Why Do So Many John Wiley Authors Want You to Trade the Markets?

By Pam Martens: November 26, 2014

9781118650059_cover.inddThe way the 200-year old publishing house, John Wiley & Sons, is pumping out books enticing average folks to trade the markets, one might be inclined to forget that 2014 will go down in history as the year when there were more charges of rigged markets on television, in courtrooms, at Senate hearings, and in prosecutors’ offices than at any time in the history of markets. If ever there was a time less conducive to trying your hand at trading, I can’t think of it, although October 29, 1929 might be a contender.

Wiley says it “provides everything the trader needs to survive and succeed in every kind of market.” But if every market is rigged against even highly sophisticated traders, how could a rookie with a little book learning succeed?

Let’s review what we’ve learned so far this year. On March 30, author Michael Lewis, who previously worked on the iconic trading floor of Salomon Brothers, went on 60 Minutes with professional trader Brad Katsuyama to explain to the world that “The United States stock market, the most iconic market in global capitalism is rigged.”

When asked by interviewer Steve Kroft who it is that’s rigging the market, Lewis replied: “By a combination of these stock exchanges, the big Wall Street banks and high-frequency traders…” Lewis goes on to explain that “High-frequency traders, big Wall Street firms and stock exchanges have spent billions to gain an advantage of a millisecond for themselves and their customers, just to get a peek at stock market prices and orders a flash before everyone else, along with the opportunity to act on it.”

With that knowledge, according to Lewis, these traders are able to front run your order. Katsuyama, a professional trader at the Royal Bank of Canada who later started his own firm, said the market would seem willing to sell him a stock but when he went to buy it, the price went up. It felt like someone knew what he was going to do – because they did. High frequency traders who could afford to spend millions to gain a millisecond advantage at seeing market prices faster could front run the slower trader’s order.

If the stock market is rigged, maybe you could use some of those Wiley books on trading the futures’ markets instead. According to three veteran traders who have filed a lawsuit in Chicago, the futures market is rigged also. Their court filing explains how the rigging works:

“HFTs [high frequency traders] continuously place small bids and offers (called bait) at the back of order queues to gain directional clues.  If the bait orders are hit, the algorithm will place follow-up orders to either accumulate favorable positions or exit ‘toxic’ risks, a process which leverages bait orders to gain valuable directional clues as to which way the market will likely move.  The initial bait orders are very small while subsequent orders, once market direction has been identified, are very large.  A portion of the large orders that follow the smaller bait orders are wash trades.”

If you could afford to spend millions hiring a bunch of Russian coders like the big boys on Wall Street to write your own trading algorithms, you might be able to compete. If not, it’s highly unlikely a Wiley trading book under your arm will do the trick.

You may also have to spend billions buying up industrial commodities like oil, aluminum and uranium so that you have an insider’s early peek at where prices are going, or, better yet, you can control the prices while you trade. According to the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations’ 396-page report released last week, that’s what the mega Wall Street banks are doing.

Well, if stock and commodity futures are out, maybe you could try your hand at trading currencies. Wiley has a book on that as well. Unfortunately, as we reported two weeks ago, U.S., U.K. and Swiss regulators say that market has been rigged by insiders. Criminal investigations are underway.

One Wiley book that caught our eye is “The Part-Time Trader: Trading Stock as a Part-Time Venture” by Ryan Mallory. It sells for the lofty price of $60.00.  The promo for the book informs us that: “Millions of people trade stocks in their spare time, supplementing their nine-to-five income with extra profits on the market.” Shouldn’t there also be a caveat that these folks might also deplete their nine-to-five income with losses?

The promo goes on to reassure us that “This handy guide equips part-time traders with all the necessary tools for successful trading — including guidance on pre-market/pre-work studies and how to make profitable trades without interfering with one’s day job.”

If professional traders can’t succeed in these markets because they are rigged against them, what is the likelihood that a part-time rookie with a full time job will succeed?

And then there’s the question as to whether trading, as opposed to long-term investing, is even good for the country. Here’s how John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard mutual fund family, explained trading in a speech on April 28, 2014:

“But it is only capital formation that adds value to our society. Trading, by definition, subtracts value. Indeed, the casino mentality remains in the catbird seat of finance. Is that good or bad for investors and for our society? As Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman recently put it, ‘society is devoting an ever-growing share of its resources to financial wheeling and dealing, while getting little or nothing in return.’

“I might go even further, and suggest that we are getting less than nothing in return. More broadly, be warned by these words of wisdom from the great British economist John Maynard Keynes in 1936: ‘When enterprise becomes a mere bubble on a whirlpool of speculation, the position is serious. For when the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.’ ”

Senate Report: Scale of Wall Street Holdings Are “Unprecedented in U.S. History”

By Pam Martens: November 25, 2014

Senator Carl Levin Conducts a Hearing Into Vast Industrial Commodity Holdings by Wall Street Mega Banks

Senator Carl Levin Conducts a Hearing Into Vast Industrial Commodity Holdings by Wall Street Mega Banks

Last Thursday, the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Senator Carl Levin, released an alarming 396-page report that details how Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail banks have quietly, and often stealthily through shell companies, gained ownership of a stunning amount of the nation’s critical industrial commodities like oil, aluminum, copper, natural gas, and even uranium. The report said the scale of these bank holdings “appears to be unprecedented in U.S. history.”

Adding to the hubris of the situation, the Wall Street banks’ own regulator, the Federal Reserve, gave its blessing to this unprecedented and dangerous encroachment by banking interests into industrial commodity ownership and has effectively looked the other way as the banks moved into industrial commerce activities like owning pipelines and power plants.

For more than a century, Federal law has encouraged the separation of banking and commerce. The role of banks has been seen as providing prudent corporate lending to facilitate the growth of commerce, not to compete with it through unfair advantage by having access to cheap capital from the Federal Reserve’s lending programs. Additionally, the mega banks are holding trillions of dollars in FDIC insured deposits; if they experienced a catastrophic commercial accident through a ruptured pipeline, tanker oil spill, or power plant explosion, it could once again put the taxpayer on the hook for a bailout.

The Levin report addresses the element of catastrophic risk, noting:

“While the likelihood of an actual catastrophe remained remote, those activities carried risks that banks normally avoided altogether.  Goldman, for example, bought a uranium business that carried the risk of a nuclear incident, as well as open pit coal mines that carried potential risks of methane explosions, mining mishaps, and air and water pollution…Morgan Stanley owned and invested in extensive oil storage and transport facilities and a natural gas pipeline company which, together, carried risks of fire, pipeline ruptures, natural gas explosions, and oil spills.  JPMorgan bought dozens of power plants whose risks included fire, explosions, and air and water pollution.  Throughout most of their history, U.S. banks have not incurred those types of catastrophic event risks.”

One would think that the mega banks’ regulator, the Federal Reserve, would be the first line of defense against this type of dangerous sprawl by banks. According to the Levin Subcommittee report, the Federal Reserve was actually the facilitator of the sprawl by the banks. The report notes:

“Without the complementary orders and letters issued by the Federal Reserve, many of those physical commodity activities would not otherwise have been permissible ‘financial’ activities under federal banking law. By issuing those complementary orders, the Federal Reserve directly facilitated the expansion of financial holding companies into new physical commodity activities.”

After the Wall Street financial collapse of 2008, which galvanized the public and Congress to the trillions in taxpayer dollars that was required to shore up the financial system from out of control global casinos masquerading as banks, the Federal Reserve quietly commissioned a study to determine just how sprawling the commodity holdings and operations of the mega banks had become. The study was conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Commodities Team. It appears that Senator Levin’s Subcommittee has only been allowed to see a “2012 Summary Report” of that study and the public is not being allowed to see even that. The Levin report makes multiple references to the document, each time noting that it is “sealed.”

Why the document is sealed becomes clear from the few tidbits from the study that are shared with the public. Among the 2012 findings are the following:

Morgan Stanley held “operating leases on over 100 oil storage tank field[s] with 58 million barrels of storage capacity globally and 18 natural gas storage facilities in US and Europe.” Morgan Stanley also had “over 100 ships under time charters or voyages for movement of oil product, and was ranked 9th globally in shipping oil distillates in 2009.” The company also owned 6 domestic and international power plants.

JPMorgan had a “significant global oil storage portfolio (25 [million barrel] capacity) … along with 19 Natural Gas storage facilities on lease.” It also reported that JPMorgan had acquired “Henry [B]ath metals warehouse (LME certified base metals warehousing/storage worldwide),” and that JPMorgan’s “total base metal inventory was as high as $8 [billion]” during the first quarter of 2012.

Bank of America had “23 oil storage facilities and 54 natural gas facilities…leased for storage.”

Goldman Sachs had four tolling agreements and a wholly-owned subsidiary, Cogentrix, with ownership interests in over 30 power plants; owned “Metro Warehouse which controls 84 metal warehouse/storage facilities globally” and qualified as a London Metals Exchange storage provider; had acquired a Colombian coal mine valued at $204 million, which had also included associated rail transportation for the coal. The report also found that Goldman Sachs had conducted “a uranium trading business that engages in the trading of the underlying commodity.”

The U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has spent two years investigating this matter and is now recommending a series of steps to curtail the excessive risks and conflicts of interests. The steps include: “issuing a single, comprehensive limit on bank holding companies’ exposure to physical commodities”; “narrowing the scope of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley authorities that allowed the explosion of Wall Street involvement in these activities to begin with”; and “instituting new safeguards to prevent Wall Street banks from using commercially valuable, nonpublic information obtained from their physical commodity activities to manipulate markets or gain unfair trading advantages.”

The full report, together with exhibits, can be read here.

U.S. Senate Tries Public Shaming of New York Fed President Dudley

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 24, 2014

New York Fed President William Dudley Got a Dose of Public Shaming at the Hands of the U.S. Senate Last Week

New York Fed President William Dudley Got a Dose of Public Shaming at the Hands of the U.S. Senate Last Week

Last Friday, the Senate Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, chaired by Sherrod Brown, effectively put William Dudley, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in stocks in the village square and engaged in a rather brilliant style of public shaming. With each well-formed question posed by the panel, Dudley’s jaded leadership of a hubristic regulator came into ever sharper focus.

There were a number of elephants in the room during the lengthy session that were only briefly touched upon but deserve greater scrutiny by the press. First, Congress knew that the New York Fed was a failed, crony regulator during the lead up to the financial collapse in 2008, but it granted it an even greater supervisory role under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation in 2010. This Congress has also failed to engage in public shaming of President Obama for brazenly ignoring the Dodd-Frank’s statutory mandate that calls for him to appoint, subject to Senate confirmation, a Vice Chairman for Supervision at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, who could have shaped and monitored a more credible policing role for the New York Fed.

Senator Sherrod Brown Questions the New York Fed President During Senate Hearing , Novemer 21, 2014

Senator Sherrod Brown Questions the New York Fed President During Senate Hearing

Section 1108 of Dodd-Frank requires: “The Vice Chairman for Supervision shall develop policy recommendations for the Board regarding supervision and regulation of depository institution holding companies and other financial firms supervised by the Board, and shall oversee the supervision and regulation of such firms.” President Obama was required to nominate this individual once the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act became effective; that was July 21, 2010 – more than four years ago. The President has simply ignored this provision of the law – no doubt to the extreme satisfaction of Wall Street.

The final elephant is that as a result of giving a failed regulator enhanced power and failing to appoint a person to a leadership role in supervision, the U.S. Senate has effectively become Wall Street’s cop on the beat, doing the job the New York Fed’s cronyism prevents it from doing.

The last point was buttressed by the fact that simultaneous with this hearing, Senator Carl Levin’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations was holding its second day of hearings on how Wall Street, under the nose of the New York Fed, has massively and secretly gobbled up a huge swath of the nation’s physical commodities, like oil and aluminum, creating cost spikes for the consumer and industrial users while also placing huge trading bets on commodity prices.

Levin’s subcommittee, in place of the New York Fed, has also had to conduct exhaustive investigations into JPMorgan’s London Whale trading scandal, where the bank lost over $6.2 billion of depositors funds; HSBC’s money laundering; Credit Suisse’s tax evasion scam; and various other Wall Street abuses.

Senator Jeff Merkley touched on this aspect after Dudley had the audacity to imply in his opening remarks that the concept of “too big to jail” had been consigned to history “when Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas pleaded guilty to criminal charges.”

Senator Merkley asked Dudley how many names of the individuals who engaged in the tax evasion scam deployed by Credit Suisse were turned over to authorities. Dudley said he didn’t know. Merkley asked how many Americans who created those secret tax evasion accounts with Credit Suisse were prosecuted. Dudley said he didn’t know. Merkley asked how many of the hundreds of Credit Suisse employees that set up these sham accounts were indicted. Dudley said he didn’t know. Merkley said the answer to all of these questions was “none.”

Merkley went on to say that the Credit Suisse guilty plea to criminal charges came about not because of any advance information provided by the New York Fed or any investigation undertaken by the New York Fed, but because of the work of Senator Levin’s subcommittee.

Showing deep frustration, Senator Merkley said: “You’re the regulator; why did it take the U.S. Senate committee to find out those facts.” Dudley responded: “I don’t know the answer to that.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren drilled down to just how Dudley sees his role as a regulator. In an enlightening exchange, Dudley made it clear he doesn’t view his role as a cop on the beat, calling his job “more of a fire warden” to make sure the institution is run well so that it’s not going to catch on fire and burn down.

Senator Elizabeth Warren Asks New York Fed President , William Dudley, If He's a Cop on the Beat

Senator Elizabeth Warren Asks New York Fed President , William Dudley, If He’s a Cop on the Beat

Warren shot back: “But you don’t think you should be doing any investigation; you should wait and see if it jumps in front of you.” Warren also brought out the fact that once the New York Fed learned that Goldman Sachs had fashioned a deal for the Spanish bank, Banco Santander, which a New York Fed employee called “legal but shady,” to dress up its capital, the New York Fed failed to bring the activity to the European banking regulators.

The Senate hearing was triggered by a long run of regulatory lapses by the New York Fed and then the September release of internal tape recordings made by Carmen Segarra, a former bank examiner at the New York Fed who says she was fired in retaliation for refusing to change her negative examination of Goldman Sachs. Portions of the tape recordings were released by ProPublica and public radio’s This American Life, showing a lap dog regulator afraid to take on a powerful Wall Street firm. (Segarra sat in the audience during the hearing but did not testify.)

Since the unveiling of the tapes, more news has cast a dubious light on the New York Fed, including a report in October from the Federal Reserve’s Inspector General showing that the New York Fed was advised of potential trouble in the Chief Investment Office at JPMorgan on multiple occasions but failed to conduct a comprehensive examination that might have alerted it at an early stage to the wild gambles JPMorgan was making in derivatives with depositors’ money. Those wild bets eventually led to the London Whale scandal and $6.2 billion in losses of depositors’ funds.

Just two days before Friday’s hearing, news broke in the media that a former employee of the New York Fed who had taken a job at Goldman Sachs, had leaked confidential information obtained from a friend and former colleague at the New York Fed. That matter is currently under investigation.

Dudley’s appearance was followed by testimony from David O. Beim, Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Business School. Professor Beim was the author of the 2009 report, commissioned by the New York Fed, that was highly critical of how deferential the regulator was to the banks it was charged with supervising. The report made multiple recommendations for changing the culture. The existence of the report was revealed in the ProPublica story. In Friday’s hearing, Dudley admitted that he had never spoken with Professor Beim in the five years since the report was given to him but said many recommendations had been implemented.

Also testifying was Robert C. Hockett, a Cornell Law School Professor and Dr. Norbert J. Michel, a Research Fellow in Financial Regulations at the conservative Heritage Foundation. (The written testimony of witnesses along with a web cast of the full hearing can be viewed here.)

Senator Brown said: “These recent reports should trouble any organization but they’re particularly catastrophic when the agency in question is responsible for four mega banks – four of the six largest banks in our country — four mega banks that alone account for $6 trillion in assets in some 11,000 subsidiaries.”

Warren had the last word in the hearing, summing up the findings as further proof of “the reason that we need a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Law.” Warren and a bipartisan group of Senators have introduced such legislation to separate the high-risk-taking investment banks from banks holding insured deposits.

Related Articles:

Is the New York Fed Too Deeply Conflicted to Regulate Wall Street?

The New York Fed Has Contracted JPMorgan to Hold Over $1.7 Trillion of its QE Bonds Despite Two Felony Counts and Serial Charges of Crimes

As Criminal Probes of JPMorgan Expand, Documents Surface Showing JPMorgan Paid $190,000 Annually to Spouse of the Bank’s Top Regulator

New Documents Show How Power Moved to Wall Street, Via the New York Fed 

Intelligence Gathering Plays Key Role at New York Fed’s Trading Desk 

New York Fed’s Strange New Role: Big Bank Equity Analyst

A Citigroup Banker Dies – Along With Responsible Press Reporting

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 20, 2014

Shawn D. Miller

Shawn D. Miller

Depending on where and when you got your news yesterday on the tragic death of Shawn D. Miller, a Managing Director of Wall Street mega bank, Citigroup, you were either emphatically told he died of a suicide or you were led to believe he was murdered. By late evening yesterday, the story had disintegrated into wild speculation. The New York Daily News ran this stunning headline, based on anonymous sources, at 9:22 p.m.: “Banker, 42, slashed his own throat in Manhattan bathtub during drug- and booze-filled bender: sources.”

It is becoming abundantly clear that if you work for a major Wall Street firm and die a sudden death, it will be shaped, molded, twisted and contorted until it fits with the suicide narrative – no matter how strongly the facts argue otherwise.

Building Where Shawn D. Miller Died in the Financial District of Manhattan

Building Where Shawn D. Miller Died in the Financial District of Manhattan

This is what we can reliably report this morning: Police were called to the scene at 120 Greenwich Street at 3:11 p.m. on Tuesday, November 18, a trendy, upscale area of Tribeca in Lower Manhattan. A friend of Miller’s had become concerned when he could not reach him by phone and called the doorman of the building to ask him to check on him. The doorman found Miller in the tub of his bathroom with knife lacerations to the throat and arms and called the police. EMS responders declared Miller dead at the scene.

All of this occurred on Tuesday afternoon, giving the New York Post plenty of time to check and double check their facts with the New York Police Department. In an on line post at the New York Post web site at 6:30 a.m. yesterday – Wednesday, the day after the death – the New York Post ran the following bold headline: “Banker found dead with throat slit in apparent suicide: cops.” That article reported that the police believed it was a suicide because “a knife was found under his body, sources said.”

But at 3:14 p.m. yesterday, the international wire service, Reuters, reported that “no weapon was found.”

At 4:05 p.m. yesterday, the New York Post ran a new headline: “Hunt on for man last seen with dead Citigroup exec.” This article states that “Police have not yet found the weapon used to cut Miller’s throat,” confirming what was reported by Reuters less than an hour earlier.

But then came the outrageous headline at the New York Daily News at 9:22 p.m. last evening, based on unnamed sources, suggesting that Miller had gone on a drug- and booze-filled bender and killed himself. The newspaper reported: “When crime scene investigators moved Miller’s body, they discovered a knife under him, leading them to believe he slashed his own throat and collapsed into the tub on top of the weapon, sources said.”

The wild and contradictory reporting instantly reminded us of how the London dailies had reported on the tragic death of JPMorgan Vice President, Gabriel Magee, in January of this year. Magee’s body was found in a pool of blood on a ninth floor landing of JPMorgan’s European headquarters building in London.

The London Evening Standard tweeted: “Bankers watch JP Morgan IT exec fall to his death from roof of London HQ,” which linked to their article declaring that “A man plunged to his death from a Canary Wharf tower in front of thousands of horrified commuters today.”

The London Evening Standard’s reporting was flatly contradicted by the Sunday Times, which reported that “Gabriel Magee’s body lay for several hours before it was found at 8am last Tuesday.”

No single witness was ever identified by the police to say they had observed Magee plunging from the top of the building. The ninth floor landing was accessible from an inside stairway of the building, meaning his body could have arrived there through means other than a fall.

Both Citigroup and JPMorgan have paid billions of dollars to settle fraud charges by regulators. Both are also under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. In addition, both banks hold life insurance on many of their employees. When an employee dies, the death benefit is paid to the corporation tax free.

The practice is called Bank-Owned Life Insurance (BOLI). Just four of Wall Street’s largest banks (JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup) hold a total of $68.1 billion in Bank-Owned Life Insurance assets according to their regulatory filings. According to Michael Myers, an expert on BOLI, those assets could potentially mean that just these four banks are holding $681 billion in face amount of life insurance on their workers, or possibly even more.

Shawn D. Miller Headline at the New York Daily News

Shawn D. Miller Headline at the New York Daily News

See Related Articles:

Profiteering on Banker Deaths: Regulator Says Public Has No Right to Details

Banking Deaths: Why JPMorgan Stands Out 

Three New JPMorgan IT Deaths Include Alleged Murder-Suicide

Suspicious Deaths of Bankers Are Now Classified as “Trade Secrets” by Federal Regulator 

JPMorgan Vice President’s Death in London Shines a Light on the Bank’s Close Ties to the CIA   

Suspicious Death of JPMorgan Vice President, Gabriel Magee, Under Investigation in London      

As Bank Deaths Continue to Shock, Documents Reveal JPMorgan Has Been Patenting Death Derivatives   

 

Wiseguys: Drawing Parallels Between the Mafia and Wall Street Persists

By Pam Martens: November 19, 2014

Helen Davis Chaitman

Helen Davis Chaitman

Every now and then, someone raises the question of Mafia infiltration on Wall Street or suggests that Wall Street has become an Ivy-league educated, better tailored version of the mob. Now, two lawyers, Helen Davis Chaitman and Lance Gotthoffer have dramatically ratcheted up the debate, suggesting boldly in the latest chapter of their free on-line book that there are stark parallels between the Gambino crime family and JPMorgan Chase – the nation’s largest bank.

Writer Matt Taibbi had a similar epiphany back in 2012 in an article for Rolling Stone titled The Scam Wall Street Learned from the Mafiathe story of how major Wall Street firms conspired together to rig bidding in the municipal bond market. Taibbi writes: “In fact, stripped of all the camouflaging financial verbiage, the crimes the defendants and their co-conspirators committed were virtually indistinguishable from the kind of thuggery practiced for decades by the Mafia, which has long made manipulation of public bids for things like garbage collection and construction contracts a cornerstone of its business.”

In 2009, the book, Nothing but Money by New York Daily News reporter Greg B. Smith was released, detailing actual Mafia infiltration in stock pump and dump schemes on Wall Street, albeit at small firms. That was preceded in 2003 by Born to Steal: When the Mafia Hit Wall Street by long-time business writer and author, Gary Weiss.  The Weiss book took an in-depth look at Mob-run stock brokerage firms selling phantom stocks by following the career of one of the stock swindlers, Louis Pasciuto, who eventually turned state witness.

But what attorneys Chaitman and Gotthoffer are doing is extraordinary and unprecedented. They are asking the public to seriously look at the parallels between the Mafia and JPMorgan Chase, a bank holding over $1.7 trillion in Federal Reserve assets and more than $1.3 trillion in deposits, the bulk of which are insured by the FDIC and ultimately backstopped by the U.S. taxpayer.

Lance Gotthoffer

Lance Gotthoffer

Chaitman is a nationally recognized litigator and author of The Law of Lender Liability. She is also a Bernie Madoff victim who lost a large part of her life savings to his Ponzi scheme and then tenaciously represented other victims of his fraud in district and appellate courts. Chaitman has teamed up with fellow attorney, Lance Gotthoffer, to conduct an exhaustive investigation of the intersection of the Madoff fraud with the bank that was criminally charged by the U.S. Justice Department in the matter – JPMorgan Chase. (The bank signed a deferred prosecution agreement and paid $1.7 billion to the Madoff victims’ fund to avoid prosecution.)

The book is titled JPMadoff: The Unholy Alliance Between America’s Biggest Bank and America’s Biggest Crook. The authors are releasing a new chapter of the book each month as well as a quick means of contacting your legislator in Washington to urge Congress toact in the interests of the American people, not in the interests of the financial institutions that are rich enough to make significant contributions.”

The latest chapter looks at the culture inside JPMorgan and provides a detailed portrait of some of the main insiders: among them, Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon; General Counsel Stephen M. Cutler; and Lee R. Raymond, the Lead Independent Director on the JPMorgan Chase board. The public will be further shocked to learn that the members of JPMorgan’s board who have kept Dimon as the Chairman and CEO through an endless series of government charges of law breaking by the firm are paid the enormous sum of $245,000.

But the most damning parallel to a Mafia crime family are the crimes themselves: they are unconscionable and they just don’t stop. Outside of the more than $3 billion that JPMorgan paid to settle both criminal and civil charges related to Madoff, below is the additional JPMorgan rap sheet Chaitman and Gotthoffer include in the book, spanning just the last four years.

“In April 2011, JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay $35 million to settle claims that it over-charged members of the military service on their mortgages in violation of the Service Members Civil Relief Act and the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

“In March 2012, JPMorgan Chase paid the government $659 million to settle charges that it charged veterans hidden fees in mortgage refinancing transactions.

“In October 2012, JPMorgan Chase paid $1.2 billion to settle claims that it, along with other banks, conspired to set the price of credit and debit card interchange fees.

“On January 7, 2013, JPMorgan Chase announced that it had agreed to a settlement with the Office of the Controller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve Bank of charges that it had engaged in improper foreclosure practices.

“In September 2013, JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay $80 million in fines and $309 million in refunds to customers whom the Bank billed for credit monitoring services that the Bank never provided.

“On November 15, 2013, JPMorgan Chase announced that it had agreed to pay $4.5 billion to settle claims that it defrauded investors in mortgage-backed securities in the time period between 2005—2008.

“On December 13, 2013, JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay 79.9 million Euros to settle claims of the European Commission relating to illegal rigging of benchmark interest rates.

“In February 2012, JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay $110 million to settle claims that it over-charged customers for overdraft fees.

“In July 2013, JPMorgan Chase paid $410 million to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to settle claims of bidding manipulation of California and Midwest electricity markets.

“On November 19, 2013, JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay $13 billion to settle claims by the Department of Justice, the FDIC, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the States of California, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York, and to consumers, relating to fraudulent practices with respect to mortgage-backed securities.

“In November 2012, JPMorgan Chase paid $296,900,000 to the SEC to settle claims that it mis-stated information about the delinquency status of its mortgage portfolio.

“In December 2013, JPMorgan Chase paid $22.1 million to settle claims that the Bank imposed expensive and unnecessary flood insurance on homeowners whose mortgages the Bank serviced.”