Now that the Arizona Diamondbacks have been booted from the MLB playoffs, Chase Field in Phoenix is available for other events -- like hosting a presentation by JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to nearly 5,000 of the bank's employees in the state.
In his talk yesterday, standing on the D-backs dugout, Dimon was largely upbeat in his assessment of national and global financial conditions, pointing out that Greece may stumble into the shitter, but that won't result in a game of European dominoes. Nor does he think conditions are that bad in America. I guess not, when you made $16 million last year.
Dimon said he thought the economy was doing better than commonly assumed, citing rising retail sales and strong corporate profits while conceding that confidence remains low. Arizona Republic
Strong corporate profits -- always a good sign. For corporations. And why oh why does confidence remain low?
Dimon suggested that the national mood would lift a bit if Americans stopped "beating up" on businesses so much.
So there you go, Americans: quit beating up on those poor businesses that caused the collapse, that survived only because taxpayers bailed them out, that have gone back to reaping obscene profits and paying ridiculous bonuses, that sit on trillions without hiring, and that continue, through their armies of lobbyists and campaign donations, to rewrite tax laws and water down regulations. In an interview the same day with a business publication, he commented about the excessive regulations on Wall Street:
"There is a small chance that some of these regulations will make it very hard for American banks to compete," Dimon said. Phoenix Business Journal
And there's a larger chance that without regulations you'll screw us again.
"Maybe excessive risk was taken by some people," Dimon said.
Gee, ya think?
During the Q&A session with employees at the ballpark, Dimon was asked about Occupy Wall Street of course, since his institution, which just reported a quarterly profit of $4.3 billion, is one of OWS's main targets. While acknowledging that the occupiers have a right to protest (well, thanks),
... he questioned whether the protesters are "factually accurate" on various issues and predicted that many middle-class Americans will realize they don't have much in common with the movement. Arizona Republic
Tell us, Jamie, which facts are they not "accurate" about? Might it be:
• the disproportionate wealth increase of the top 1 percent at the expense of the other 99?
• the substantial decrease in taxes paid by the top 1 percent since 1980?
• the increased role of money in politics, and the banksters' funding of the US Chamber of Commerce, American Crossroads, and similar rightwing advocacy groups?
• the corporate control of most media outlets?
• major businesses that earn billions and pay no corporate tax, while rewarding one another's boards of directors handsomely?
• the corporate sector's assault on unions, collective bargaining, and public employees?
• the increasing attacks on gays, women's rights, and immigrants by GOP governors and legislatures across the nation?
• the right's attack on entitlement programs to offset tax breaks for the wealthy? and increased spending for wars?
What part of social and economic justice are they not "accurate" about? Please, I'm waiting. Maybe, like Cain, you think they should "blame themselves" because there are 5 applicants for every job opening. Fact is, if most middle-class Americans really knew the issues, rather than watching dickheads like Hannity, they'd have much more "in common with the movement," which is exactly what the polls show.
Dimon also noted that the Super Committee just has to get a handle on the deficit. It's imperative, he said, that they cut $1.5 trillion. We can't be worrying about a jobs programs and other government investments when we need to tackle the deficit first. It's just a coincidence, no doubt, that Jamie and his pals at BofA and Wells Fargo have doled out nearly $1 million to the Super Committee members.
He'd also like to see Congress reform the federal tax code because, you know, we can't be having some workers pay no federal income tax! He wants to "broaden the base," which is code for asking poorer individuals to pay something so we don't tax the higher brackets more. "Even if it's $50," he said. Yeah, even if that $50 is the difference between buying food or medicine.
And yes, like Bank of America, Chase is experimenting with debit card fees, which they will likely start for "some" accounts.
He estimated that about 10 to 15 percent of accounts would be affected -- those that don't maintain minimum balances or meet other requirements.
In other words, the people who can least afford it. Same story.
When asked about his own political views, Dimon said he is a "Democrat, barely." Look, we have too many "barely" Dems in Congress as it is. Americans have suffered too long from laws written by barely Democrats and corporations run by barely human beings.
So OWS, quit beating up on the banks. Celebrate their profits, and their CEO's compensation, and the jobs will rain down on the rest of us. Ponies too.