Smash J.P. Morgan Chase, Et Al

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Check out Bill Moyers’ piece provoking ruminations of how well-armed its readers and viewers are over at VT.

The global economic crisis in September 2008 has not spurred the sweeping reforms crafted to prevent another financial collapse and hold bad-faith players accountable.

     

Huge monied interests have apparently [we don’t actually know] blocked sensible regulation. An emerging consensus among honest analysts sees the financial players and million-dollar bonus babies as not cowed and contrite but rather as arrogant and reckless as ever. For them the crisis is over, for us it’s only just begun. 

In response, the depoliciticized American people are not demanding answers and accountability for the crisis, instead we appear trapped in an array of diversions and distractions. The media and our governmental servants are not much better in this respect. Here are two exceptions: the Bill Moyers Journal and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo, Ohio).

On Friday, Moyers featured Rep. Kaptur and Simon Johnson, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and a founder of the Baselinescenario, "dedicated to explaining … key issues in the global economy."

Watch the 29-minute video, exhilarating in its clarity and insight into what is happening in our country.

Here is a partial transcript from the segment on Moyers Journal featuring Rep. Kaptur and Prof. Johnson:

MARCY KAPTUR: Let me give you a reality from ground zero in Toledo, Ohio. Our foreclosures have gone up 94 percent. A few months ago, I met with our realtors. And I said, ‘What should I know?’ They said, ‘Well, first of all, you should know the worst companies that are doing this to us.’

MARCY KAPTUR: I said, ‘Well, give me the top one.’ They said, ‘J.P. Morgan Chase.’ I went back to Washington that night. And one of my colleagues said, ‘You want to come to dinner?’ I said, ‘Well, what is it?’ He said, ‘Well, it’s a meeting with Jamie Dimon, the head of J.P. Morgan Chase.’ I said, ‘Wow, yes. I really do.’ So, I go to this meeting in a fancy hotel, fancy dinner, and everyone is complimenting him. I mean, it was just like a love fest.

MARCY KAPTUR: They finally got to me, and my point to ask a question. I said, ‘Well, I don’t want to speak out of turn here, Mr. Dimon.’ I said, ‘but your company is the largest forecloser in my district. And our realtors just said to me this morning that your people don’t return phone calls.’ I said. ‘We can’t do workouts.’ And he looked at me, he said, ‘Do you know that I talk to your governor all the time?’ He said, ‘Our company employs 10,000 people in Ohio.’

MARCY KAPTUR: And I’m thinking, ‘What is that? A threat?’ And he said, ‘I speak to the Mayor of Columbus.’ I said, ‘Why don’t you come further north?’ I said, ‘Toledo, Cleveland, where the foreclosures are just skyrocketing.’ He said, ‘Well, we’ll have someone call you.’ And he gave me a card. And they never did. For two weeks, we tried to reach them. And finally, I was on a national news show. And I told this story. They called within ten minutes. And they said, ‘Oh, we’ll work with you. We’ll try to do some workouts in your area.’ We planned the first one after working with them for weeks and weeks and weeks. Their people never showed up. And it was a Friday. Our people had taken off work. They’d driven from all these locations to come. We kept calling J.P. Morgan Chase saying, ‘Where’s your person? Where’s your person?’ And they finally sent somebody down from Detroit by 3:00 in the afternoon. But out people had been waiting all morning and a lot of people that’s how they treat our people.

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