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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The odds are better that you'll win the Powerball jackpot


wall street democratJP Morgan looks close to settling with the Justice Department, says the New York Times.   

JPM would pay $13 billion in penalties that follow from the bank’s shady mortgage lending, which helped to precipitate the financial crisis and make the lives of tens of millions of people completely miserable.  It would be the largest fine that a company has ever paid in a settlement with DOJ, but surely doesn’t go far enough.

Rhode Island was, of course, hit disproportionately hard by the financial crisis and the mortgage fraud that fomented it.  You might think that this would make local pols want to steer clear of association with the people and corporations who did all that terrible stuff to the Rhode Island electorate — but then you’d be wrong.

So let’s call the question: How many JP Morgan execs has General Treasurer and Wall Street acolyte Gina Raimondo taken money from since she became State Treasurer?  

Well, I don’t know!  Because I spent an hour or so counting them yesterday afternoon and then had to get back to doing some real work.  (Namely, this book salon over at firedoglake about that book I wrote/edited about the SOPA fight.)  

Somebody should keep on looking, or maybe I’ll find more time to later.  Just go over here and search the filings for the word “morgan”.

But here’s a partial list of what I dug up during a skim of just a few of her most recent campaign finance filings.  These are not bank tellers, mind you: Bank tellers are fine people.  These are not fine people: These are the people who lead/led the company that’s on the verge of having the biggest settlement ever with the DOJ, because they engaged in rampant mortgage fraud and helped destroy our economy and the livelihoods of tens of millions of people.  Especially in Rhode Island.

And they love Gina Raimondo and are bankrolling her political career!
  • Jill Bickstein, Managing Director for Corporate Responsibility (sic)
  • Cheryl Black, Managing Director
  • Kelly Coffey, head of Diversified Industries Investment Banking
  • Martha Gallo, Chief Compliance Office
  • Eric Gioia, Vice President of J.P Morgan Chase’s private bank
  • Karen Keough, chief state lobbyist
  • E John Rosenwald, Vice Chairman Emeritus
  • Peter Scher, Head of Corporate Responsibility (sic)
  • Emily Seizer, Vice President for international affairs
  • Richard Smith, Vice President
If politicians are expected to return funds taken years ago from an insurance fraudster who cost his victims a few tens of millions of dollars, then shouldn't the same standard certainly apply to money from bankers who've helped cost the American economy several trillion dollars over the last 5-6 years?

Reporters should consider asking if Raimondo will give back the money that she took from these people and their associates.  (Really, somebody please at least tweet the question at her a few times. 

I don’t think she’ll respond to me.)