By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 1, 2021 ~
Jes Staley, the CEO at the British global bank, Barclays, is stepping down immediately following a probe by British regulators into his ties with child sex trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein. Staley’s ties to Epstein occurred while he was an executive at JPMorgan Chase, the U.S. bank that has racked up five felony counts from the U.S. Department of Justice in the past seven years.
Staley will be replaced as CEO by Barclays’ head of global markets, C.S. Venkatakrishnan, who himself came from JPMorgan Chase.
Reuters reported early this morning that Staley’s abrupt departure came after Barclays was informed this past Friday of the, as yet unreleased, findings of a report by U.K. financial regulators’ into Staley’s characterization of his relationship with Epstein, who killed himself in jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on charges involving child sex trafficking.
On February 13 of last year, the Financial Times reported that the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority had opened an investigation into Staley’s relationship with Epstein after JPMorgan Chase had provided a cache of emails between the two men to U.S. regulators, who passed them on to their counterparts in the U.K. (JPMorgan Chase was under a deferred prosecution agreement and on probation for rigging foreign exchange trading, which required it to cooperate fully with the Justice Department and turn over any evidence of wrongdoing).
A 2019 investigation conducted by Wall Street On Parade indicated that Epstein’s ties to JPMorgan Chase date back to at least 2001 when Epstein presided as Chairman over an offshore company incorporated in Bermuda called Liquid Funding Ltd. That company grew to at least $6.7 billion in outstanding liabilities. JPMorgan Chase was one of three banks providing a $250 million liquidity facility to Liquid Funding Ltd. JPMorgan Chase was also listed as its “Security Trustee.” Liquid Funding appeared to be propping up dodgy subprime mortgage dealers by giving them loans. Bear Stearns, where Epstein had worked from 1976 to 1981, owned 40 percent of the equity in the company.
Bear Stearns collapsed during the financial crisis of 2008 and received $853 billion in secret loans from the Federal Reserve, as well as the publicly-disclosed $28.8 billion purchase of toxic assets through a senior loan from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to sweeten the terms of the purchase of Bear Stearns by JPMorgan Chase. (See Jeffrey Epstein Chaired a $6.7 Billion Company that Documents Suggest May Have Received a Secret Federal Reserve Bailout.)
The New York Times reported on July 22, 2019 that while Epstein was enjoying a sweetheart incarceration deal in Florida, Staley paid him a visit. The Times’ explanation for the visit was that Epstein had “over the years” sent “dozens of wealthy clients to Mr. Staley and his bank.” Epstein at the time was a registered sex offender and had pleaded guilty to soliciting sex from a minor.
Bloomberg News reported just five days before Epstein’s death in his jail cell that Staley and his wife had also visited Epstein on his private Caribbean island, Little St. James, in April 2015. Staley was no longer employed at JPMorgan Chase at that time.
A New York Times report in August of 2019 revealed that Epstein was able to maintain an account at JPMorgan Chase for 15 years, even after his conviction in Florida, despite warnings from its compliance officers that he posed reputational risk.