Yesterday, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, blasted shareholders, who are critical of his leadership, for being “lazy.”
This arrogant, tone-deaf attitude is consistent with a hypothetical proclamation, recently issued by Wall Street bankers, who tried to defend themselves from angry Main Street Americans.
The following are excerpts from their proclamation:
In case you plebes don’t get it, nothing of importance is accomplished in this nation without us. The services we render are indispensable for America’s well-being. Do not trifle with us lest the great capitalist enterprise you cherish comes crashing down around your ears.
Because our services are so vital to the national interest, we are entitled to every penny we make. If our business decisions should work against us through no fault of our own, we expect you, the taxpayer, to pick up the tab and make us whole. Without the risks we take, the economy would stagnate. The government saw the wisdom of our views and so should you. Bankers should be rewarded with outsized salaries, bonuses and perquisites for the risks we take. Like greed, bailouts are a good thing. Get used to it.
Make no mistake. The Federal Reserve System was created one hundred years ago by bankers for the benefit of bankers. It would be insane for us not to make sure our cronies are put in charge of the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury to protect our interests. As a result, every president has appointed our chosen emissaries to run these government institutions. These associates work for us, first and foremost. The welfare of the banks, particularly the big banks, is their priority and they have not failed us yet. We were rewarded for our foresight in this regard when we were bailed out in record time in 2008. Our designated advocates did their job extremely well, just as we expected. They successfully spooked congress into thinking that the world would end, if we weren’t bailed out. We couldn’t have written the script any better. Kudos to Paulson, Geithner, and Bernanke for a job well done. Well done indeed!
Every once in a while, some politician feels the need to spin bullshit into cotton candy and criticize us. This is particularly true at election time. We get that. Rest assured that these politicians are in the tank for us and will support us at every turn when it matters. And what matters most to us is making huge risk-free profits.
If we lend you money, we want to get paid back on time. Period. If you stiff us or even think about stiffing us, we will come after you mercilessly. Further, we don’t appreciate it when someone or something comes between us and the money we are due.
We will not hesitate to make easy money when the opportunity presents itself. If we know our clients are stupidly buying dubious securities from us, we will make certain we are on the other side of their trades. It would be silly for us not to take advantage of a sure thing, even if our own clients are the ones getting burned. It isn’t illegal. Look it up. That’s why we have never been criminally indicted for any wrongdoing in this regard. And never will be.
We intend to police ourselves and will not countenance any government watchdog or regulator, whom we don’t control, to impede our ability to rake in bigtime profits. We know the banking business better than anyone on the planet and don’t appreciate some outside agency telling us what we can or cannot do. We understand the need to placate the pain-in-the-ass public for sake of appearances by having some putative regulatory body oversee the banking establishment. That’s alright as long as it doesn’t interfere with our business practices. No one tells us what to do, if we don’t approve it beforehand. Moreover, it is sheer folly for some ambitious bank analysts to question the financial integrity of our banks when our incredible wealth speaks for itself, underscoring our success. If it ain’t broke, we don’t intend to fix it.
Elected officials are never going to refuse our political contributions and we are never going to stop contributing to them. That’s the way pay-to-play works in this country. If you don’t like it, go live somewhere else.
What is needed is a Banker Protection Bureau that nips in the bud any attempt to protect consumers from predatory practices that don’t exist. We routinely give consumers the benefit of doubt, if there are complaints about any fee or charge. Just ask our depositors and credit card holders. We need protection from overzealous bureaucrats, who have nothing better to do than waste taxpayer money by poking their noses in places they don’t belong.
The Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury are our partners. Partners do what they do best — they take care of each other. This fact of life was demonstrated for all to see in 2008 when Paulson, Bernanke and Geithner tripped over each other to help us. They couldn’t do enough for us despite misguided calls by some idiots that big banks be broken up or nationalized. Instead of being vilified by the uninformed masses, these individuals should be honored as the heroes they really are for the service they rendered to our banks and our nation.
The nexus between government and Wall Street is a good thing. The government threw tens of billions of dollars our way in 2008 without us even having to ask. They also made sure all the worthless securities on our books were purchased at par or near par. They kept interest rates at zero ever since then and goosed our profits with Quantitative Easing, both of which worked wonders for our corporate and personal balance sheets. Regardless of how the Fed normalizes interest rates, if that’s even possible, we know we are golden. We know the government will come to our rescue once again, if it’s ever necessary. There’s no way politicians will risk bankrupting a systemically important bank, contrary to claims that they can unwind a big bank in an orderly manner. It’s not possible and it’s not feasible; therefore, it won’t happen. We’re here to stay. Get used to it.
Our friends at the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have been investigating high frequency trading for years and haven’t found any problems with the way we conduct our business. Rumors that we use manipulative high-speed trading to front-run and scalp investors are irresponsible slurs meant to denigrate our trading prowess. Our proprietary trading algorithms are the crown jewels of our investment banking business. Market regulators will never ban or seriously curtail high frequency trading because it represents well over half of total market volume. If that kind of volume suddenly dries up, a market collapse will certainly ensue and no one wants that to happen. High frequency algorithmic trading is here to stay and so are the massive profits that we derive from it every single trading day.
You may not like us, but we know in your heart that you really admire us. Most honest and successful businessmen, like ourselves, are envied. It comes with the territory. The people that matter; i.e., the decision-makers in government, love us and will continue to protect us from unfounded allegations. By the way, the statute of limitations has elapsed on any white collar crimes that may have been committed years ago. So, if there are any ambitious prosecutors out there, please be advised that we have run out the clock on any crimes we didn’t commit. None of us will be indicted and none of us is going to jail. So get over it.
Our doors are wide open for business. Bring us your hard-earned money. Rest assured that your deposits will be managed by men of integrity, whose business ethics are beyond reproach.
God bless Wall Street. And God bless America.