Friday, February 4, 2011

So Glad We Gave Them $12 Billion

JP Morgan was apparently not just too big to fail, it appears they were too big to warn American regulators about crook Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. But authorities in the UK were much luckier:
The UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) was warned about Bernard Madoff in October 2008, two months before the fraudster confessed that his investment empire was a sham, according to a lawsuit unsealed in New York.

The allegation was made in a suit filed against JP Morgan, one of Madoff's banks, on behalf of the fraudster's victims.

According to the suit, filed by the court-appointed trustee Irving Picard, executives at JP Morgan allegedly told Soca that they were concerned about "investment performance achieved by its [Madoff's business] funds which is so consistently and significantly ahead of its peers, year-on-year, even in the prevailing market conditions, as to appear too good to be true – meaning that it probably is".

Wow, that’s nice. Meanwhile, over at the New York Times, their reporting on the same lawsuit looks a little different:

Senior executives at JPMorgan Chase expressed serious doubts about the legitimacy of Bernard L. Madoff’s investment business more than 18 months before his Ponzi scheme collapsed but continued to do business with him, according to internal bank documents made public in a lawsuit on Thursday.

On June 15, 2007, an evidently high-level risk management officer for Chase’s investment bank sent a lunchtime e-mail to colleagues to report that another bank executive “just told me that there is a well-known cloud over the head of Madoff and that his returns are speculated to be part of a Ponzi scheme.”

I find this interesting. Both stories are extremely damaging, but the New York Times makes no mention of SOCA and the tip British authorities received. Curious.

I’m also curious why JP Morgan executives warned British law enforcement about Madoff, yet said nothing to American regulators or law enforcement. Remember: the lid was blown off Madoff’s scheme when his sons came forward -- it was Madoff’s children who turned him in to the FBI. Yet all this time JP Morgan knew about the fraud, and some bank employees even privately warned their own clients. Even worse, bank executives tipped off the British authorities. But Americans were kept in the dark. Thousands of clients lost close to $65 billion -- many of them philanthropic funds. That's money which would have gone into our communities. JP Morgan said nothing.


According to The Guardian:

The suit is damning of JP Morgan's alleged role in the scandal. It claims that Soca was informed by JP Morgan "only in an effort to protect its own investments" and the bank did nothing further to stop the fraud even though it had informed the authorities.

And these are the assholes we give $12 billion to? Hey, fuck you, you anti-American, taxpayer-fleecing, selfish dicks. Too big to fail, my ass.

I wonder if there is some difference between the two country’s regulatory laws which made Britain the recipient of this information and America not. I guess it's not polite to ask such things.