Meet the woman JPMorgan Chase paid one of the largest fines in American history to keep from talking
By Matt Taibbi | November 6, 2014
She tried to stay quiet, she really did. But after eight years of keeping a heavy secret, the day came when Alayne Fleischmann couldn’t take it anymore.
“It was like watching an old lady get mugged on the street,” she says. “I thought, ‘I can’t sit by any longer.'”
Fleischmann is a tall, thin, quick-witted securities lawyer in her late thirties, with long blond hair, pale-blue eyes and an infectious sense of humor that has survived some very tough times. She’s had to struggle to find work despite some striking skills and qualifications, a common symptom of a not-so-common condition called being a whistle-blower.
Fleischmann is the central witness in one of the biggest cases of white-collar crime in American history, possessing secrets that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon late last year paid $9 billion (not $13 billion as regularly reported – more on that later) to keep the public from hearing.
Back in 2006, as a deal manager at the gigantic bank, Fleischmann first witnessed, then tried to stop, what she describes as “massive criminal securities fraud” in the bank’s mortgage operations…
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.
Russia’s legacy has been to prevent world domination in whatever form it has taken. Excellent article here. The Illuminati certainly must be displeased with Russia. Putin seems to be clear on their agenda and is strong enough to take them on.
Russia’s unique historical mission is among the nations of the world: it is to thwart all other nations’ attempts at world domination, be it Napoleonic France or Hitleresque Germany or Obamaniac America. Every century or so some nation forgets its history lessons and attacks Russia. The result is always the same: lots of corpse-studded snowdrifts, and then Russian cavalry galloping into Paris, or Russian tanks rolling into Berlin. Who knows how it will end this time around? Perhaps it will involve polite, well-armed men in green uniforms without insignia patrolling the streets of Brussels and Washington, DC. Only time will tell.
Much good information and many good insights here: How To Start A War, And Lose An Empire | Zero Hedge.
By November 2013, a coalition of GOP legislators decided they’d had enough and formally introduced Articles of Impeachment against Holder.
“For nearly five years, we have witnessed Mr. Holder repeatedly deceive Congress and degrade the credibility of the Justice Department in the eyes of the American people,” the legislators wrote. “Unfortunately, Mr. Holder has continued to act in a manner unbefitting of a cabinet official. He has failed to perform his constitutional duties and violated the law on a number of occasions.”
Of course, Holder’s misdeeds weren’t all spelled out in the Articles of Impeachment. Perhaps his greatest crimes were the things he failed to do, like investigate rampant thievery on Wall Street.
Despite being given $165 million in funds to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the 2008 mortgage crisis, Holder refused to send one single banker to jail and ended up de-prioritizing mortgage fraud to the “lowest-ranked criminal threat” from 2009 to 2011.
Is it any wonder that Holder leaves office with a mere 15% approval rating?
Whether it’s giving the National Security Administration carte blanche to expand their warrantless domestic spying operations or declaring that the president has the legal authority to order a targeted assassination against an American citizen anywhere in the world, Holder has clearly been on the offensive against those he swore an oath to defend.
Read much more at The Real Reason Holder Quit | American Free Press.
EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht wants to see oil and natural gas exports from the US to Europe included in the forthcoming transatlantic trade deal which will create the world’s largest free trade zone.
Europe wants US oil and gas to help offset its dependence on Russian energy. About 30 percent of Europe’s total gas requirement comes from Russia, approximately half of that is vulnerable should Ukraine cut supplies, as happened in 2006 and 2009.
The EU believes importing energy from the US would make supply more secure.
“It is important that we come forward with a position on that (energy agreement) as soon as possible, because maybe you may have noticed that some things are going on in Europe,” EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told reporters on Tuesday. De Gucht is in Washington holding meetings with US Trade Representative Michael Froman about the deal.
The EU trade chief believes including energy on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would secure energy supplies in Europe and send a strong signal to Moscow.
“I think everybody would agree that energy is a little bit more urgent for the time being, and also, very much geostrategic,” he said, adding the finalized trade pact will likely be ready in a year. The deal will be historic bringing half of the world’s economy into a free trade agreement. It has been likened to an economic version of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). …
William Binney was a 30 year veteran official of the National Security Agency who resigned in October 2001 to blow the whistle on the NSA’s deliberate violation of the constitution. Now, 13 years after the events of 9/11 that helped the NSA justify its total surveillance dragnet, Binney has signed the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth’s petition calling for a new investigation into 9/11. Today we talk to Richard Gage, founder of AE911Truth.org, and William Binney himself, about this petition, its significance, and the ongoing quest for 9/11 truth and justice.
Unless of course you think washington is run by idiots. To be sure, there are idiots in washington, but they’re not running the show. The financial speculators behind the scenes know exactly what they’re doing.
In this episode we speak with James Corbett of CorbettReport.com about how the West is creating and funding it’s own enemies abroad. We discussed in this program how Russia has been backed into a position where it must unite with its neighbors politically, with others in the BRICs nations economically, and China militarily in an effort to counteract NATO/US/EU encroachment into Russia’s sphere of influence. We also speak about how western intelligence agencies have created, funded, and propagandized on behalf of ISIS, again, creating another external threat. Finally we comment on the protests in Furgeson and how the media and police are exaserbating the problem. Join us as we discuss the major issues of the world today.
It appears there is another nation on planet Earth that is becoming isolated. One by one, Russia and China appear to be finding allies willing to ‘de-dollarize'; and the latest to join this trend is serial-defaulter Argentina. As Reuters reports, China and Argentina’s central banks have agreed a multi-billion dollar currency swap operation “to bolster Argentina’s foreign reserves” or “pay for Chinese imports with Yuan,” as Argentina’s USD reserves dwindle. In addition, Argentina claims China supports the nation’s plans in the defaulted bondholder dispute.
Having met ‘on the sidelines’ in Basel, Switzerland in July, Argentine and Chinese central banks agreed to a currency swap equivalent to $11b that Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich said could be used to stabilize reserves.. (as Reuters reports)…
In an inscrutable move that has alarmed state treasurers, the Federal Reserve, along with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, just changed the liquidity requirements for the nation’s largest banks. Municipal bonds, long considered safe liquid investments, have been eliminated from the list of high-quality liquid collateral. assets (HQLA). That means banks that are the largest holders of munis are liable to start dumping them in favor of the Treasuries and corporate bonds that do satisfy the requirement.
Muni bonds fund the nation’s critical infrastructure, and they are subject to the whims of the market: as demand goes down, interest rates must be raised to attract buyers. State and local governments could find themselves in the position of cash-strapped Eurozone states, subject to crippling interest rates. The starkest example is Greece, where rates went as high as 30% when investors feared the government’s insolvency. Sky-high interest rates, in turn, are the fast track to insolvency. Greece wound up stripped of its assets, which were privatized at fire sale prices in a futile attempt to keep up with the bills.
The first major hit to US municipal bonds occurred with the downgrade of two major monoline insurers in January 2008. The fault was with the insurers, but the taxpayers footed the bill. The downgrade signaled a simultaneous downgrade of bonds from over 100,000 municipalities and institutions, totaling more than $500 billion. The Fed’s latest rule change could be the final nail in the municipal bond coffin, another misguided move by regulators that not only does not hit its mark but results in serious collateral damage to local governments – maybe serious enough to finally propel them into bankruptcy.
Why this unprecedented move by US regulators? It is not because municipal bonds are too risky, since corporate bonds with lower credit ratings are accepted under the new rules. Nor is it that the stricter standard is required by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), the BIS-based global regulator agreed to by the G20 leaders in 2009. The Basel III Accords set by the BCBS are actually more lenient than the US rules and do not include these HQLA requirements. So what’s going on?
From the Inscrutable, Unaccountable Fed
The rule change was detailed by Pam Martens and Russ Martens in a September 4th article titled “The Fed Just Imposed Financial Austerity on the States.” They write that on September 3rd:
The Federal regulators adopted a new rule that requires the country’s largest banks – those with $250 billion or more in total assets – to hold an increased level of newly defined “high quality liquid assets” (HQLA) in order to meet a potential run on the bank during a credit crisis. In addition to U.S. Treasury securities and other instruments backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government (agency debt), the regulators have included some dubious instruments while shunning others with a higher safety profile.
Bizarrely, the Fed and its regulatory siblings included investment grade corporate bonds, the majority of which do not trade on an exchange, and more stunningly, stocks in the Russell 1000, as meeting the definition of high quality liquid assets, while excluding all municipal bonds – even general obligation municipal bonds from states with a far higher credit standing and safety profile than BBB-rated corporate bonds.
This, rightfully, has state treasurers in an uproar. The five largest Wall Street banks control the majority of deposits in the country. By disqualifying municipal bonds from the category of liquid assets, the biggest banks are likely to trim back their holdings in munis which could raise the cost or limit the ability for states, counties, cities and school districts to issue muni bonds to build schools, roads, bridges and other infrastructure needs. This is a particularly strange position for a Fed that is worried about subpar economic growth. …
That the Fed and its regulatory cohorts have to resort to this implausible plan – which crimps the ability of states and localities to raise essential funds to operate – in a strained effort to pretend that they’ve found a means of avoiding another massive bailout of Wall Street in a crisis, is just further proof that the only way to seriously deal with too-big-to-fail banks is to restore the Glass-Steagall Act and break up these complex creatures before they strike again.
The rule change may not have much effect in a crash, but where it will have a major effect is on the cost of credit, which will increase for municipal governments and decrease for corporate and financial institutions. The result will be to further shift power and financial resources from the public sector to the private sector.
Why would regulators dangerously jeopardize state and local government budgets in this way? Skeptical observers speculate that the intent is to Detroit-ize municipal governments, so that assets can be stripped as is being done in that imperiled city. The international bankers got away with asset-stripping Greece. Why not make the US itself a wholly-owned subsidiary of private banking interests?
If that seems far-fetched, consider what is happening with Argentina, which has been forced into bankruptcy by a US court to satisfy the exaggerated claims of certain hold-out vulture funds. IMF regulators have discussed establishing an international bankruptcy court that could strip a country such as Argentina of its assets, including prime sections of real estate, to pay off the nation’s creditors. …
9/11 was nothing if not a multi-purpose job.
The fascists got to turn the US into a police state – and make a fortune in the process.
The weapons makers got a super bonus.
Dirt bag politicians who couldn’t get re-elected as dog catchers got to pose as statesmen.
Oil companies got to triple and more the price of a barrel of crude.
Israel got the US war machine unleashed on its enemies and was granted further leave to savagely abuse the Palestinians whose lands they stole.
Even the Twin Tower’s owners got a break. The Twin Towers were packed with asbestos that made the buildings technically in violation of the building code. Abatement would have been financially impossible. 9/11 solved that problem.
9/11 also solved another problem.
It made hundreds of employees of various brokerage houses who were privy to some massively dirty financial dealings disappear – permanently. The explosion at the Pentagon also eliminated some troublesome human resources problems: high level fraud investigators hot on the trail of a massive case.
If you want to trace the claims made in this video, you can do that here: References for Black 911