The United States is trying to pull out of the greatest financial tailspins in its history. Dice-rolling braggadacio by a key officer at one of the nation's largest banks is exactly the kind of thing Congress, taxpayers and voters should find scary.
Fun as it may be to beat up on the arrogant Jamie Dimon for the $2 billion-plus derivatives fiasco at JPMorgan Chase, this is like blaming the lion that ate the kid who got too close to its cage at the zoo, rather than going after the guy who allowed such an unsafe cage to be built.
What just happened at J.P. Morgan reveals how fragile and opaque the banking system continues to be, why Glass-Steagall must be resurrected, and why the Dallas Fed's recent recommendation that Wall Street's giant banks be broken up should be heeded.
In the light of JP Morgan's stunning losses on derivatives, announced yesterday but with the full scope of total potential losses still not yet clear (and not yet determined), Jamie Dimon and his company do not look like any kind of appealing role model.
We can and must do more to protect military families like the Rowles'. Just as we provide our troops with the best possible protection on the battlefield, we have a commitment to look out for them and their families while they're away.
Memo to the Obama Administration: if you want to see the makings of a national model to hold big banks accountable for fixing foreclosure-devastated neighborhoods, go to Milwaukee and talk to citizen leaders who are practicing what Saul Alinsky preached.
"I didn't do anything wrong. I'm doing this for my family and for the millions of other families in similar situations. We can't let the Wall Street banks and Freddie Mac get away with these kinds of practices."
Hopefully the next time a bank commits a crime, the guys who fell asleep at the wheel won't have their defense paid for out of your retirement account. We'll only see improvements in banks when directors are liable.