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Buying government power

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer - Mon., 11/21/11
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Just to show his gratitude, Jamie Dimon of New York City made a donation to the New York Police Foundation this spring. "These officers," Mr. Dimon said, "put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe."

Yes they do. But was this a gesture by a civic-minded citizen--or the purchase of special protection? When Jamie Dimon says keep "us" safe, I doubt he means us hoi polloi. Rather, I suspect he's hoping that police officials will keep Wall Street bankers like him safe from us. Dimon is chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, the financial giant that helped crash our economy, took billions of bailout dollars from us, pays Dimon multimillion-dollar bonuses, refuses to lend capital to create jobs, is now gouging consumers with new fees, and lobbying in Washington to kill regulations that would protect us from banker greed.

The JPMorgan Chase donation that Dimon delivered was $4.6 million--the largest ever to the police foundation. He even got a thank-you note from NYPD boss Raymond Kelly.

But Dimon's bank got its biggest thanks in mid-September. That's when the Occupy Wall Street movement launched its protest. According to a member of Occupy's legal team, the original plan was to base the protest's encampment in Chase Plaza, right in front of the big bank's Wall Street offices. But the NYPD was there in force ahead of the protesters, preemptively shutting down the plaza. Thus, the Occupy movement settled in at Zuccotti Park, well out of sight of Dimon and other executives of JPMorgan Chase.

This is exactly the sort of corrupt coziness between corporate and governmental elites that has brought people into the streets.



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