Transcribed by Accountants CPA Hartford, Connecticut, LLC
We’ve all heard the stories of Wall Street Greed but wait till you hear about how it affected one community in Alabama. We’re talking about Jefferson County, Alabama. Back in 1995 the local government planned to put a new sewer system in. The price tag was supposed to be $250 million.
But then the bankers came in. They paid off local politicians and businessmen to let them sell the County fancy synthetic swaps and other financial weapons of mass destruction. The eventual absurd price tage of the project became $3 billion.
JP Morgan Chase eventually charged $1.28 billion in just interest and fees. As the Rolling Stones Matt Taibbi reported, it was all a sham. Twenty local officials and so-called consultants were convicted of corruption in Federal court.
Now how many bankers got convicted? You guessed it: none. They paid a comically low fine of $25 million and restitution of $50 million, a fraction of what they made off the deal, and they were free to go.
And what happened to Jefferson County in the meanwhile? Well, they’re still saddled with the debt. So today 1,000 workers are being forced to take leave without pay. Sheriff Mike Hale said that his deputies will not be responding to traffic accidents because of budget problems.
And what about JP Morgan Chase? Well, they are living the high life, hauling in record profits. $17.4 billion last year, $5.6 billion in the first quarter alone of this year. That’s the biggest quarterly profit in its history. And just to put things into perspective, the $12 million saved by putting workers on leave is only 0.2% of JP Morgan’s first quarter profits.
Do you get it? This isn’t theoretical. They took this County for a ride. They got rich in the meanwhile and now all the residents have to pay the bills on their modest incomes.
And where the hell is our Justice Department? I thought they were supposed to be on top of things like this. The one thing Republicans and Democrats seem to agree on is that the banks must be protected at all costs no matter what they do. If Democrats were actually progressive, they would go down to Alabama and get those votes and actually help those people.
Can we get a party to finally represent us? Please.
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