Matt Taibbi has claimed Wall Street operates like the mafia, Eliot Spitzer claims the mafia learned from Wall Street. But given the economic system is now Neo-feudalism perhaps the corruption more resembles a royal soap opera with lots of naughty palace intrigue – and like the serfs of old we get to eat the fallout.
On May 10 of this year, Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan, announced that billions of insured deposits at his bank had been invested in high risk derivatives and had sustained at least a $2 billion loss. The Department of Justice and FBI have commenced investigations. Dimon is expected to announce the current extent of those losses this Friday in an earnings conference call.
Following the May 10 announcement, there were numerous calls for Dimon to step down from the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That organization is the primary regulator of the firm. There was widespread public outrage that the CEO of a bank had no business serving on the governing body of his regulator. (The New York Fed has a long history of such conflicts.)
Now it has emerged that not only was Dimon conflicted in his role on the New York Fed but the President and CEO of the New York Fed had an equally dubious conflict of interest.
The Federal Reserve doesn’t have “conflicts of interest” the Federal Reserve IS a conflict of interest. Allowing Wall Street to control the money supply may be the definition of conflict of interest and has now lead to two depressions.
William C. Dudley has been employed by the New York Fed since January 1, 2007, first heading up the powerful Markets Group. That Group manages the supply of bank reserves in the banking system according to the mandate of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). On January 27, 2009, Dudley was elevated to President and CEO of the New York Fed. Financial disclosure forms for 2008 through 2010 show that Dudley’s wife, Ann Darby, was a former Vice President of JPMorgan and had holdings of more than $1,500,000 in deferred income accounts at the firm as well as between $250,000 to $500,000 in a 401(K) plan there.
In a letter dated January 22, 2009, authored by the New York Fed’s General Counsel, Thomas C. Baxter, Jr. and Deputy General Counsel, Michael Held, two financial waivers were sought for Dudley. One involved $1.45 million in Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) and the other involved a small monthly pension of $124.38 that Dudley would receive from his previous employer, Goldman Sachs, at age 65. (Dudley’s financial disclosure forms show over $1 million in his Federal Reserve Retirement Thrift Plan, which seems an extraordinary sum for his 5-year tenure. It could be that he was permitted to roll over most of his Goldman pension into the Federal Reserve plan, explaining why his monthly Goldman benefit at age 65 is so small.)
Of course a former Goldman Sachs executive should be a regulator! And if thou doth will it shall a portion of the benefits flow to his good lady?