By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 23, 2020 ~
Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, can no longer hide his political leanings. We’ve got his Federal election records and they’re not pretty. Tens of thousands of Dimon’s employees are now going to have to come to grips with the fact that Dimon and their bank’s Political Action Committee (PAC) are supporting Mitch McConnell’s reelection, a man many would rather see pummeled in the public square than return to the U.S. Senate.
According to Morning Consult, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is the second most unpopular member of the U.S. Senate, just behind Susan Collins of Maine. John Harris, the founding Editor of Politico, has a column up this morning where he calls McConnell “a skilled practitioner of the politics of decline” and refers to McConnell’s mind as “ruthless rationality.” Harris goes on to offer this assessment:
“McConnell is leading a party that depends on exploiting every avenue to preserve power despite not commanding national majorities. Starting in 1992, in seven presidential elections, Republicans have won the popular vote just once.”
By refusing to negotiate in good faith to get a new stimulus bill passed to save critical jobs and stop millions of evictions from occurring in the midst of the worst pandemic in a century; for blocking a bill to provide funding for the Post Office; for now attempting to ram through a right-leaning Supreme Court Justice in the hopes of overturning the Affordable Care Act and Roe v. Wade (guaranteeing a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion), McConnell has become the antithesis of representative government to tens of millions of Americans.
Nonetheless, Jamie Dimon’s public records at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show that he has contributed $2800 to McConnell’s political campaign for this election cycle; another $2800 to WinRed, a political committee supporting Republicans; $5,000 to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s PAC, which has, in turn, provided $5,000 to the McConnell Senate Committee, $30,000 combined to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. (The JPMorgan PAC has also provided funds to the Democrats but to a far smaller degree since 2010 than its support to Republicans. See chart below.)
Jamie Dimon’s politics have changed a lot since 2008. On March 31, 2008 – just 15 days after JPMorgan Chase purchased the collapsing Bear Stearns at a bargain basement price with the New York Fed financing $29 billion of Bear’s toxic waste dump – Dimon wrote out a check for $26,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to FEC records, including an image of the receipt. That is five times more than the largest donation we could find for Dimon going back to January 1, 2007.
Dimon inevitably saw the coming great crash later that year and howls for reforming and prosecuting the Wall Street banks that caused the collapse. Fortunately for Wall Street, President Obama put Eric Holder in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice and no key executive on Wall Street was indicted for any crimes related to the crash. No bank was broken up or slimmed down either. Instead, JPMorgan Chase was allowed to get much fatter – buying up Bear Stearns in March of 2008 as well as Washington Mutual in September of 2008 as the crash escalated.
McConnell doesn’t like taxes on the rich. Perhaps that’s a good enough reason for Dimon to donate to his political campaign and not give a hoot about how that might earn him the hostility of his workforce or doom the country.
Dimon’s lack of sensitivity as to how the little people in America live was on full display in the holiday cards he sent out while serving as JPMorgan’s Chairman and CEO in 2013. The card featured expansive views of Dimon and his family in jeans, happily playing tennis (yes tennis!) in their lavishly appointed living room. Chris Hayes at MSNBC said the image suggests “hey, we’re so rich we can destroy our own stuff.”
Perhaps the one percent feel that they’re so rich they can now destroy not just their own stuff but the whole of the United States, then buy it back on the cheap as JPMorgan did with Bear Stearns and hedge funds did with foreclosed homes after Wall Street toppled the whole economy in 2008.