The Business of America Is Kleptocracy
Intro by Tom Engelhardt:
It’s hard to miss these days. The headlines tell the story — repetitively. Everyone, it seems, is on the take. The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Goldman Sachs with securities fraud for creating and selling “a mortgage investment that was secretly intended to fail” — and then betting against its own customers. JPMorgan Chase which, in a pinch in 2008, happily took taxpayer dough, just reported $3.3 billion in profits for the first quarter of 2010, a jump of 55% over the previous quarter. The bank set aside $9.3 billion in what’s called “compensation and benefits” for its employees in 2009.
Even when they lose, they win. According to James Kwak of the Baseline Scenario website, on a deal in which JPMorgan swallowed $880 million in losses, its bankers still managed to walk away with up to $10 million in compensation.