Nice Time (With An Asterisk): JP Morgan To Fork Over Some Actual Cash-ish For Enron-ing California
JP Morgan is going to have to pay$410 million dollars for manipulating energy markets in California and Michigan between 2010-2012, and if you're thinking that this sounds an awful lot like what Enron was doing, well, you're right! It was!
Via CNN Money:
The bank's energy unit, JP Morgan Venture Energy Corporation, was accused of raising electricity rates in these markets between September 2010 and November 2012 through "manipulative bidding strategies," according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The bank neither admitted nor denied the violations, but said it would work with outside counsel to review its policies and practices in the power business.
So yes, in a way it is Nice Time! Because $410 million is more than $153.6 million, which is what it paid for misleading buyers of complicated mortgage backed securities and it's a a lot more than $22 million (which is what JP Morgan paid for wrongfully foreclosing on veterans). And it is so much more than $200,000, which is what Halliburton paid for destroying evidence in the Gulfwater Horizon spill.
But when put in perspective, the $410 million fine seems like pocket change, given that JP Morgan has reported a net income of $53 billion (not million, BILLION) since the start of 2011, which makes the $7 billion they have paid in various fines and penalties look like chump change.
Also, we can find no evidence that any of this money will be clawed back from excessive C-suite salaries, and no evidence that anyone has been fired, suggesting that the fine is being regarded as a sort of business expense, rather than an indication of unsustainable corporate governance or bad leadership.
And FINALLY, as we are living in a late-capitalist inverted totalitarian soon-to-be-dystopia, unlike Enron, where people paid hefty fines out of their own pockets, lost their jobs, AND went to jail, it's not like anyone is going to jail.
Corporations! They are just like people! Except they never admit or deny wrongdoing and cannot be put in jail. But they pay hefty fines, hence, making a Nice Time for today.