John Mack is the latest greedy billionaire (well, maybe he's just a multimillionaire) to whine that greedy billionaires aren't getting a fair shake. He thinks it's really, really time people laid off JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, two people who many Americans would love to see behind bars.
He told CNBC he wants people to “stop beating up on Lloyd and Jamie.” He added: “I think that would make a lot of sense, and I’m in favor of that.”
Who's John Mack, you ask? New York Magazine offers a pithy summary of his stewardship of Morgan Stanley, where he piled on so much debt the company borrowed $32 for every dollar it made:
In September 2008, the Federal Reserve accepted a last-minute bid from Morgan Stanley to become a bank holding company, which allowed them to borrow $107 billion. They later received $10 billion in TARP money. “John Mack saved Morgan Stanley to the extent that he got a giant government bailout,” says former TARP special inspector general Neil Barofsky. “Without that support, the company likely would have disappeared.” And, as others point out, had it not been for Mack, Morgan Stanley might not have needed saving in the first place. “He’s like the arsonist fireman,” a onetime colleague drily observes.Here's why we won't stop beating up on Lloyd and Jamie (or Jack):
- Because the near-financial collapse of 2008 was caused by Jack and Lloyd and Jamie's recklessness, incompetence and possible criminal conduct.
- Because millions of people are suffering from job loss and wiped-out savings as a result of Lloyd and Jack and Jamie's incompetence.
- Because the government spent billions on bailing out Jack and Lloyd and Jamie's banks, money that could be used for education, housing, decent roads, public transportation and jobs.
- Because Lloyd and Jamie aren't lending money to fund business expansion but looting governments and creating another speculative bubble that's bound to crash.