Friday, May 03, 2013

Are they really going after a...a BANK?

Just a short while after I print a scoffing piece on our antinomian banksters, the NYT prints the welcome news that JPMorgan is in serious trouble:
Government investigators have found that JPMorgan Chase devised “manipulative schemes” that transformed “money-losing power plants into powerful profit centers,” and that one of its most senior executives gave “false and misleading statements” under oath.
Lying under oath. You and I might go to jail for that sort thing. Do you think that...just possibly...this time...?
The 70-page document also took aim at a top bank executive, Blythe Masters. A seminal Wall Street figure, Ms. Masters is known for helping expand the boundaries of finance, including the development of credit default swaps, a derivative that played a role in the financial crisis.

The regulatory document cites her supposed “knowledge and approval of schemes” carried out by a group of energy traders in Houston. The agency’s investigators claimed that Ms. Masters had “falsely” denied under oath her awareness of the problems and said that JPMorgan had made “scores of false and misleading statements and material omissions” to authorities, the document shows.
One still occasionally hears from old school feminists who insist that if women ran the world, everything would be ever so much more nurturing, peaceful, spiritual and Smurfy. Let the record show that Ms. Blythe Masters is the inventor of the credit default swap, the instrument that made possible so many of the games bankers played using all of those crappy home loans they had accumulated. In brief:
The "time-bomb mortgages" were insured by credit default swaps (CDSs) in an unregulated environment, so that neither sellers (such as AIG) needed capitalization, nor buyers needed to own the insured assets. Further, AIG's investment arm invested in CDOs as a collateral to lend-out stocks further exposing itself to financial calamity.
Thank you, Blythe! Have a great time with the regulators!

I've never before wanted to see a woman put in the joint. My usual preference is the other way round.
So to be clear, you didn't want to see Condoleeza Rice locked up as a war criminal, and didn't want to see the Abu Ghraib torture girl locked up, or the woman in charge of the place (Karpinski?), and you didn't want Andrea Yates or Lorena Bobbitt or any other violent or muderous or sexual criminal who happens to be a woman put in clink. But this one who's a banker, her you want imprisoned. She is fundamentally a thief and should be treated as such, but she's nothing special.

And of course I don't expect her to actually spend a second in prison, anymore than her huge gang of co-conspirators.
Stephen, you obviously are so politically engaged that you can't grasp the (non-political) concept of an irresistible pun. Or the (non-political) fun to be had from an off-color joke.
It is more likely that G.W.Bush and Dick Cheney will be hanged for war crimes than Blythe Masters will ever spend one hour in jail. People like her, who created weapons of mass financial destruction, and the Honorable Jon Corzine, who stole billions from ordinary folks, will never have a problem in their lives. Not unless Blythe becomes a liability to her billionaire owners, becomes despondent and filled with remorse at causing the impoverishment of millions of people, and you know, has an accident in a hot tub.
I'm approaching early retirement age and I only know that meaning from my father's usage when I was far younger. I do not think it's a current idiomatic expression, which of course hinders understanding the word play.

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