Why Dodd-Frank left JP Morgan unguarded [Reader Post]

By 5 Comments 1,020 views

All the President’s Man

The Dodd Frank law was supposed to rein in abuses by Wall St. It was supposed to end “too big to fail.” It was supposed to end so-called “risky trading” by banks. Some of us knew better. Barack Obama was effusive in his praise of the bill as he signed it.

We are gathered in the heart of our nation’s capital, surrounded by memorials to leaders and citizens who served our nation in its earliest days and in its days of greatest trial. Today is such a time for America.

Over the past two years, we have faced the worst recession since the Great Depression. Eight million people lost their jobs. Tens of millions saw the value of their homes and retirement savings plummet. Countless businesses have been unable to get the loans they need and many have been forced to shut their doors. And although the economy is growing again, too many people are still feeling the pain of the downturn.

Now, while a number of factors led to such a severe recession, the primary cause was a breakdown in our financial system. It was a crisis born of a failure of responsibility from certain corners of Wall Street to the halls of power in Washington. For years, our financial sector was governed by antiquated and poorly enforced rules that allowed some to game the system and take risks that endangered the entire economy.

Unscrupulous lenders locked consumers into complex loans with hidden costs. Firms like AIG placed massive, risky bets with borrowed money. And while the rules left abuse and excess unchecked, they also left taxpayers on the hook if a big bank or financial institution ever failed.

Now, even before the crisis hit, I went to Wall Street and I called for common-sense reforms to protect consumers and our economy as a whole. And soon after taking office, I proposed a set of reforms to empower consumers and investors, to bring the shadowy deals that caused this crisis into the light of day, and to put a stop to taxpayer bailouts once and for all. (Applause.) Today, thanks to a lot of people in this room, those reforms will become the law of the land.

We can sleep well

Now, beyond the consumer protections I’ve outlined, reform will also rein in the abuse and excess that nearly brought down our financial system. It will finally bring transparency to the kinds of complex and risky transactions that helped trigger the financial crisis. Shareholders will also have a greater say on the pay of CEOs and other executives, so they can reward success instead of failure.

Obama is standing watch

And finally, because of this law, the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes. There will be no more tax-funded bailouts — period. If a large financial institution should ever fail, this reform gives us the ability to wind it down without endangering the broader economy. And there will be new rules to make clear that no firm is somehow protected because it is “too big to fail,” so we don’t have another AIG.

Yet despite their significant contribution to the financial meltdown, the GSE’s were left untouched by Dodd-Frank. And they weren’t all that was left untouched.

Last week JP Morgan, headed by Obama pal Jamie Dimon, announced that it had lost $2 billion in trading.

Derivatives trading.

Dodd-Frank was supposed to regulate derivatives trading as such trading was a significant contributor to the financial disaster which struck this country in 2008. Sen. Dianne Feinstein once again proved she has no interest in reading bills for which she votes.

“Well, this is a big surprise because this particular bank is well-respected. It is well-led. And so, to have this kind of a loss from hedging activities is a big surprise,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think what it points out that there are no rules of the road for hedging and for derivatives. And this needs to happen.”

She voted for Dodd-Frank and it passed and she still doesn’t know what’s in it.

But now we learn why JP Morgan was left alone to fritter this money away.

Obama financial forms show big JP Morgan account

Maybe it’s a case of putting your mouth where your money is.

President Barack Obama praised JP Morgan Chase in an interview recorded Monday as “one of the best managed banks there is” and its CEO, Jamie Dimon, as “one of the smartest bankers we got.” On Tuesday, the White House made public financial disclosure forms showing the president and First Lady Michelle Obama had between $500,001 and $1,000,000 in a “JP Morgan Chase Private Client Asset Management Checking Account.”

The annual peek into the Obamas’ finances showed that the president held between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000 in U.S. Treasury Notes, generating between $5,001 and $15,000 in interest. They also held between $500,001-$1,000,000 in Treasury Bills.

Beeing Prezeedent bean berry berry good to Obama.

He is a wealthy man, with assets of as much as $10 million.

A Huffington Post article from January has proven to be quite prophetic. See if you can spot the one name that stands out prominently:

Wall Street lobbyists are trying hard to weaken the extent to which the government can police a practice that played a central role in the 2008 financial crisis.

Some of the country’s largest banks — including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America — are lobbying Congress to grant regulatory exceptions for derivatives traded outside the U.S. Each of these banks has at least half its assets in overseas operations, according to Bloomberg, meaning that hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of trading could lie outside the scope of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill if the lobbyists are successful.

In the years leading up to the financial crisis, the derivatives market was where Wall Street firms shifted their risk around in increasingly complex ways, until nearly everyone with skin in the financial game, from major corporations to ordinary homeowners, was somehow implicated in one deal or another. Derivatives trading has been a source of major profit for Wall Street — JPMorgan Chase reportedly took in $5 billion in 2009, during an otherwise awful year, thanks to its derivatives desk — but it’s also a large part of what sent the national economy into a tailspin just a few years ago.

Jamie Dimon being an Obama pal likely didn’t hurt either.

Bank lobbyists have also succeeded in getting the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a major regulator, to repeatedly delay a critical package of derivatives regulations.

The GSE’s remain unreformed and are still too big to fail, and as are some banks. See if you can post the prominent name:

Two years after President Barack Obama vowed to eliminate the danger of financial institutions becoming “too big to fail,” the nation’s largest banks are bigger than they were before the nation’s credit markets seized up and required unprecedented bailouts by the government.

Five banks — JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. — held $8.5 trillion in assets at the end of 2011, equal to 56 percent of the U.S. economy, according to central bankers at the Federal Reserve.

Barack Obama promised to end risky trading. He promised to end “too big to fail.” He did neither, unquestionably because these are his money men and because he is a liar.

So if you are planning to vote for him, you are an idiot.

DrJohn has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. In addition to clinical practice he has done extensive research and has published widely with over 70 original articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. DrJohn is well known in his field and has lectured on every continent except for Antarctica. He has been married to the same wonderful lady for over 30 years and has three kids- two sons, both of whom are attorneys and one daughter on her way into the field of education. DrJohn was brought up with the concept that one can do well if one is prepared to work hard but nothing in life is guaranteed. Except for liberals being foolish.

5 Responses to “Why Dodd-Frank left JP Morgan unguarded [Reader Post]”

  1. 1

    John Cooper

    I’d like to point out that the “Volker Rule” doesn’t go into effect until July 21, 2012. Good timing, Mr. Dimon!

  2. 2


    About banks and government guarantees. Any good effect has to be balanced against the cost and the systemic bad effects. The FDIC is in trouble and has cost $100+ billion from time to time above the insurance premiums which it collects from banks.

    The movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” is interesting. In the bank run scene, James Stewart explains to the crowd that their money isn’t really in the bank, it has been lent out to build houses. So, this is news to them! They thought their money was safe in the back room, and now they are told it is gone, dependent on the bank staying in business. That is reassuring.

    Consider, would anyone loan money to a bank (make deposits) without the government guarantee? I wouldn’t. I would find a pure vault and checking services institution and pay them $100 per year for the service.

    One could argue, this shows that the guarantee is absolutely necessary. I say that it shows the primary instability of US banking and the fundamental fraud that keeps banks going in their current form.

    If you want interest on a loan, then there is risk. Banks have transfered their risk onto the government to the extent that their FDIC premiums are not sufficient to pay for bank failures. They have transferred a lot of risk. Worse, each bank is encouraged to take excess risk both to meet political pressure and to make extra profits. Heads they win, tails we lose.

    Government is not merely intermediating, that is enabling a voluntary market which might not otherwise exist. Instead, government is subsidizing an industry where the depositers are ignorant of what is going on. The depositors do not really want to “invest” their money and take risks. The bank dearly wants to make money from lending out these deposits, but does not want to bear the full costs of doing this.

    So, have two types of account,
    • Checking: The money is in the back room and the bank handles checks or debit cards for the depositers for a fee.
    • Investment: (Dont’ call it savings) The bank accepts your money on terms that match its investment portfolio and you recieve interest, dividends, gains, and losses as earned, like a mutual fund.

    Under this system, everyone would get the results which they expect and there are no bank runs or bailouts. Yes, there would be much less investment through banks. The availability of capital would match the preferences of depositors, and government would not be a shadow investor commandeering resources to support a favored industry.

  3. 3

    John Cooper

    @Andrew_M_Garland: The James Stewart paradigm was abandoned long ago. Banks these days don’t loan money on real estate or businesses – too risky. Local banks are just government bond funds – borrowing money at 0% and loaning it back to the government at 3%. Investment banks are just casinos.

  4. 4


    Mr. Cooper is correct. In fact, large chunks of Dodd-Frank have not yet been implemented. Would it have mattered? Doubtful, since Dodd-Frank was neutered in committee. Unless and until these Mega banks are broken up into non-mega banks, get used to these multi-billion dollar losses from transactions that are virtually impossible to unwind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *