Thursday, March 12, 2009


From Bloomberg courtesy of Eschaton:

Dimon Says System Can Be Saved If ‘Vilification’ Ends

Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., said the U.S. can rescue its banking system by the end of the year if officials start cooperating and stop the “vilification” of corporate America.


“When I hear the constant vilification of corporate America, I personally don’t understand it,” Dimon said in his speech. “I would ask a lot of our folks in government to stop doing it because I think it’s hurting our country.”

More here.

It is a legitimate argument to assert that the great things corporations have accomplished outweigh their great misdeeds. I don't know that this is necessarily true, mind you, but it's a reasonable argument to make. After all, corporations, as an economic force, have provided me with this relatively inexpensive computer on which I am now typing. Corporations bring me the wonderful bounty of food I eat everyday. A small corporation currently employs me. And on and on. On the other hand, corporations pollute the environment, subvert our precious democracy, drive us to war, and sometimes straight-up murder people, and get away with it. You get the idea. Interesting argument, lots of good points on both sides.

But to not understand why people would think of corporations as villains places one squarely outside of this reality. In another universe, in fact. In the last decade we've watched as energy corporations used their political leverage to rewrite state regulations, and then gamed them to fleece consumers of billions. We've watched the Enron and Worldcom debacles. We've watched our pets die from eating tainted food; we've suffered through endless E. coli and salmonella scares. We've watched carbon emissions ramp up the greenhouse effect, which is now changing our climate for the worse. We've watched an endless parade of politicians from both major parties accept the legal bribes known as campaign contributions and then repay these favors with countless bad laws.

We've watched irresponsible greedy bankers like Dimon place our entire economy in dire jeopardy.

And Dimon doesn't get why corporations are villanized? Totally from another universe.