Democrat and former Obama supporter Jamie Dimon (JP Morgan) repudiated his president’s economic program just before the 2012 elections and is now the target of a tens of billions of dollars retaliation campaign.
But although JPMorgan has been relentlessly targeted by federal investigators, its behavior isn’t much different from other American megabanks — including Goldman Sachs, which was largely spared by regulators.
According to critics, JPMorgan is being deliberately targeted due to CEO Jamie Dimon’s critique of the Obama administration’s economic policies before the 2012 election.
In the most recent probe, investigators claim that JPMorgan routinely hires young, well-connected Chinese people in order to grease the wheels of important business deals in the country. The bank hired the son of the chairman of China Everbright Group, a massive state-owned financial conglomerate, earning a series of lucrative contracts soon afterward.
But the practice of foreign companies hiring Chinese “princelings” in return for business deals is not unusual. “For those familiar with the financial industry in China or Hong Kong, there really is no revelation here,” James Parker, a former Beijing-based financial analyst, told the Global Post. “The hiring of well-connected people is extremely common, and indeed considered necessary, and not just in the financial industry.”
Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley both put the children of high-ranking Communist Party officials on their payroll, while Goldman Sachs hired Hong Ning, the son-in-law of China’s anti-corruption chief.
Goldman Sachs was President Obama’s top donor in his 2008 campaign, and many of the bank’s executives enjoy close relations with the Obama White House. Last month the president nominated Goldman Sachs banker Bruce Heyman, an important contributor to his 2012 campaign, to be ambassador to Canada.
Some think this cozy relationship explains the disparity between Goldman and JPMorgan’s treatment by the government. The Wall Street Journal wrote that the Obama administration “prefers dependent banks that quietly accept their role as money pots to be raided when politics demands. Mr. Dimon keeps deviating from the Obama script.”
“This is about vindictiveness,” said financial analyst Charlie Gasparino on Fox News last week, “and it’s really bad for the American political system.”
Also this week, it was revealed that the insurance companies expecting to provide Obamacare services were subjected to “massive pressure” from the White House not to disclose problems with the program. Like JPMorgan’s plight, my heart doesn’t go out to corporations who supported Obama in the expectation of getting richer from it, but we’re witnessing a consolidation of power unlike anything seen before. In this country.