Who in #Washington has been bought off in #Wall Street and by How Much. What Are The Names Below is the list of demands Moore is proposing on his website. He has submitted these to the Occupy group in NY.
See what you think.
10 Things We Want
A Proposal for Occupy Wall Street
Submitted by Michael Moore
1. Eradicate the Bush tax cuts for the rich and institute new taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on corporations, including a tax on all trading on Wall Street (where they currently pay 0%).
2. Assess a penalty tax on any corporation that moves American jobs to other countries when that company is already making profits in America. Our jobs are the most important national treasure and they cannot be removed from the country simply because someone wants to make more money.
3. Require that all Americans pay the same Social Security tax on all of their earnings (normally, the middle class pays about 6% of their income to Social Security; someone making $1 million a year pays about 0.6% (or 90% less than the average person). This law would simply make the rich pay what everyone else pays.
4. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, placing serious regulations on how business is conducted by Wall Street and the banks.
5. Investigate the Crash of 2008, and bring to justice those who committed any crimes.
6. Reorder our nation's spending priorities (including the ending of all foreign wars and their cost of over $2 billion a week). This will re-open libraries, reinstate band and art and civics classes in our schools, fix our roads and bridges and infrastructure, wire the entire country for 21st century internet, and support scientific research that improves our lives.
7. Join the rest of the free world and create a single-payer, free and universal health care system that covers all Americans all of the time.
8. Immediately reduce carbon emissions that are destroying the planet and discover ways to live without the oil that will be depleted and gone by the end of this century.
9. Require corporations with more than 10,000 employees to restructure their board of directors so that 50% of its members are elected by the company’s workers. We can never have a real democracy as long as most people have no say in what happens at the place they spend most of their time: their job. (For any U.S. businesspeople freaking out at this idea because you think workers can't run a successful company: Germany has a law like this and it has helped to make Germany the world’s leading manufacturing exporter.)
10. We, the people, must pass three constitutional amendments that will go a long way toward fixing the core problems we now have. These include:
a) A constitutional amendment that fixes our broken electoral system by 1) completely removing campaign contributions from the political process; 2) requiring all elections to be publicly financed; 3) moving election day to the weekend to increase voter turnout; 4) making all Americans registered voters at the moment of their birth; 5) banning computerized voting and requiring that all elections take place on paper ballots.
b) A constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and do not have the constitutional rights of citizens. This amendment should also state that the interests of the general public and society must always come before the interests of corporations.
c) A constitutional amendment that will act as a "second bill of rights" as proposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt: that every American has a human right to employment, to health care, to a free and full education, to breathe clean air, drink clean water and eat safe food, and to be cared for with dignity and respect in their old age."
End of Quote
Now what we need to know in the coming days is whether these ideas will be accepted by Occupy Wall Street or others and if so how likely are they to succeed. I'll be evaulating these ideas in the coming days with an eye as to how likely they are to succeed.
Here is the link to the Moore site:
Well what can one make of this list? I will take a practical approach and ask the question what are the chances that Occupy can succeed in implementing the list.
1-Eradicate the Bush Tax Cuts:
This is actually on the table already if I am not mistaken. They are due to expire January 1st 2012. But the budget is going to be debated now. Congress will have to deal with it soon.
It's likely that the Democrats will go along with a new extension in exchange for the Republicans allowing the payroll tax deduction for the middle class to also get extended. Politicians act just like politicians. So this issue will be joined long before Occupy can get organized to act.
2- Tax wall street trading:
This will be difficult as well and will take months of organizing to get the politicians to vote for it. The Democrats are very afraid of new taxes, even on wall street in an election year. They won't go for this one.
As this is written major companies are bent on blackmailing the US govenment and us the taxpayers saying that they will keep their 1.4 trillion in profits off shore permanently unless the US government drops their tax rate from 35% to 5%. Outrageous.
Such patriotism. And this the politicians, republicans and democrats alike may just give it to them.
See the link below for this story.
3-Tax companies which move jobs abroad:
Again a tax issue in an election year, even on the un-American practice of using America to get rich but then spend the money over seas, not here.
This will, though, be a good PR issue and will make wall street very nervous because they are taking our money and not investing our money here but overseas. Talking about that for a year on two is not something they want to see happen.
See link below of how many jobs go overseas.
4-Institute social security taxes on wealthy Americans:
This will be difficult as well for the tax issue reasons stated above.
Items four through nine: It is difficult to see how these can be achieved quickly.
The constitutional amendments will never get through Congress and will take years to get implemented.
But the major critique of these proposals highlights a weakness of the Occupy strategists:
While the problems which prompted their uprising include unemployment, lack of career prospects, a dead-locked do nothing Congress, none of the above proposed demands deal with these issues.
Indeed the demands assume that congress can act to implement these demands. And even if that problem were to be solved the immediate needs of the protestors cannot wait, years in some cases, for these demands to be rolled out, discussed and implemented.
The demands also assume that Occupy will heavily invest time, energy and money in politics, something that will likely cause a split among their ranks between those that see politics as corrupt and those that will see that to be effective Occupy must get engaged in those very same politics.
The horns of these delimmas are sharp indeed. So what is Occupy to do to deal with these weighty issues?
I have a few modest suggestions which I will explore tomorrow.
The order in which problems are addressed are as important as the problems themselves. So what is the first thing Occupy should do? That would be not to focus on what wall street has done to me or you but to look at what will prevent them from continuing to do it in the future.
Their power derives from our giving them our money voluntarily every day. Therefore the following actions would stop that process quickly and take away their power.
1-Citizens should be encouraged, doing door to door campaigns, to transfer their funds out of these predatory banks. This could be and could take off in a matter of weeks. That is good energy to spend.
2-Second launch a nation-wide door to door-campaign to put on state ballots the proposition that state funds should be put into state banks, not wall street. Union funds being withdrawn alone would bring wall street down.
3-Third, insist and pass local ordinances that city funds should be withdrawn and deposited into local credit unions, coops and local banks which will keep the money at home and invest in local businesses and local jobs.
4-In congress find a senator who will increase the Commuity Reinvestment Act by 150 billion dollars funds which would be used help local communities create jobs. The Federal Reserve could create the money to do this overnight.
5-Put on state ballots that state tution loans be forgiven.
6-Put on the ballot that home evictions be stopped and home values be written down to market.
7-Launch a campaign not only for justice but to get our money back which wall street currently has insisting that the money be given back. (See my blog on this and how it can be done.)
8-Launch a nation-wide "Family Bank" movement, because that is the way, once we get our money bank, we can pool it to prevent wall street counterstrikes to kill of local banks--and to be sure they will try to destroy state and local banks.
A family bank gives the average citizen others to work with to protect him/herself in what will be financially chaotic conditions. (See my blog on this site on family banks)
The value of the appove approach is that the first is easy and makes the second possible and the third does the same for the fourth and so on.
The above can work and be a factor in yhe 2012 presidential elections.
Under the above conditions wall street will capitulate and come to the bargaining table by point number seven.
These steps will work, are relatively easy to do and will be effective if pursued. Moore's proposals, after these are underway, can be addressed and mid-and long term goals. Then the conditons will have been created to make them possible.
Now that we have list of do's here is a list of don'ts.
1-Don't get sidetracked by side issues: Like poiice brutalitiy
2-Like fights with city governments.
3-Like crime and violence in the camps
4-Like being too rigid, be flexiible
5-By fatigue itself. Pace things- be patient
6-Don't listen to people who don't have first hand experience of your problems.
7-Make things fun and don't let drums make enemies for you.
There it is, and this is enough for now, but more work is to be done later.
More in the coming days.
What the JP Morgan Debacle Means And What To Do?
Jamie Dimon is the gift that has just begun to give.
See article and video below:
Scathing video on JP and Dimon
Also I have reprinted one of my articles below.
JP Morgan is in the news announcing losses in the neighborhood of 3-5 billion dollars.The American press, in this case the NY Times, offers us the soothing response that this is not so bad and that everything will be ok.
Everything will not be ok for the following reasons, moreover, we want to know what this means, and who wins and who loses.
See the article below first and then we discuss it and its relationship to the European Debt crisis.
To quote from the article:
'The Federal Reserve is examining the scope of the growing losses and the original bet, along with whether JPMorgan's chief investment office took risks that were inappropriate for a federally insured depository institution, according to several people with knowledge of the examination. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is still under way.
The overall health of the bank remains strong, even with the additional losses, and JPMorgan has been able to increase its stock dividend faster than its rivals because of stronger earnings and a more solid capital buffer.'
Now the huge loss in this is treated as minor and the health of the company is described 'remains strong.' (The NY Times reflects in its coverage the fact that the finance industry is so strong in NY that the Times slants the news when it covers the Jamie Dimon's of the world)
Now how, you ask, can a bank lose this much money and still remain strong?
First, it was not JP Morgan's money that was lost, it was yours and my money because JP Morgan-Chase has federally-insured deposit accounts which means your and my bank accounts were likely used for these huge gambles.
We actually pay at least six times for the 3 billion JP Morgan loss.
We lose if our 401 savings are deposited with Chase by our employers and labor unions, states and city governments. They all lose and, therefore, our 401k goes south, our city taxes will likely go up or there will be layoffs because those institutions will not be receiving income for these 'investments' they thought was going to come in. Same thing on the state level and on and on.
Secondly, we lose since the federal government will be paying for those federally insured losses. We, as taxpayers, thus pay again.
JP Morgan loses nothing.
If we have personally invested in JP Morgan CD's or the like or have checking accounts with Chase our fees will likely go up in the future.
Chase will likely take care of its shareholders first and depositors (you and me not at all)
Federally insured means that our taxes will go up in the future to take care of this JP Morgan created loss, not to mention an increase in the national debt this will likely mean to cover the government loss.
JP Morgan will likely now simply go to the Federal Reserve and get more of that free money (1%) rate and get to gamble again with these new funds to replace the ones they lost. (We pay in increased inflation down the road and to boot will get blamed for spending to much because we can't pay the higher prices in a flat wage era. Ouch.)
JP can cover even this loss with other bets they have made that the American economy will go south. This called 'shorting' and they can do this even with their own stock. And they can make the stock go down by their own actions, and they can make even more money than the 3 billion loss. (This happened in 2008 and continues.) Reinsurance schemes such as those with AIG are an example where the American taxpayer was forced to pay for most of the bank losses of year, over and above the bail out. How much? At least a trillion probably six trillion counting the Federal Reserve layouts.
For example, if Jami Dimon found out a week ago that his company had a 3 billion dollar loss, he could anonymously instruct a third party to sell JP Morgan stock and make billions that way-or simply buy back JP stock at this reduced price which JP itself helped to deflate the price. That is deflate the stock down in trades and future bets and buy it back at its new bargain basement price.
This was done in the 2008 debacle and is still being done-and was done in this JP case. See video below.This is insider trading.
All of this is at the heart of the derivative scandal and the theft it represents of the assets of the American middle class.
Finally, in order to make up the loss JP Morgan will likely not pay, or will slow pay, some of their own creditors, including European banks or their subsidiaries or not make loans some of those banks were counting on.
Now Dimon will get away with this and is encouraged to do this because the banks, years ago, went to Congress and got laws which now make it legal for banks to gamble with your and my money.
That is why nobody goes to jail. See my blog on the Corzine case above.
Now the FBI, l the Federal Reserve have announced 'investigations' and Congressional Finance and Banking Committees have announced there will be hearings.
But don't hold your breath-over 35 members of Congress own JP stock, including John Boehner. Most get campaign contributions as well.
The President himself owns 500k in JP Morgan. So don't expect much to come from those hearings.
To quote from an AllVoices article below:
"According to the Center For Responsive Politics, opensecrets.org, the biggest contributors for 2011-12 cycle so far are the Bankers Association with $679,650; JP Morgan Chase, $591,504; Wells Fargo, $455,048; Independent Community Bankers Of America, $438,200; and Bank Of America, $409,921. By now these figures may have increased for corporations are people and these "people" are avid contributors to their "cause."
From 1990-2012, campaign contributions from commercial banks alone totaled $40 million. Lobbying totaled another $60 million from 1998-2010.
Top recipients for the 2012 election cycle are Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney with $271,750; Senator Bob CorkerBob Corker, (R-TN), $183,900; President Obama $137,743; Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), $130,669; and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), $118,900.
The "big money-like menage a trois" taking place between big banks, corporations and Washington is a sordid open secret, so dragging Dimon and others to the Hill is hilarious."
I would venture to bet as well absolutely nothing will come of these hearings because the crookedness of what Dimon did has been made legal by Congress itself, under the guise of "deregulation."
And to add insult to injury Dimon, as Chair of the Board, will launch an internal investigation of himself as CEO.
Now multiply this by the 50% of Wall Street banks that have this exact same configuration-but who have smaller losses-which taken together is a huge number.
What are the real losses each year piling up this way?
It comes to trillions each year and all are on balance sheets around the world; the banks have over a quadrillion in this worthless derivative debt.
The GNP of the entire world economy is only 70 trillion a year.
You see bythis how much of a bubble this really represents.
All of this is ridiculous and dangerous to your and my life savings.
For a scathing analysis of this see the Keiser Report below.
More later as the details emerge.
But note first, that with the mounting student loan debt, and the quardrillion in derivative debt above, massive defaults are inevitable- or at least restructuring-and that would not necessarily be a bad thing.
Argentina, Iceland, and Greece have shown the way to default and still survive. But in such a scenario, who losses and who wins?
What will things be like this year?
First Obama is not likely to support more regulation of the banks in an election year. He will likely clam up for some other very good reasons.
See article below for one reason and then I will go into others as well.
Meantime see this video statement by Dimon on the health of JP after getting 25 billion in tax money in 2008-9, promising to "overcome weaknesses" exposed in the 2008 financial meltdown. That promise apparently was not honored and things were not fixed. See the other CEO's of the other giant banks as well, all promising to fix things in 2009. Be sure to see related videos as well.
Makes you laugh and then you cry because the money they are talking about is our money, both the bailout and the losses, were all our money.
Dimon comes on at 33.04 minutes into the meeting. But it is interesting to hear them all state how much of our money they got. This does not even count the separate monies, in trillions, they got from the Federal Reserve--from themselves sitting on the Board of The Federal Reserve. (They all sit on the Board of the Federal Reserve-including Jamie Dimon as well.) They simply vote themselves more money as members of the Federal Reserve.
Self-dealing? You bet. See video.
Here are some real, practical proposals to fix the finance industry. See link below:
What the news papers don't tell you is that the JP Morgan's bad investments are backed by 100 billion in similar shaky investments and the 5 billion now under scrutiny was invested in European corporate bonds, not American companies or their bonds. All this while steadfastly refusing loans to American individuals and American small companies.
This is economic treason and is likely the single greatest reason the American economy has reduced chances for recovery. This money drain by the banks is a root cause. Reverse that and recovery will happen in 18 months.
Meantime, Obama is in the news demanding that Congress implement the regulations in the 2010 bill to regulate the industry.
This is just posturing since full implementation of the provisions in that fanatastically weak bill would do nothing to regulate the quardrillion dollar derivatives market which is where the problem is.
Don't expect much because an army of lobbists from the finance overloads will be all over Washington seeking to weaken an already weak bill.
Nothing will change, unless the American people rise up, if not for any reason other than just get their money back from the greedy and the incompentent.
How this may relate to Europe is indicated below:
For a look at what happens if the Greeks leave the Euro and impacts on us see link below. Click on box and copy will pop up.
See the PBS four videos below on how Wall Street ripped off small town America , pensioners, and small towns in America. JP Morgan is covered here as well.
See Frontline's Investigation of MF Global video broadcast
May 22,2012 See especially episode four.
Is Shareholders vs. Clients the Problem?
JP Morgan has more problems:
First: Employee Lawsuits
New investigation announced. This makes at least five.
Did JP cause the MFGlobal bankruptcy? Some people say so. Here is background on that:
Front line investigation of MF Global and connetion to JP Morgan
Congressional Investigations Underway in the JP Morgan Scandal
The Exposure at JP Morgan is Likely not 5 billion but 100 billion
What Does Wall Street Do With Your Paycheck Each Time You Make A Deposit?
Understand that wall street operates on split seconds. In seconds after you make that deposit the money is made available to wall street traders.
Meantime they make you wait for your money, with a phoney "hold" process which means they have just taken your money for one to seven days and have forced you into making them an overnight or one to seven day loan. This amounts to trillions of dollars each year. So Americans loan this money and don't complain.
They gamble with your money right away, and understand your money is no longer there in your account. Most banks keep only one dollar in ten in their vaults, the rest is being gambled or loaned out--in either case gone.
They carefully keep track of how often you withdraw your money (a savings account is even better) and track carefully your average balance and how often you withdraw your funds.
If they guess wrong and spend your money or too many depositors come for their money at the same time they simply go to the Federal Reserve and get a free (1%) loan overnight. That fast-or they set limits on how much of your money you can get in a single day, giving them time to go borrow if the need to, from other banks, or from the Federal Reserve Bank.
If even 11 percent of Americans go to the bank to get their money they would find that their money is not there and the banks would panic, that is why they always try to reassure the public that things are ok. They mortally fear people coming for their money.
If we pressed to get our money there would be "run on the banks"declared by the President he would declare a "bank holiday" and the banks would simply be closed with a phoney promise to open again in a few days or weeks while congress created new laws to govern them.
But the fact of the matter is that all is happening is that the bank is calculating how to get more of your money before they have to reopen and when they do you will find that about half (if you are lucky) will be gone.
The government will promise us the rest at a later date, or simply remind you that FDIC does not cover your money above a certain amount. This closing of the banks happened in 1929 and brought in the great depresion.
That is what happened and can happen again to your money. And it will likely happen in Europe first. Here is what to expect there first and then here in the US.
Now on the large scale our deposits are used in the way described in this article below.
Note this is a typical NY time finance article when the topic is the finance sector, misleading. The Times knows where its bread is buttered.
It treats the JP Morgan scandal as a competiton between highrollers and expects us to become excited by the milliions and billions involved in these computer generated trades and the article glorifies in the losses that JP Morgan suffered and puts up the self-made kid from Manhattan as some kind of hero who outsmarted the evil Jamie Dimon empire at JP Morgan.
Now this is a typical and ludicrious example of what goes for finance reporting in this country.
Now why do I say that? Read the article and then let's discuss.
What are the ten things wrong with this report?
What are those ten things?
1-It treats the gamblers with our money as high-stakes rollers. They even go to Las Vegas to gamble-again with our money. No where is it made clear whose money is being used here, won or lost.
2-Most trades on wall street (70%) are made by computers and therefore winning or losing is the result of who has a computer which can make a trade 1/100 of a second faster than the other guys computer.
3-It is not made clear that this same method is used to add fractions of a cent to wall street fees that are charged on our deposits, and bank accounts. For each of us a small sum but it is billions when added up, and is, in fact, theft.
4- That billions exchange hands and absolutely nothing of true value is created by all of this is the ludicriousness of wall street money handlers.
5-That wealth won and lost is increasingly won and lost by 1% of the population is never noted.
6-That the losers in this tranaction is the American taxpayer since Jamie Dimon will not lose and merely uses FDIC federal funds and gets the money back that way. We taxpayers actually pay Jaime Dimon's gambling bill so in fact there is no loser between these two high rollers; the loser is us.
7- The article makes it look like this is an one time big time gamble. Actually this kind of gamble is the horror that is wall street and goes on every day that is our money is being used in this way by most firms on wall street.
8-That the hedge funds here use these funds to invest in other countries, meaning the American economy does not have much chance to recover. Our own money is denied us by not investing in our own country.
9-That the money won is used to take our houses, bring down entire countries, (Greece, Ireland, Iceland, now Spain and Italy here money is weapon of mass destruction and people suffer directly as a result of what wall street does/
10-That this use of our money in this fashion is economic treason.
See also an eye-opening video on Wall Street in in the 2008 debacle and its relationship to the JP Morgan example.
To see how these wall street robbers take our pension money from us and gave us 1 percent interest in the last ten years. See article below.
More and more articles are taking on an angry tone about the JP Morgan scandal and wall street in general.
This article is refreshingly blunt about wall street.
And this one too:
"We have to understand that these losses are not rare," said Christopher Whalen, senior managing director of Tangent Capital Partners in New York. "These are recurring events that have to do with the fact that banks don't want to lend money. They want to trade opaque, illiquid securities that are not well understood, and I'm not sure banks should be doing that."
"If you want to gamble with money, fine," said Janet Tavakoli, an expert in derivatives and structured financial instruments in Chicago. "But you shouldn't be doing that with the full support and protection of the U.S. taxpayer."
Now an increasingly large share of bank profit comes from closely guarded trading operations with limited outside oversight, run by people chasing seven-figure bonuses who treat FDIC -insured deposits like so many chips at the Wall Street casino.
JP Morgan and the MF Global Bankruputcy
What is ahead in the year for American taxpayers? Keep reading on what will affect you even as you sit at home on your couch.
Think that the European Debt Crisis has not much to do with you sitting on the couch at home. Think again. Remember depositors means you and my paycheck in Chase, Wells Bof A and the like.
And more: How what Congress does or does not do in six months will directly affect your pocket book.
Quotes from the above article.
" Personal tax rates - Everybody’s, let me repeat, everybody’s personal taxes will go up in 2013 by thousands of dollars. The lowest 10% individual income tax bracket will expire, reverting to 15%. The highest 35% individual income tax rate will rise higher to 39.6%. People in between will see a 3% hike in their tax rate, on average. The overall heightening of taxes – income, payroll, health care taxes, etc. -- will suck $399 billion from the economy and into the government coffers."
"Capital gains and dividends rates - The 0% and 15% tax rates on long-term capital gains will expire, rising to 10% for lower tax brackets and to 20% for higher tax brackets. The current qualified dividend tax rates of 0% for lower tax brackets and 15% for higher tax brackets will rise to ordinary income tax rates for all individuals. Higher capital gains taxes means less investment, which means fewer jobs."
Of course the conclusion of this article is biased. Congressional inaction on jobs will create more job loss is the fact. More government income is needed to produce the dollars needed to put people to work, is my view, and that is also the view of most economists, and this is exactly what was done in the last great depression to bring us out of it.
Poor and middle classs people are now living pay check to pay check and upon getting a job will spend the money and thus companies hire more people because there is profit to be made and the economy grows. There is no growth if people are out of work and make no mistake austerity puts people out of work.
Notice above that the tax rate for wealthy individuals is 0% and a low 15% for capital gains including those speculating with our money. O% The average millionaire in this country pays only 15% in taxes and that doesn't count the money on taxes that would be collected if the goverment forced corporations to repatriate their profits from overseas tax shelters. It doesn't count tax evasion savings accured in this fashion.
Dividends are not taxed at all in some cases. Who gets dividends? The rich mostly.
So the tax schedules are skewed in favor of the wealthy while the average American pays 21 to 30 percent of their income in taxes with no way to reduce that bill by hiding income overseas.
The rationale used is that these folks will invest their tax breaks and create jobs. Well we see how that has worked out. What they did in fact was to take our money( our money because we have to make up for the taxes they don't pay by higher taxes upon ourselves and having the government borrow money to cover these tax losses) and gamble with it and lost it almost bringing the world finance system to ruin. And they are set to do this again.
Clearly austerity and extreme budget cutting doesn't work as can be seen in the European example.
My remedy is simple. Stop giving these folks our money and let us keep our own money to invest locally in our own communities.
Meantime the reputation of wall street suffers:
"Indeed, recent polling confirms the view that defending Wall Street remains a political nonstarter. Seventy-one percent of American adults believe the federal government has not been aggressive enough in pursuing possible criminal behavior by major Wall Street bankers, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll last month. That's up from 64 percent last year.
Americans are also expressing their displeasure with Wall Street via their own investment decisions. An April Gallup poll found that only 53 percent of American adults say that they have any money invested in the stock market right now — either in an individual stock, a stock mutual fund or a self-directed 401-K or IRA — down from 67 percent 10 years ago.
Any hope, then, that the sentiments expressed by the Occupy Wall Street movement represented only a fringe element of public opinion are misplaced."
Stuff you need to know to survive in 2012 and protect your wallet: Greece, JP Morgan and the World economy- Two videos.
Community Banks as an alternatives to the predatory banks.
Things you need to know if you have a credit card. The banks are trying to close out debit cards and force us bank to credit cards.
If you go back here is what they have in store for you.
9 billion loss for JP Morgan. My, my.
The European Debt Crisis Deal. So what now?
How the US government guarantees saved JP Morgan 10 billion
7/3/12 Ripping of the customers
Former Brokers Say JPMorgan Favored Selling Bank’s Own Funds Over Others
Librado Romero/The New York TimesGeoffrey Tomes, who left JPMorgan last year, said he had sold some weakly performing funds merely to enrich the company.
Facing a slump after the financial crisis, JPMorgan Chase turned to ordinary investors to make up for the lost profit.
But as the bank became one of the nation’s largest mutual fund managers, some current and former brokers say it emphasized its sales over clients’ needs.
These financial advisers say they were encouraged, at times, to favor JPMorgan’s own products even when competitors had better-performing or cheaper options. With one crucial offering, the bank exaggerated the returns of what it was selling in marketing materials, according to JPMorgan documents reviewed by The New York Times.
The benefit to JPMorgan is clear. The more money investors plow into the bank’s funds, the more fees it collects for managing them. The aggressive sales push has allowed JPMorgan to buck an industry trend. Amid the market volatility, ordinary investors are leaving stock funds in droves.
In contrast, JPMorgan is gathering assets in its stock funds at a rapid rate, despite having only a small group of top-performing mutual funds that are run by portfolio managers. Over the last three years, roughly 42 percent of its funds failed to beat the average performance of funds that make similar investments, according to Morningstar, a fund researcher.
“I was selling JPMorgan funds that often had weak performance records, and I was doing it for no other reason than to enrich the firm,” said Geoffrey Tomes, who left JPMorgan last year and is now an adviser at Urso Investment Management. “I couldn’t call myself objective.”
JPMorgan, with its army of financial advisers and nearly $160 billion in fund assets, is not the only bank to build an advisory business that caters to mom and pop investors. Morgan Stanley and UBS have redoubled their efforts, drawn by steadier returns than those on trading desks.
But JPMorgan has taken a different tack by focusing on selling funds that it creates. It is a controversial practice, and many companies have backed away from offering their own funds because of the perceived conflicts.
Morgan Stanley and Citigroup have largely exited the business. Last year, JPMorgan was the only bank among the 10 largest fund companies, according to the research firm Strategic Insights.
“It said financial adviser on my business card, but that’s not what JPMorgan actually let me be,” said Mathew Goldberg, a former broker who now works at the Manhattan Wealth Management Group. “I had to be a salesman even if what I was selling wasn’t that great.”
JPMorgan has previously run into trouble for pushing its own funds. In a 2011 arbitration case, it was ordered to pay $373 million for favoring its products, despite an agreement to sell alternatives from American Century.
JPMorgan defends its strategy, saying it has “in-house expertise,” and customers want access to proprietary funds. “We always place our clients first in every decision,” said Melissa Shuffield, a bank spokeswoman. She said advisers from other companies accounted for a large percentage of the sales of JPMorgan funds.
At first, JPMorgan’s chief, Jamie Dimon, balked at the idea of pushing the bank’s investments, according to two company executives who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions were not public. Several years ago, Mr. Dimon wanted to allow brokers to sell a range of products and move away from its own funds. Jes Staley, then the head of asset management, argued that the company should emphasize proprietary funds. They compromised, building out the fund group while allowing brokers to sell outside products.
Now, JPMorgan is devoting more resources to the business, even as other parts of the bank are shrinking. Since 2008, JPMorgan has added hundreds of brokers in its branches, bringing its total to roughly 3,100. At the core of JPMorgan’s push are products like the Chase Strategic Portfolio. The investment combines roughly 15 mutual funds, some developed by JPMorgan and some not. It is intended to offer ordinary investors holdings in stocks and bonds, with six main models that vary the level of risk.
The product has been a boon for JPMorgan. Begun four years ago, the Chase Strategic Portfolio has roughly $20 billion in assets, according to internal documents reviewed by The Times.
Off the top, the bank levies an annual fee as high as 1.6 percent of assets in the Chase Strategic Portfolio. An independent financial planner who caters to ordinary investors generally charges 1 percent to manage assets.
The bank also earns a fee on the underlying JPMorgan funds. When Neuberger Berman bundles funds, it typically waives expenses on its own funds.
Given the level of fees, one worry is that JPMorgan may recommend internal funds for profit reasons rather than client needs. “There is a real concern about conflicts of interest,” said Andrew Metrick, a professor at the Yale School of Management.
There is also concern that investors may not have a clear sense of what they are buying. While traditional mutual funds update their returns daily, marketing documents for the Chase Strategic Portfolio highlight theoretical returns. The real performance, provided to The Times by JPMorgan, is much weaker.
Marketing materials for the balanced portfolio show a hypothetical annual return of 15.39 percent after fees for three years through March 31. Those returns beat a JPMorgan-created benchmark, or standard of comparison, by 0.73 percentage point a year.
The actual return was 13.87 percent a year, trailing the hypothetical performance and the benchmark. All four models with three-year records were lower than the hypothetical performance and the benchmarks.
JPMorgan says the models in the Chase Strategic Portfolio, after fees, gained 11 to 19 percent a year on average since 2009. “Objectively this is a competitive return,” said Ms. Shuffield.
The bank said it did not provide actual results for the investment models in the Chase Strategic Portfolio because it was standard practice in the industry to wait until all the parts of the portfolio had a three-year return before citing performance in marketing materials. She said the bank was preparing to put actual returns in the materials.
Regulators tend to discourage the use of hypothetical returns. “Regulators frown on using hypothetical returns because they are typically very sunny,” said Michael S. Caccese, a lawyer for K&L Gates.
While brokers do not receive extra bonuses or commissions on the Chase Strategic Portfolio, some advisers said they had felt pressure to recommend such internal products as part of the intense sales culture. A supervisor in a New Jersey branch recently sent a congratulatory note with the header “KABOOM” to an adviser who had persuaded a client to put $75,000 into the Chase Strategic Portfolio. “Nice to know someone is taking advantage of the best selling day of the week!” he wrote.
JPMorgan also circulates a list of brokers whose clients collectively have with the largest amounts in the Chase Strategic Portfolio. Top advisers have nearly $200 million of assets in the program.
“It was all about the money, not the client,” said Warren Rockmacher, a broker who recently left the company. He said that if he did not persuade a customer to invest in the Chase Strategic Portfolio, a manager would ask him why he had selected something else.
Cheryl Gold said she got the hard sell when she stopped by her local Chase branch in New York last year and an adviser approached her about the Chase Strategic Portfolio.
“They pitched this product to me, and I just laughed,” said Ms. Gold. “I saw it as a way for them to make money at my expense.”
What is the LIBOR and How Does It Effect Me?
The Scandal of all Scandals?
7/9/12 JP Morgan and the LIBOR Scandal
Meantime what are the effects on the American people directly related to the above?
Important to note all of the money in the world (capital) only comes to 360 trillion dollars and note the derivative market is at a quadrillion (a thousand trillion) and the world GNP is 70 trillion. The difference is phony debt. Debt is the artificial creation of money by banks.
See my blog on banks on this site for details.
But today lets examine how banks and governments create false money and false profits.
This scheme works among banks the same way.
First banks loan our money to governments and then their stock prices go up because the governments turn around and deposit the money right back into the banks.
The banks take these deposits and use it increase their stock price and give themselves the illusiion of being profitable. Same money being recyled, a ponsi scheme.
The banks put these loans on their balance sheets and make money off the increased stock price and call that collateral. Then they loan more money to the government and the stock price goes up etc.
Now this is the same money, nothing of value is created and you and I have to pay the phony increase the stock price.
They have been doing this for years.
Is a financial transctions tax the answer?
Discussion of the obvious for next time:
If the Northern countries and Japan have aging populations why does this not put a premium on the labor of the young-and produce higher wages?
Does immigration offset this scenario but producing a supply of cheap labor?
But if even immigration does not offset aging then who and what accounts for this depressed labor market?
JP Morgan stockholders loss at 39 billion
As Europe goes so goes the US.
7/12/12 Banks to pay millions to homeowners they discrminated against.
Wells setttlement but others to come.
LIBOR will cost US banks billions in fines-this LIBOR rate means that you home mortage interest rate is likely affected-auto loan, insurances, the works.
Maybe you and I can get some money back out of this.
HOME OWNERS BILL OF RIGHTS
NPR interview with California State Attorney General
An overall picture of how wall street has looted America
How the rich profit most from government
JP Morgan to short the Euro
Listen carefully to Keiser's claim that "Financial Marshal Law" has happened in Spain. That might be what is in store for us.
See especially the two videos on the right hand side of the Utube page
starting with the second and third videos starting at 4 minutes in especially at 7 minute in or at 8 minutes for the Spanish savings example in the second down from the right. "Marshall Law" analysis at 11 minutes in.
See the third video down on the right as well.
For those who have inquired about all of the Keiser Reports, here is a link.
Max Keiser goes on rants but this guy knows what he is talking about.,
Paul Krugman answers Spanish reporter who argues "inflation in Europe is theft" Krugman, says unemployment created artifically through bank machinations is the real theft.
More info on LIBOR and how Wall Street used fixed rates to gut American schools and municipalities
How the markets are rigged
Who pays taxes and who does not?
7/31/12 JP Morgan and HAMP lawsuits
7/31/12 Cuts is Social Security and Medicare
They are coming after your social security-again. Here how.
And don't you young people think this only affects seniors. The plan also includes increasing medicare taxes and social security taxes you have taken out in your paycheck every month.
And to boot if you own a house then they plan to reduce or eliminate the homeowners tax deduction.
Better get active.
Jamie Dimon view of who is to fault for the economic situation in America.
The Tree of Debt
Jamie Dimon Speaks Up For Big Banks
Who is selling JP Morgan Stock How Much and Why?
Supoenas Fly in the LIBOR scandal
So Who Has Put How Much Money into Lobbying since 2006?
Who Has Been Bought off in Washington by Wall Street and How Much Did They Get?
8/16/12 The Bank Credit Card Rip-Off
Banks make 51% profit off credit cards. Credit card debt is at 1 trillion dollars in the United States. How did this happen?
This is important because with more and more people out of work they are relying on credit cards to pay bills more and more. It will entrap a generation of young people in debt for years.
8/18/12 Filing for Bankruptcy--Pros and Cons
Hear the second speaker in this radio broadcast. Charles Juntikka. He is the best bankruptcy lawyer in New York reputedly.
" Clearly, the present order is unsustainable. We need to demand fundamental changes now, breaking up the big banks to snap their stranglehold on our markets and our democracy, ensuring that the newly minted financial reform laws are implemented, and wringing out rampant speculation."
Quote from article below:
Good roundup of JP Morgan News and Finance News
JP investment whale division executive is lawyering up. Supeonas anyone?
Class Action Law suit allowed by NY judge on behalf of pension funds.
That is bad news no matter which ear you use.
Meantime the bid rigging case is ongoing and the judge is Kimba Wood.
The Two Largest Exposures to JP Morgan--Mortgages and The Class Action Pension Lawsuits?
What JP Morgan employees have hired attorneys? How many fingers and toes do you have?
How much is JP Morgan giving to members of the Congressional Committee which will make the rules on derivatives? See below?
How will Britian survive if London is shut down as the Derivative and Debt Mill of the world?
Will taxing the rich, closing tax loopholes and off-shore tax avoidance schemes be enough to close the deficit? Are there any figures on this?
Will the movement of cities and states to withdraw funds from JP Morgan and other banks have any impact on the bank?
What are the critics saying about breaking up the big banks--especiall the current Fed Chair?
"Fed Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin has emerged as an important voice calling for rethinking key aspects of big banks, including why they should have implicit government backing for their securities and trading operations. Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, and Jon Huntsman, former Republican presidential candidate, have also expressed articulate and well informed proposals for making big banks less dangerous – primarily by forcing them to become smaller."
8/29/12 Are Large Mutual Funds Rebelliing Against the Big Banks?
Wells Fined six million over mortgage-backed securities-tip of an iceberg?
Citigroup fined as well 590m
Mutual Funds abandoning JP Morgan?
"At the end of the second quarter, the 100 major mutual funds that the analysts looked at had just 79 percent as many shares of JPMorgan as the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index. That compared with a 92 percent weighting at the end of March, and was the lowest level in the seven years that the analysts have tracked the data.
Of the 100 major mutual funds tracked, 34 reduced their stakes in JPMorgan in the second quarter, while 9 added to their holdings."
Bank scramble over FDIC deadline
JP likey to finish below its 200 day moving average. What does it mean?
"The shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM - 36.85) are in danger of finishing beneath their 200-day moving average, which served as resistance from mid-May through early August. What's more, it looks like a slew of options traders are expecting the stock to extend its retreat over the short term, judging by today's affinity for 36-strike puts."
What are the time lines on the various JP Morgan lawsuits?
Private Equity Firms Under Scrutiny by NY Attorney General for Tax stragegies-Bain capital involved as well as some of the largest equity firms in the country. Subpeonas already have been issued.
"The tax strategy — which is viewed as perfectly legal by some tax experts, aggressive by others and potentially illegal by some — came to light last month when hundreds of pages of Bain’s internal financial documents were made available online. The financial statements show that at least $1 billion in accumulated fees that otherwise would have been taxed as ordinary income for Bain executives had been converted into investments producing capital gains, which are subject to a federal tax of 15 percent, versus a top rate of 35 percent for ordinary income. That means the Bain partners saved more than $200 million in federal income taxes and more than $20 million in Medicare taxes.
Who is on the subpeona list?
"Among the firms to receive subpoenas are Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company, TPG Capital, Sun Capital Partners, Apollo Global Management, Silver Lake Partners and Bain Capital,"
"Clayton, Dubilier & Rice; Crestview Partners; H.I.G. Capital; Vestar Capital Partners; and Providence Equity Partners."
Finance industry-insiders now advocating breaking up the big banks? Apparently
9/30/12 How has the 25 billion dollar settlement with the banks gone?