Financial Pay-to-Play Rituals, Play Acting and Masks

“Things are not what they seem, skim milk masquerades as cream”
— Gilbert and Sullivan
All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; and their masks and duplicitous words
— Shakespeare appended
Yesterday, in the Government Kabuki Theater, Obama, Enemy of Wall Street and the Rich, was praising Jamie Dimon, CEO JPMorgan Chase, on the View.  “JPMorgan is one of the best managed banks there is.  Jamie Dimon, the head of it, is one of the smartest bankers we got and they still lost $2 billion and counting,” the president said. “We don’t know all the details. It’s going to be investigated, but this is why we passed Wall Street reform.” Was sly Obama’s praise due to Dimon’s political contributions reported here? (His wife’s contributions are not included.)
$55,800       Republican
$290,700    Democrat
$285,500    special interest
$632,000    total
Or was Obama’s praise due to Dimon as described in Wikipedia: Dimon is a Democrat and worked in Obama’s adopted hometown of Chicago. After Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election, there was speculation that Dimon would serve in the Obama Administration as Secretary of the Treasury. Obama eventually named the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Timothy Geithner, to the position. … Obama commented on Dimon’s handling of the real-estate crash, credit crisis, and the banking collapse …: “You know, keep in mind, though there are a lot of banks that are actually pretty well managed, JPMorgan being a good example, Jamie Dimon, the CEO there, I don’t think should be punished for doing a pretty good job managing an enormous portfolio.” Did the Huffington Post place an Evil Republican Mask on actor Dimon, who already knew of the $2 billion dollar loss to be reported the next day, with this post: Jamie Dimon is angry. So angry, in fact, that he might just switch teams. The JPMorgan Chase CEO told about 200 people at a conference in Columbus, Ohio that he’s still a Democrat, but just “barely,”  ... he reportedly met privately with now-Republican front runner Mitt Romney before a fundraiser in September, … If Dimon does switch teams, Obama and his other Democratic colleagues would be at risk of losing major cash. As of 2009, Dimon and his wife had donated more than half a million dollars to Democratic candidates and committees, … almost 12 times what he gave to Republican candidates during the same period.Back on stage, the Kabuki Theater Continues: Obama puts on his mask opposing lobbyists, while his beloved, actor/banker Dimon, says, “it is JPMorgan’s responsibility to “stay actively engaged” in “policy debates that will affect our company …You read constantly that banks are lobbying regulators and elected officials as if this is inappropriate,”…”We don’t look at it that way.”

The chorus called the Center for Responsive Politics chants, … JPMorgan spent more than $7.5 million on lobbying in 2011. [also, 7.5 million in 2010] That’s just a couple hundred thousand less than Wells Fargo, but about $2.5 million more than Citigroup, and $4.4 million more than Bank of America, which spent $3.2 million on lobbying.  In total, the broader coalition of commercial banks spent just over $60 million on lobbying in 2011. Companies in other sectors, like General Electric, Verizon and Boeing, spent far more.

Meanwhile the very Progressive critic, Joe Klein has seen through the masks and scripted words to say“Moral hazard may be the most important issue facing our economy in the long-term, but it’s not likely to be addressed in the coming presidential campaign. Obama had his chance to rectify it, and failed; Romney’s not interested in trying. And the Jamie Dimons of the world can preen and flash along…until their hubris causes the next disaster.’

In earlier Kabuki, Warren Buffet, second richest man in America, got a ribbon placed around his neck by Obama, sworn enemy of the rich.  These plays are farcical acting by Dimon, Obama and Buffet ending in financial tragedy for ordinary Americans.   A “Pay to Play Protection Racket” right before their eyes, but hidden by scripts and under masks.

Links: credit default swap moral hazard and top five US banks, Pay to play

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