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Dimons Are Forever

by BRIAN CLOUGHLEY

Our lives are at the mercy of politicians, economists and bureaucrats, over none of whom we  have the slightest control.

Politicians, world-wide, have proved themselves majestically incompetent in trying to run the affairs of those unfortunate countries whose populations elected them in the sacred name of democracy. Most of them possess neither dignity nor decency, and you would have to dig deep to find a more pompous bunch of bungling idiots than those who claim to represent British citizens and imagine themselves to be important. The scenes in the British Parliament when a controversial matter is being ‘debated’ would disgrace a schoolyard of five year-olds.

Thirty years ago the BBC broadcast a marvelous TV series called ‘Yes, Minister’, which developed into ‘Yes, Prime Minister’, about the British Parliament, and every episode remains relevant to our times, especially the one in which the brilliantly-acted Prime Minister declares that

being an MP is a vast, subsidized ego trip.  It’s a job that needs no qualifications, that has no compulsory hours of work, no performance standards, and provides a warm room, a telephone and subsidized meals to a bunch of self-important windbags and busybodies who suddenly find people taking them seriously because they’ve got the letters MP after their names.

To this should be added the facts that in 2009 hundreds of them were found to be cheating the taxpayer by scamming their expenses (a mere handful went to jail), and that last year the parliament’s bars and restaurants cost the British taxpayer 6 million pounds (10 million dollars or about $15,000 per mouth).  They have belatedly set their own rules for conduct, and the saddest one is the first, in that “Members of Parliament should always behave with probity and integrity when making claims on public resources.”  It is amazing that these people need to be instructed to be honest, but, alas, it seems to be essential, given the inferior moral quality of pollies for sale, these days.

And there are sales and sales, of course, because although Members of the US Congress don’t seem to get involved quite as much as their Brit counterparts in sleazy expenses’ rip-offs, they’re big on the big ones.  The Supreme Court’s ruling on cash gifts to be poured into pollies’ pockets by the so-called ‘Super PACs’ was not just unwise, it was endorsement of bribery on a grand scale. It greased the already slippery ethical slope that, for example, attracts members of Congress to take subsidized trips to Israel (81 of them during last year’s summer recess, alone), to be instructed in how to stand up for Israel.  Obediently they filed into the chamber for a Joint Session of Congress a year ago and stood up and clapped deferentially in honor of the Israeli prime minister twenty nine times.

As the poet Jorge Borges wrote about the betrayal of Christ by Judas for thirty pieces of silver

The coin fell on my hollow hand.
I could not bear it, although it was light,
and I let it fall.  It was all in vain.
The other said: ‘There are still twenty nine’.

Twenty-nine, indeed, and, as put by the New York Times’ columnist, Thomas Friedman (a Jew and loyal supporter of Israel, but from time to time an honest realist): I sure hope that Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, understands that the standing ovation he got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.”

Twenty-nine times.

Senators and Members of the House support Israel and big business because they couldn’t be elected and re-elected without the cash that is lavished on them by lots of mega-rich organizations who’ve been plundering citizens for years and putting money into politicians’ campaign chests.  Like that generous political donor JPMorgan Chase, which recently lost two billion dollars through ludicrous inefficiency that had been detected and reported in early April by Bloomberg News, whose revelations were described by the conceited Chief Executive of JPMorgan, a loathsome gobbet of supercilious filth called Jamie Dimon, as a “complete tempest in a teapot”.

Then the tempest of reality hit the teapot of incompetence, and the mocking Mr Dimon was exposed as being the silly little donkey that he is, because JPMorgan Chase had indeed lost squillions of dollars by gambling badly, exactly as almost all banks and other financial institutions have done over the years.  But his initial comments were that the financial tsunami which hit his bungling bunch of avaricious greed-heads was “very unfortunate,”  and that “it plays right into the hands of a bunch of pundits out there.”

His sneering reaction was typical of all these banking bamboozlers, whose incompetence is matched only by their arrogance, and although the massive loss of cash showed beyond doubt that the “bunch of pundits” were right, and that the tricksters had been majestically, catastrophically, apocalyptically wrong, there’s no question of anyone responsible for the chaos actually suffering appropriate consequences.  Sure, one of the dodgers involved, Ina Drew, was forced to retire,  but since her last year’s take was $15 million and she got a goodbye handshake of over $30 million it’s difficult to feel even a tiny tinge of sympathy as she shovels the cash from the Dimon-studded troughs.

Then Chief Executive Dimon (who raked in $23 million last year) realized that his personal casino, the glitziest of all gambling gutters,  had become unpopular among us great unwashed peasants out here, and started to shed the crocodile tears we would expect from such a swift and shifty snapper and admitted that  “We told you something that was completely wrong a mere four weeks ago.”  Big deal.  Because there were lots of things wrong with his business and with him, too, like his ripping off his bank to the tune of $421,458 for the inconvenience of moving house from Chicago to New York, and a comfortable $95,293 to meet “personal use of aircraft”, as well as a gas-guzzling $45,730 for “personal use of car”, according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Yet — and this is the biggest laugh so far in this whole sordid saga — no less a figure than Disney’s Own  Barack Obama (DOBO) then weighed in with the announcement that “JPMorgan is one of the best managed banks there is. Jamie Dimon, the head of it, is one of the smartest bankers we got and they still lost $2bn and counting.” How a bank that lost two billion dollars can be described as “best managed” defeats the imagination. And his comment could be the key slip that turns off a few million Democrats come November.

But why does DOBO from Chicago think that sparkling Dimon is so lustrous?  Could it be connected with the fact that Jamie is a good old Chicago Boy who has shelled out a few hundred thousand to good causes, like the Democrat party’s pollies?  Back in 2009 Obama was just as enthusiastic about Jamie when the financial collapse was caused by financial charlatans being even more avaricious than usual.   “There are,” declared Obama, “a lot of banks that are actually pretty well managed, JPMorgan being a good example;  Jamie Dimon, the CEO there, I don’t think should be punished for doing a pretty good job managing an enormous portfolio.”  Quite so:  and of course there was no punishment, because Dimon was doing a great job managing a rancid cash machine designed so that over thirty per cent of every dollar they grabbed went to the shysters who fixed the deals.  Sure, the sharpies in other banks were getting over fifty per cent, but the actual amounts they pocketed were nothing like Jamie’s boys and girls were raking in.  And on that topic Jamie thought he would have a quick contemptuous Dimon dig at media reporters during JPMorgan’s ludicrously titled ‘Investor Day’ in February, and sneered at them for being lowly paid and “Worse than that, you don’t even make any money.”

***

The man Dimon is a contemptible bully.  He has betrayed his bank, that horrible institution that exists only to rip off anyone foolish and greedy enough to be involved in its financial shenanigans, and he should reflect that

The coin fell on my hollow hand.
I could not bear it, although it was light,
and I let it fall.  It was all in vain.
The other said: ‘There are still twenty nine’.

He’s just like all the politicians whom he manipulates like puppets, and he stands, wooden, ignorant and brooding, like a totem pole of the money he worships. The nation may fail, but coins will continue to fall into his grasping hands, and he and his loathsome breed will continue to flourish, because the like of Dimons are forever.

Brian Cloughley’s website is www.beecluff.com

 

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Brian Cloughley writes about foreign policy and military affairs. He lives in Voutenay sur Cure, France.

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