JPMadoff, The Unholy Alliance Between America’s Biggest Bank and America’s Biggest Crook by Helen Davis Chaitman,’59 and Lance Gotthoffer. For twenty years, JP Morgan Chase ignored its responsibility to report the shady dealings of Bernie Madoff. The authors tell a harrowing tale of sleazy behavior in high places, behavior designed to increase the wealth and power of the bank at the expense of ordinary citizens. It appears that more than absolute power, money itself is what corrupts absolutely. I come away thinking that while we look down our noses at countries that require bribes to do business, we have simply reversed the system: instead of paying upfront for government indulgence, banks like JP Morgan take a chance of paying later. When they’re caught, they cough up fines as the cost of business. JPMadoff is a gripping polemic, copiously documented and peppered with humans caught in moral dilemmas (particularly the courageous whistleblowers). I found it downright scary. The authors do hold out hope. If their blueprint for solutions were to make its way into the consciousness of the population, half of whom are JP Morgan customers, the arc of history would bend a little more toward justice.
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Jul 31, 2018