Millions of home owners and millions of senior citizens with pension plans attached to the stock and/or bond markets experienced first-hand the effects of the 2008 recession. One of the causes of that recession was the bundling of mortgages by banks such as J.M. Morgan. Although the anguish experienced by those losing their homes or others losing savings needed everything from paying rent to buying health insurance, cannot be compensated, the headline that J.P. Morgan is to pay 13 billion dollars to the government for distribution among those with heavy finacial losses, lifted my spirits. As I read the article announcing the above, my spirits rose a little higher.
The chairman and president of J.P. Morgan offered to pay 3 billion dollars in compensation. While on the phone with Tony West, aide to the Attorney General, Jamie Dimon asked for a meeting with the Attorney General Eric Holder to present his proposed compensation. Tony West, according to eye witnesses, demurred stating that to discuss the proposed amount would waste J.P. Morgan’s time and that of the attorney general. By the end of the phone call, a meeting was scheduled after J.P. Morgan offered 13 billion in compensation.
Tony West remained adament, calm focused and determined. Mr. West did not indulge in histrionics. He did his job. Although Tony West has served in several capacities over a dozen years, or so, he is a bureaucrat. It always thrills me to find a person in an often meligned job doing an out-standing job. When congratulated for accomplishing what others considered a coup, Mr. West stated that the amount of compensation was, “… the cost of doing business,” for the giant bank. Golly, a realist working quietly for the good of regular people with, “Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.” There is hope for our government yet.