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Big banks have never been very popular, but their recent greed, frauds, and demand for taxpayer bailouts have made them less popular than pond scum. So it’s good to see them now reaching out personally to us commoners with special offers and a neighborly, friendly-banker attitude.
For example, I recently got a personal invitation from a branch manager of JPMorgan Chase, America’s largest bank. Okay, it wasn’t that personal – it was addressed to “Our Neighbor.” But still, it was a friendly invite for me to become – Ta Dah! – a “Chase Private Client.” As such, the manager’s letter exulted, I would get my own Private Client Banker who would guide me through Chase’s “premium products.” Gosh, I wondered, would those included some of the crappy mortgage securities that Chase has been foisting on customers, apparently knowing the “products” were losers, which has led prosecutors across the country to pursue fraud charges against the bank?
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But moving right along, the letter promised I would also have a Private Client Advisor who’d give me access to “JPMorgan’s world class investment expertise.” Gosh, I wondered again, would that include advice to buy stuff like the ill-fated investment in complex derivatives packaged by a Chase broker nicknamed the “London Whale” – a bet that went upchucking-sour, causing $6.2 billion in losses and leading to both criminal and civil charges for mismanagement and misrepresentation that will likely force the bank itself to admit guilt?
Of course, the friendly branch manager was not responsible for Morgan’s long rap sheet, but why would I – or anyone – sign up with an outfit that’s so corrupt – from the top down – that it’s being pursued for wrongdoing by eight federal agencies, two foreign governments, four states, and numerous investors and customers? Thanks JP, but no thanks.
“Letter: Chase Private Client,” JPMorgan Chase & Co., 2013.
“Legal millstones weigh down JPMorgan Chase,” Austin American Statesman, August 13, 2013.
“Prosecutors Eye Penalties Over Trading At JPMorgan,” The New York Times, August 12, 2013.
“JPMorgan Chase In Hot Seat With Criminal Probes, But Will Anybody Do Time?” www.alternet.org, August 9, 2013.
“London Whale Resurfaces in Potential U.S. JPMorgan Case,” www.bloomberg.com, August 12, 2013.