We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, June 15, 2015

Treasury Reveals What JPMorgan Was Really Doing With London Whale Trades

Click here to access article by Pam Martens and Russ Martens from Wall Street on Parade. 

(From their website: "WallStreetOnParade.com is a financial news site operated by Russ and Pam Martens to help the investing public better understand systemic corruption on Wall Street. Ms. Martens is a former Wall Street veteran with a background in journalism. Mr. Martens' career spans four decades in printing and publishing management.")

I have been following this website for some time and I am impressed with the dogged efforts of this couple to unravel the many ploys by Wall Street actors to circumvent any attempts to thwart their pursuit of profits regardless of its ultimate adverse effects on the capitalist economy. Individual greed is the prime ethic of capitalists which guides them in their actions. Margaret Thatcher recognized this in her pithy definition of this ethic:
...there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first.
In this article they summarize a little known report issued by a new agency created by the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that was passed after the recent bailouts of major banks to prevent another occurrence of this economy destroying event. They reach the following conclusion from their examination of the agency's report which relates to the JPMorgan’s London Whale trade scandal:
The report ... notes that there is “limited counterparty information available to bank supervisors when a bank turns to a hedge fund, private equity firm, or other nonbank to buy credit protection, since those companies are outside the jurisdiction of bank supervisors.”

Let that sink in for a few seconds: some of the most dangerous Wall Street banks on the planet are able to dodge their capital requirements by buying protection from even more dangerous, unsupervised hedge funds.