As reports that the JPMorgan Chase trading debacle may lead to losses of $9 billion, it's critical that our nation understand what is, and is not, acceptable behavior for a bank in our capitalist economy.
The American Robin Hoods are seeking economic justice. They want Congress to resurrect the financial transactions tax. Britain, home of Robin Hood, already charges a form of it. Ten European Union countries plan to institute it. America needs it.
Greenspan sprung to the aid of the Wall Street Mafia by proclaiming loud and clear there is no need to return to the Glass-Steagall Act and all it would imply in restricting the proprietary trading of banks: "Glass-Steagall was never a useful vehicle."
Many Americans re-adopted a mythology about wealth that had been discredited and abandoned by most of the world in the 20th century. We need to transform ourselves, remove the blinders, and see things as they really are.
Wall Street can't have it both ways -- too big to fail, and also able to make wild bets anywhere around the world. If Wall Street banks demand a free rein overseas, the least we should demand is they be broken up here.
It has become popular to write about efforts to polish the profiles of bank CEOs. But take a look at the accounts of regulatory hijacking by the industry, or the revolving door between industry, regulatory and government representatives.
Tomorrow morning, Dimon will again face questioning, this time from the House Financial Services Committee. Whether we hear as much praise and kowtowing remains to be seen, but given last week's sham, I wouldn't hold my breath.