JPMorgan’s Chief Investment Office in 2012 finally owned up to losing $6.2 billion of bank depositors’ money in wild bets on exotic derivatives in London.
A Wall Street regulator, like the New York Fed, which has staff positions called “relationship managers” that are considered senior to, and can bully and intimidate, their bank examiner colleagues, is in no position to be lecturing Wall Street on its culture. Indeed, the culture on Wall Street of “it’s legal if you can get away with it,” grew out of its cozy, crony relationships with its regulators like the New York Fed, an enshrined revolving door at the SEC, self-regulatory bodies delivering hand slaps and its own private justice system to keep its secrets shielded from the public’s view.
To suggest that a one-day conference and a few speeches are going to make a dent in a structure intentionally created to deliver heads we win, tails you lose on behalf of Wall Street interests is deeply insulting – especially coming from the New York Fed, the target of future Senate hearings on its own culture.
The seriousness with which disciplinary lectures by the New York Fed are taken by the big Wall Street players is evidenced by those who snubbed Monday’s conference – namely, the CEOs of the serial miscreants. Not in attendance, according to the participant list released by the New York Fed were: JPMorgan CEO, Jamie Dimon; Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat; and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.
William Dudley, President of the New York Fed, whose wife receives $190,000 a year in deferred compensation from JPMorgan where she was previously employed as a Vice President, sized up the loathsome regard that Wall Street now holds in the public mind as follows:
“Since 2008, fines imposed on the nation’s largest banks have far exceeded $100 billion. The pattern of bad behavior did not end with the financial crisis, but continued despite the considerable public sector intervention that was necessary to stabilize the financial system. As a consequence, the financial industry has largely lost the public trust. To illustrate, a 2012 Harris poll found that 42 percent of people responded either ‘somewhat’ or ‘a lot’ to the statement that Wall Street ‘harms the country’; furthermore, 68 percent disagreed with the statement: ‘In general, people on Wall Street are as honest and moral as other people.’ ”
Further cementing that public distrust, the media was barred from attending Monday’s conference at the New York Fed. Press members who nonetheless reported on the event evoked a recurring theme of violent acts to deal with incorrigible actors.
Well worth a thorough read at New York Fed’s Conference Evokes Thoughts of Violence Against Wall Street.
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