One of the most annoying habits of the global elite is arguing in secret. Private business is private business, but for any master at straddling the public and private sectors, avoiding an open fight is best practices. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the financial industry, where confidential agreements routinely deny citizens, and even some legislators, access to essential facts about how America is governed and why.
Choose a big bank at random, and the pattern is plain. November 2012: Together with Credit Suisse, JPMorgan Chase JPM -0.09% (JPM) agrees to settle SEC charges surrounding bogus mortgage-backed bond sales for a combined $416.9M. July 2013: once again avoiding any unsightly exposure of unflattering information, JPM agrees to an out-of-court settlement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which charged that the bank ripped off Californian and Midwestern consumers. Price tag: $410M. September: without having to admit any wrongdoing, JPM settles a class action lawsuit out of court for $300M, despite being alleged to have enriched itself andAssurant AIZ +0.25% to the tune of $1B. A 2007 class action suit, again concerning misleading nondisclosures of mortgage interest rates, will cost JPM a mere $18.3M to settle out of court, wrongdoing again denied. Remember MF Global ? JPM is settling out of court with them, too, in a deal worth well over $500M.
Fines, not punishment; adjudication, not judgment. This is what has supplanted the rule of law.
America’s corporatists are the ones who have done it.
And the king of the corporatists, Larry Summers, has done it all over again by withdrawing his candidacy to chair the Federal Reserve.
Read More at Forbes . By James Poulos.