Forbes – Is Eric Holder Playing Don Corleone to Jamie Dimon’s Bonasera?

2 Oct

As Don Corleone said to Bonasera, in The Godfather’s iconic opening scene, “Some day, and that day may never come, I’ll ask a service of you.” For J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, that day has arrived. Alas, unlike a mafia don, Washington cannot be counted on to keep its word past the end of the next news cycle. Dimon and other Wall Street bankers would be wise to keep that in mind, the next time regulators come around saying, “Nice too-big-to-fail bank ya got there. Shame if sumpin’ were to happen to it.”

Long-running negotiations between J.P. Morgan Chase and the Chicago gang occupying Washington appear to be finally coming to a close. At stake is how much protection money the besieged bank will have to pay to resolve its legal and regulatory woes. An extra-judicial, extra-legislative “fine” of $11 billion is making the rounds in the press. That dwarfs prior multi-hundred million dollar payments, which turns out only served to whet Washington’s appetite.

If such a deal actually goes down, it’ll be the coup de grace to the already moribund rule of law in America. No charges. No trial. No evidence that could be evaluated by a judge or jury, much less the public. No clear indication of exactly which laws were broken and by whom. No list of fines prescribed by statute. Just fork over the cash and we’ll let you get back to business. After spending $18 billion in legal expenses since 2008, you can’t blame J. P. Morgan for seeking a deal.

To read the rest of the column, click here.


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