a couple of electoral cycles away, all pretense can be abandoned, and they can institute the government that has been their clear goal for decades now: one in which not one percent, but a thousandth of one percent, or a ten thousandth of one percent of the American people will run the country for their own private benefit, and the rest of us will be nothing but serfs.
I think they are already at the point where many of them don't even feel the need to hide their intent any more; they are convinced that they have won, and their dreams of an American Fascist oligarchy are just around the corner, with the rest of us helpless to do anything about it.
And they may very well be right.
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Bernie Madoff committed the biggest financial crime in history. He stole $64.8 billion from tens of thousands of innocent people from countries all over the world. But he did not do this alone. In fact, he could not have done this alone. He needed the assistance of a major bank that could service his needs and he needed to be sure that the bank would conceal his criminal activities.
This was a pretty tall order because, ever since the 1970 enactment of the Bank Secrecy Act, American banks have been required to scrutinize their customers’ activities to assure that they are not acting illegally and the banks have been required, by law, to train their personnel to identify illegal conduct and to report it to the federal government.
JPMorgan Chase is one of the biggest banks in the world and you can be sure that they knew about the requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act. But they also knew how much money they could make off Madoff’s criminal activities and so they gave Madoff all of the services that were essential for him to carry out the biggest theft in history.
And the folks at JPMorgan Chase looked the other way, every single day for 20 years, as thousands upon thousands of innocent hard-working people lost their life-savings.
And JPMorgan Chase knew exactly who their victims were. There were only 12 people in Madoff’s office who knew what he was doing. And then there were all the people at JPMorgan Chase who knew what he was doing.
They knew that tens of billions of dollars of customer money — belonging to upstate New York union pension funds, belonging to charities, belonging to corporate profit-sharing plans — were sent to Madoff for the purpose of Madoff investing that money for the accounts of the customers.
They knew this because the checks were deposited at JPMorgan Chase.
The people at JPMorgan Chase also saw what Madoff did with the money: he transferred billions of dollars to his co-conspirators, Norman Levy, Jeffry Picower, and others. He transferred billions of dollars overseas.
But he never used any of those billions of dollars to purchase securities. And the people at JPMorgan Chase could see that every single day of the week for 20 years.
And they looked the other way. Despite their legal obligation to know their customer; despite their legal obligation to report suspicious activity to the federal government, the folks at JPMorgan Chase just looked the other way while they profited from Madoff’s crimes. For 20 years, officers of JPMorgan Chase watched as the life savings of tens of thousands of innocent people were stolen.
And what did our government do?Did it prosecute the individual officers at JPMorgan Chase who were handsomely compensated for keeping Madoff in business for 20 years? No.Did it put any bankers in jail? No.Did it take any steps to ensure that the officers at JPMorgan Chase would not do this again? No.
So what did it do?It allowed JPMorgan Chase to purchase immunity from criminal prosecution of its dishonest officers by paying money to the government and to a fund to compensate some of Madoff’s victims a few pennies on the dollar for their losses. Thus, the victims received practically nothing and the dishonest officers kept all their fat bonuses.
Wouldn’t you like to know why some 18-year-old kid who robs a 7/11 store of $3000 goes to prison, but someone at JPMorgan Chase who helps Madoff steal $64.8 billion just goes to Greenwich in his limousine?
Wouldn’t you like to know why the dishonest officers at JPMorgan Chase, who allowed the Madoff fraud to continue for 20 years under their watch, are still there, ready, willing and able to profit from the dishonesty of other bank customers?
Our criminal justice system is premised on the belief that the only way to discourage financial crimes is to make sure the criminals don’t profit from them. Why are the folks at JPMorgan Chase exempt from that system?
Why would our government, and JPMorgan Chase, tolerate dishonesty at a major financial institution? Why would anyone in his right mind (who is not a criminal) bank with JPMorgan Chase?
We are putting together on this website all of the documents you need to make your own determination on this issue. You don’t need to believe us. Read the documents for yourselves.
Who are we?We are lawyers dedicated to obtaining an appropriate recovery from JPMorgan Chase for the massive losses of thousands of Madoff customers. But it is not just about money.
We are patriotic Americans and we want to be proud of our country and of our country’s financial institutions. And we want to make sure that other people don’t lose their life savings because the people at JPMorgan Chase like to profit from criminal activity.
Our goal is to make JPMorgan Chase own up to its responsibility for sheltering Madoff for 20 years and change its practices so that neither this type of financial fraud, nor the other acts of financial fraud in which JPMorgan Chase has engaged over the recent past — all documented on this website — can ever happen again.
We want JPMorgan Chase to make a pledge to the American people that it will not shelter criminals and that it has zero tolerance for any bank employee that shelters criminals.
We want JPMorgan Chase to fire all dishonest employees and force them to disgorge all the bonuses they were paid by the bank.
What can you do?If it bothers you that the government doesn’t put Wall Street criminals in jail, and if you want to do something about it, here are some suggestions:
1. Take your money out of JPMorgan Chase. Find a small community bank that doesn’t go in for the fancy bonuses that the Wall Street crowd commits crimes for.2. Tell your friends to do the same thing.3. Make sure your pension funds are not at JPMorgan Chase.4. Tell your political representatives you are sick and tired of elected officials who are controlled by Wall Street lobbyists. Let’s elect people to public office who are not on the Wall Street dole and who will enforce the laws against Wall Street crooks. If there’s room in prison for someone who holds up a 7/11, how come we don’t put Wall Street bankers in prison when the impact of their crimes is to steal tens of millions of dollars from innocent people?5. Tell your governor you don’t want the State using JPMorgan Chase to bank state pension funds or taxpayer dollars. Let your governor find an honest bank.6. Write JP Morgan Chase’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, a letter telling him how you feel.7. Write to your senators and congressmen and tell them how you feel.8. Just say no. Raise your voice and tell the government that enough is enough.We want an honest government and we want honest financial institutions.9. Make the world a better place. Boycott JPMorgan Chase.
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