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Home / Articles / Views / The Highroad /  The mobsters of Wall Street
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Thursday, April 3,2014

The mobsters of Wall Street

By Jim Hightower

Assume that you ran a business that was found guilty of bribery, forgery, perjury, defrauding homeowners, fleecing investors, swindling consumers, cheating credit card holders, violating U.S. trade laws and bilking American soldiers. Can you even imagine the punishment you’d get?

How about zero? No jail time. Not even a fine. Plus, you get to stay on as boss, you get to keep all the loot you gained from the crime spree, and you even get a $8.5 million pay raise!

Of course, you and I would never get such outrageous, absurd, kid-glove pampering by legal authorities. But, then, we’re not the capo of JPMorgan Chase, America’s biggest bank and a crime syndicate that apparently is too big to jail.

Jamie Dimon is the slick CEO who has fostered a culture of thievery during his years as a top executive at JPMorgan, leading to that shameful litany of crime. Yet, federal prosecutors have bowed to the politically connected Wall Streeter, refusing to ruffle his feathers with even a single criminal charge.

Meanwhile, one of the scams that Dimon directly supervised produced a $6 billion loss for shareholders in 2012. And his reign of mismanagement and illegalities cost the bank’s shareholders another $20 billion in federal fines last year, resulting in a 16 percent drop in profits. You might think the bank’s board of directors would at least slap Jamie’s wrist for the loss of those billions, but no — in January, they rewarded him, raising his pay by some 70 percent to a sweet $20 million!

The New York Times noted that, “To ordinary Americans,” such a reward for poor performance “may seem curious.” Curious? Uh-uh. Try incomprehensible, insane, and immoral. Wall Street’s haughty elites continue to demonstrate that they’re common mobsters — only not so ethical.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.

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