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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Food for thought -- spicy food

Here's a pretty amusing, yet also informative, advice column out of the Daily Journal of Commerce:

The CEO of JPMorgan Chase (JPM-$32.92) is a prominent member of the blue blood, Eastern establishment and uses the name of James L. "Jamie" Dimon. The address of Jamie's posh corporate digs is 270 Park Ave. in New York City. You should see it – not even Julius Caesar’s reign could match the reeking opulence, the excessive grandeur and the awesome majesty of Jamie’s office. Even John Alexander Thain, the former CEO of Merrill Lynch, called it the eighth wonder of the world. Last fall, when JPMorgan Chase needed bushels of billions to reinforce its capital accounts, Jamie devised a scheme by which the government used our tax dollars to purchase $25 billion of a new JPMorgan Chase preferred stock. Frankly, Jamie, who in 2008 earned $41 million as CEO, doesn’t give a fig or a ficus about your crummy $25. Posting him a note will have about as much impact as a teardrop in a rainstorm. This Harvard-educated "martini master" is the snake who approved that $25 charge, and he wouldn’t deign to make an exception for a commoner like you. I've received other complaints about JPMorgan Chase’s frivolous charges. I will give you the same advice I gave others: Move your accounts to a competitor and "spread the word." Remember, these are the vipers that strangled consumers with hurtful, villainous credit card charges and fees.
As a customer of the old Washington Mutual, I guess we're on notice.

Comments (9)

We had been with WaMu for a very long time, starting when they took over the Savings and Loan that was in Freddies. I have a couple Chase credit cards and don't have a problem with them as a credit card vendor, but I couldn't move my money out of Chase to a credit union fast enough. They had converted the free WaMu accounts into accounts where they would soon be charging monthly fees.

Sure they have lots of convenient locations in the area, but it turns out that the credit unions have pooled resources so much that it isn't a problem to find a fee-free ATM.

I agree with the author of that article, move to a competitor as fast as you can...

With WAMU, I had my savings and personal checking accounts linked, so that any time I wrote a check with insufficient funds in the checking account, the savings account automatically covered it. For a time, WAMU's on-line savings account was producing 4% interest, so I shoved all my cash into savings. Now, in that same habit, I find Chase is charging a $10 transaction fee each time a check is covered by my savings account (which now is generating about 1% interest). I could adapt to the new rules, but this is just one example of piss poor Chase customer service and I, too, will be gone as soon as I decide on which credit union to join. Main contenders are Advantis and Rivermark.

I agree with the above. I moved from WaMu to my Union's credit union (should have been there a long time ago)the week after the takeover.

As a long-time Wamu customer, I can say that the very first time that Chase screws me for any amount of money, I'm pulling it and dropping it into the Credit Union account I kept open after paying off a debt consolidation loan last year.

Which, in hindsight, was the damn smartest financial move I ever made.

Here's an edifying entry from WSJ's DealJournal that appeared shortly after Bushleague Treasurer Paulson, apple-of-Barney-Frank's-eye Sheila Bair, and JPM's Jamie Dimon dismantled WaMu:

We still do not know much about the alleged $16B run on WaMu that the now-discredited OTS used as excuse to seize what was the nation's largest thrift. Nor do we know why Paulson, et al, provided public subsidies to AIG, BAC, C, JPM, WFC, and the other "too-big-to-fail"s of Wall St Nation while WaMu was seized and sold on the same Thursday last September, $307B in assets being transferred to JPM's Dimon for a risible $1.9B.

It is not at all certain that transparency will be brought to these matters during resolution of the lawsuits currently pending. Bankruptcy court tends to cover more than it exposes. But one of those actions is a claim of wrongful takings, which, if concluded in favor of WaMu's surviving parent company, will give fading media darling Dimon and Cramer dumpling Bair a long-overdue lesson in humility.

We do know that Dimon had yearned for WaMu's considerable assets long before last Sept 25th; he had been thwarted in his April '08 attempt to buy the bank for $8/share by a $7B cash infusion from TPG (yes, that TPG, of PGE/Enron/Goldschmidt infamy!). We also know that Bair bad-mouthed WaMu among potential suitors. And we know that WaMu's parent had at least $4B on deposit in WaMu when Bair transferred it to JPM -- $4B that Dimon claimed he bought with his $1.9B and Bair asserted the FDIC had coming to it for no particular reason. Such is the arrogance of government in collusion with Wall St Nation.

All of this might sound very distant, as well as unbelievable, if you are not a WaMu shareholder or laid-off employee. Closer to WaMu account holders is the presumed demise of WaMoola, the unique, debit card associated program that distributed millions of dollars to local schools. Don't expect Chase to do anything for the communities in which Jamie Dimon only wanted a storefront presence.

Now let us ponder some of the wreckage resulting from the Paulson/Bair/Dimon collusion; in particular, the vaporization of the 401(k)s of erstwhile WaMu employees:

Fiduciary responsibility is something corporate entities seek always to avoid.

I am not one of the 14,000 employees dispensed with by Jamie Dimon after Sheila Bair gave him $307B in WaMu assets for $1.9B. Neither am I a former employee whose 401(k) has disappeared into the maw of government-subsidized consolidation. Nevertheless, I remain deeply concerned about the events of last Sept 25th and the ensuing damage done to this country and to the NW in particular by the flailing tail of the Dimon dragon.

Incidentally, by the time the fragment of the DJC piece was posted here, JPM's stock price had risen from $32.92 to $37.92. It now stands at $42.36. JPM has said that it expects substantial profits from the alleged rotten WaMu assets. The most recent quarterly is suggestive:

Regarding Henry Merritt Paulson, Jr's involvement in the theft of $307B from WaMu and the NW for the benefit of Wall St Nation, here's an early hint of what remains to be revealed:

Regarding changes being made by JP Morgan Chase:

Another example of a misleading header, something for which the local O is so notorious.

I do wonder how Bob Dole protégée Sheila Bair evaluated "WaMu's extensive collection of art and artifacts" when she assigned a price of $1.9B to the $307B she purloined from the bank and from the NW for Wall St Nation's own Jamie Dimon.

Remember all those "bad loans" the FDIC's Sheila Bair, et al, said made sudden seizure and same-day sale of WaMu to JPM's Jamie Dimon so critical? Well, JPM expects profits of at least $29B on some of those $307B in assets that it got from Bair for $1.9B:

It was Jamie Dimon who suggested not very long ago that the country should be grateful to him for saving us from the possible collapse of WaMu. And it is Jamie Dimon who insists that a $4B cash deposit (on which JPM is paying no interest) by WaMu's parent, WMI, was included in his $1.9B.

Is it any wonder that Dimon lives so lavishly on other people's money? Wonder whether he has visited Wall St Nation pal Bernie Madoff in his new digs?

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