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The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare

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  • The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare

    Source: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-9-billion-witness-20141106



    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.

    Thanks to a confidentiality agreement, she's kept her mouth shut since then. "My closest family and friends don't know what I've been living with," she says. "Even my brother will only find out for the first time when he sees this interview."

    Six years after the crisis that cratered the global economy, it's not exactly news that the country's biggest banks stole on a grand scale. That's why the more important part of Fleischmann's story is in the pains Chase and the Justice Department took to silence her.

    She was blocked at every turn: by asleep-on-the-job regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission, by a court system that allowed Chase to use its billions to bury her evidence, and, finally, by officials like outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, the chief architect of the crazily elaborate government policy of surrender, secrecy and cover-up. "Every time I had a chance to talk, something always got in the way," Fleischmann says.

    This past year she watched as Holder's Justice Department struck a series of historic settlement deals with Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America. The root bargain in these deals was cash for secrecy. The banks paid big fines, without trials or even judges – only secret negotiations that typically ended with the public shown nothing but vague, quasi-official papers called "statements of facts," which were conveniently devoid of anything like actual facts.

    © Copyright Original Source




    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics...#ixzz3JvP7oqTZ
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    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  • #2
    I don't see what the big deal is in terms of consequences for them. This stuff was known years ago. All the big banks were engaging in this type of fraud. Goldman Sachs paid a fine to the SEC for the exact same thing in the Abacus scandal, where they had emails of GS employees scoffing at their customers for buying their fraudulent securities. They got off selling fraudulent mortgage securities. They got off money laundering terrorist and drug cartel money. They got off rigging LIBOR. They got off rigging the foreign exchange markets. What makes anyone think Chase won't just pay a fine, if the government even decides to do anything about it?
    Last edited by seanD; 11-23-2014, 04:45 PM.
    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll save you the trouble of reading the article and say that the takeaway is "Thanks, Obama!"

      Maybe "Thanks, Eric Holder" if you want to be specific.

      Comment


      • #4
        This thread belongs in Civics. Some economists may be interested in economics that involve whistleblowers, but the involvement of the federal government is more consequential.
        The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

        [T]he truth I’m after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by seanD View Post
          I don't see what the big deal is in terms of consequences for them. This stuff was known years ago. All the big banks were engaging in this type of fraud. Goldman Sachs paid a fine to the SEC for the exact same thing in the Abacus scandal, where they had emails of GS employees scoffing at their customers for buying their fraudulent securities. They got off selling fraudulent mortgage securities. They got off money laundering terrorist and drug cartel money. They got off rigging LIBOR. They got off rigging the foreign exchange markets. What makes anyone think Chase won't just pay a fine, if the government even decides to do anything about it?
          The moral: if you want to be a thief, be a banker: when caught there's not even a jail term.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Paprika View Post
            The moral: if you want to be a thief, be a banker: when caught there's not even a jail term.
            The thing is, bankers, brokers and finacial managers do go to jail. You have to be connected to the very top echelon of banks, which is what makes it so absurdly conspiratorial.
            "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Epoetker View Post
              I'll save you the trouble of reading the article and say that the takeaway is "Thanks, Obama!"

              Maybe "Thanks, Eric Holder" if you want to be specific.
              The problem extends before Obama was in office
              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

              go with the flow the river knows . . .

              Frank

              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

              Comment

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