Jon Stewart Shreds Fox and CNBC for Defending JP Morgan Chase

stewart-epic-rantI’ll admit, I never get tired of Jon Stewart.  While Stephen Colbert is good, Stewart is really a brilliant newsman who just happens to be funny as hell.  But I do find it sad that the best — and most factual — news I get often comes from Comedy Central.

Take for instance this 9+ minute epic rant Jon Stewart unleashed last night against Fox Business and CNBC’s coverage of the JP Morgan Chase $13 billion settlement with the government.

For those of you who might not know, JP Morgan Chase settled for $13 billion for being guilty of essentially selling investors on investments they knew were going to fail just before our financial collapse.

With this kind of news, you would figure the financial networks would be applauding the fact that finally some kind of punishment had been levied against some of these financial institutions, which knew their unethical behavior would eventually crash our entire economy.

After all, not a single person in charge of one of these institutions has gone to jail for their corrupt behavior, so at least this settlement represents some kind of punishment toward an institution that was pivotal in our financial collapse.  So you would think CNBC and Fox Business would be ecstatic over this settlement.

Well, apparently not.

Not only were many on these networks not happy that finally some kind of punishment had been dolled out, quite a few of the analysts called this settlement a “shakedown” and a “jihad.”

Or as Stewart, mocking their reactions, said, “It’s like if the Holocaust had sex with slavery while the last ten minutes of Human Centipede watched!”

Stewart also went on to point out that JP Morgan had planned for this possibility by setting aside a $28 billion “rainy day fund” for just such an occasion.  Showing that not only was this settlement still very weak, those who now run the company thought it would be more than double what it actually was.

After he tore into the comments made by some of these ridiculous hosts, an obviously disgusted Stewart ended the segment by saying, “Fuck all y’all!”  And I don’t blame him.

It is completely absurd for anyone to defend these institutions.  Not only is this fine not large enough, it’s absolutely appalling that no one has been put in jail for what went on prior to our financial crash.

Many of these people knew they were selling garbage, knew it was going to all fall apart—but did so in a way that they would make unheard of sums of money and walk away when the whole bubble bursts.

And that’s exactly what many of them did.

It was true deregulated capitalism at its finest moment.  Greedy bastards screwing over anyone and everything, not caring who would be hurt by their unethical behavior, simply to make as much money as possible for themselves.  And it’s pretty clear that they knew, even when the whole thing collapsed, they would walk away ridiculously rich while the rest of the country would end up paying for it.

I really believe history is going to look back on this situation and laugh at all of us.  Laugh at the fact that the world’s leading economy was crashed, the people responsible for the crash knew it would happen, and not a single person responsible was ever put in jail for these crimes.

The people in charge of our finances, the people who run our banks, did something no terrorist organization has been able to do—they brought down the United States.  They wrecked our economy and become very rich doing it.

And how did we respond?  We bailed them out and let all of them walk away rich—and free.

The more I think about it, the more it makes me absolutely sick.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Pipercat

    Stewart’s last line sums it up succinctly and precisely.

  • Kevin

    I could be wrong but weren’t they on the hook because they bought out the company that was selling the bad loans?

    • Dave

      Yes, Kevin. The company looks at assets and liabilities and determines if long term profits will cover the losses then they proceed. Remember when McDonnell-Douglas was purchased by Boeing? Boeing inherited the lawsuits against MD.

  • rockit robb

    I get my news from the Daily Show way more fair and balanced than Fox News could hope to be

  • Chester Marx

    I’m “mature”, and I get a lot of my news from Jon Stewart. An example, I discovered last night that 1.) JP Morgan covered it’s tush with a fund for the fines that were coming after their purchase, and 2.) It must have known about the positive tax consequences, thus lowering the impact of the fine immensely.

  • Pat

    Calling them “greedy bastards” is much, much too kind! People like this are the scum of the earth, and they will have to meet their maker and face up eventually.

    • Matthew Reece

      Sometimes I wonder just how many injustices have gone unpunished because people believe that someday, someone else will punish the wrongdoers. There is no better place than here and no better time than now to force evildoers to commit restitution.

  • JG

    I wound not shed a drop of a tear if Wall Street were to fall off into the East River, or if they were attacked by terrorists, or a plague, or chemical, or biological warfare…..They’ve had it coming for decades. America can live without these opportunists ripping all of us off. Sure it might be a bit of a strain at first, but clearly they need to be bulldozed off the island and forgotten …forever. Occupy Wall Street was a kinder, gentler way of dealing with them….The only thing they’ll understand is utter chaos. They know that well….They create it constantly.

    • Dave

      That would pollute the East River.

  • Voter4America

    Just to be clear, you do know that Jon Stewart is NOT a “newsman.” He’s a COMEDIAN, who just happens to do monologues about the news. That’s different from being a newsman who just happens to be funny. Sheesh.

    • Andy Kinnard

      Since there really are no journalistic standards by which “News” organizations operate, you’ve successfully highlighted a distinction without a difference. Let’s instead hold the title “newsman” out only for those who illuminate facts and do actual investigative journalism. By that standard, Jon is more a “newsman” than anyone, ANYONE on Fox News.

    • CherMoe

      Except the “news” outlets these days are corporate-owned and make profit off the propaganda they sell and from their corporate pay-masters and for being shills for certain political parties. Very little of what they broadcast is actual NEWS with any ring of TRUTH to it. In fact, there were court cases over the content of what’s put out on Fox and it was determined they don’t even have to tell the truth. Long gone is the day of absolute ACCURACY and news that is for the benefit of the public. The “news” is nothing more than a product being marketed in order to reap profits and power for those who pay the stations. It IS true, however, that you will find more actual NEWS and the TRUTH from Jon Stewart. He just delivers it in a different way. He isn’t deceitful about what he’s saying …. just showing his DISBELIEF in the idiots that are in this country and what they say and do and then these same idiots expect us to buy into what they’re saying.

      • Voter4America

        Who do you think owns Comedy Central, hun? Viacom, that’s who — one of the biggest media corporations in the world (albeit a somewhat more progressive corporation than some, but a large corporation nonetheless). Look, I don’t disagree with your point of view. But I really prefer people on our side of the debate put forth arguments that don’t make us look like uninformed buffoons. The simple fact is, Jon Stewart has often reminded us that he is a comedian, not a newsman, and that The Daily Show is a FAKE NEWS show, not a news show. That Stewart is considered one of the leading “sources of news” for a large number of Americans is fine as long as those turning to him for their news understand that what they’re getting isn’t news, but rather is comedy ABOUT the news. I usually agree with The Daily Show’s take on the news. But I’m under no delusion that its parent company, Viacom, is any more interested in keeping me informed about the facts surrounding today’s news than is Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. I’ve spent my whole adult life working in the media, and believe me, it ain’t about informing or educating. It’s about selling soap. And if you think otherwise, I want what you’re smoking.

  • Aron

    Haha! Jim Cramer got slaughtered again! And Maria Buttafiendo was well overdue for a Jon Stewart touch-up.

  • Matthew Reece

    “And how did we respond? We bailed them out and let all of them walk away rich—and free.”

    “We” didn’t do that. Agents of the state stole money at gunpoint from the American people and did that. In a free market, natural selection would have been allowed to work against the banksters, which would have let Wall Street fail and Main Street rise to replace it.

    “It was true deregulated capitalism at its finest moment. Greedy
    bastards screwing over anyone and everything, not caring who would be
    hurt by their unethical behavior, simply to make as much money as
    possible for themselves. And it’s pretty clear that they knew, even
    when the whole thing collapsed, they would walk away ridiculously rich
    while the rest of the country would end up paying for it.”

    The bubble was caused by negative real interest rates created by the Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan, which led to historically low mortgage interest rates. This led to malinvestments in housing, and true to the Austrian business cycle theory, the malinvestment led to a recession. This had nothing to do with the free market, as the government has a violently enforced monopoly on currency. While bankers at JPMorgan (and Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, the banks it took over) did act immorally, they did so only because the Federal Reserve created the conditions for them to do what they did.

    • Andy Kinnard

      You’re completely ignoring the banks fixing of indices and ratings, the re-bundling of bad mortgage derivatives, and their selling those as viable investments.

      • Matthew Reece

        Not so. Read my last sentence.

      • Andy Kinnard

        No, there is nothing in the last sentence having to do with things like the LIBOR scandal…nothing. You’re placing ALL of the blame on the Fed’s fiscal policy; that’s your central thesis. Giving an apologist’s wave at their “act[ing] immorally” totally glosses over the primary role the investment banks played in that disaster.

      • Matthew Reece

        My claim is that what the banks did would not have been possible without central banking, as there would have been no creation of the incentive for people to make the kinds of malinvestments that gave the banks the bad assets to falsely repackage. The Federal Reserve and the Bank of England (its British counterpart) were key players in the LIBOR scandal.

      • Andy Kinnard

        Are you seriously suggesting abandoning the institution of central banking? In favor of what?

  • Dave

    Too funny. Kudos to his research team. I love it when the truth is shown. Way to go Jon, take a victory lap!

  • jesus isnt real!

    You can thank all the crooked politicians for this. especially the republicans who are in bed with bankers, wall street and oil companies. and now we can add natural gas companies to the list. I am not saying that dems are not crooked and in bed as well, but republicans overwhelmingly are. Bush was in charge for this bailout. and the government was mostly republican when this happened. not too mention it was republicans that legislated all the De-regulation of things like the Speagal act and whatnot that permitted this to happen. The reason no one has gone to jail, is because of the politicians that would be implicated when we begin arresting bankers. These same politicians keep us from arresting the bankers as an effort to protect themselves.

    • strayaway

      from Open Secrets DOT com: In the 2008 presidential race,
      Goldman-Sachs was Senator Obama’s 2nd. largest campaign contributor, JP Morgan his 4th largest contributor, and Citigroup his 6th. largest contributor.

      Both Senator McCain and Obama left the campaign trail to support President Bush’s Wall Street bailout. In 1999, Democrats led by President Bill Clinton and Republicans led by Sen. Phil Gramm joined forces to repeal Glass-Steagall at the behest of the big banks.

  • hermanprovi

    Let us not forget that some politicians are heavely dependent on ‘filthily lucre’ from our financial institutions, to get and remain in office! This is what happens to ‘Capitalism’ when it is not properly REGULATED! I know that ‘regulations’ are anathema to republicans, but this is tantamount to abetting criminal behavior!

    • Matthew Reece

      The housing bubble and crash were not the result of capitalism; they were the result of corporatism and statism.

      • Andy Kinnard

        “Corporatism” only as expressed through the relaxing of regulations (as hermanprovi stated); there was no government favoritism (that contributed to the crisis) paid to any particular bankers or banking organizations.

        “Statism” only as…well, I plain don’t see the “statism” angle.

      • Matthew Reece

        The leaders of the largest corporations actually want regulations, because they are the ones with the money to bribe those who write and enforce the regulations. Thus there is always government favoritism toward large businesses at the expense of small businesses.

        The statism angle is the monopoly that has been given to the Federal Reserve. The Fed manipulates interest rates, creating malinvestments which lead to recessions. There is also the fact that regulations look very different when they arise competitively and voluntarily in a free market versus being imposed unilaterally and forcefully through a state apparatus.

      • fcsuper

        Well, your angle of argument is your own. I don’t substansitively disagree with a favorism towards large corportations, as I see these corporations try to get laws passed all the time that hurt their competition and benefits their own interests.
        What I will question is the idea that the Fed causes recessions stated perjoratively. Before the Fed, the world economy was exteremly unstable, crashing and booming all the time, with a recession so big that it was the original “Great Depression”, and in fact lasted far longer than the 20th Century’s Great Depression. That recession is now called the “Long Depression” to distinguise it from it’s 20th Century counterpart.. We still have boom and bust cycles, but until the Regan, these were fairly mitigated. Since then, we’ve seen deregulation of particular money industries cause havoc because of the games they’ve been allowed to play with real estate and financial reporting. Two of the last three recessions are a result of these money /real estate games. The Dot-com Bubble (the “other” recession) was actually caused by *inaction* or at least massively delayed action by the Fed because they didn’t have the foresight to see that there was a bubble; as such, it was the only recession that the Fed could’ve avoid had they been keeping their eye on the ball. Either way, the Dot-com Bubble had nothing to do with real estate, so its negative effect wasn’t lasting. However, we are still paying down interest on the 80’s Savings and Loan bailout, and of course, the new debt from the Housing Bubble bail out. There isn’t much the Fed could’ve done to reign these in because the lawmakers changed the laws to allow these misdeeds to be easy to commit and easier to hide. The Fed isn’t the boogy man. They’ve actually been pretty dang effective at managing ups and down of the economy, even given their more recent issues.

      • Matthew Reece

        Government was at fault for the Long Depression as well, which was caused by abandoning bimetallism, debt from the Civil War, and malinvestment in railroads. Imposing a gold-only standard and giving subsidies to railroads were interferences in the free market which had negative consequences.

        The governments that charter central banks are the real bogeymen, and government officials in the US did the manipulating directly before 1913, but eliminating the Federal Reserve would certainly help. If you understand Austrian business cycle theory and apply it to the Fed’s actions, you will see that the Fed has either caused by action or failed to prevent by inaction almost every business cycle since 1913.

      • Andy Kinnard

        I see now, “Austrian business cycle theory”, Thanks Matt, I’m done talking with you.

      • Andy Kinnard

        First, the market does not create (effective) regulation; it does not happen. Meaningful regulation and reporting only comes from third parties. Yes, big players buy themselves the ticket they want which is why smaller players need to stop (believing they are “part of the club” and) siding with the pro-corporate forces in government.

        Your malinvestment concept is interesting but falsely converts a continuum of risk into a bipolar scale (for a investment’s worthiness). Stimulus does tend to tip the scales, but that is the purposeful design of stimulus, to stimulate investments that otherwise would be deemed JUST barely too risky otherwise. That should not be wrapped up in a derogatory term like “malinvestment”.

        As far as the fed’s monopoly on printing money: With what would you replace central banking?

      • Matthew Reece

        You are making an unfounded leap from third parties to government. There is no reason why such third parties cannot be private organizations.

        The malinvestment concept is not mine; it comes from the Austrian School of economics and its business cycle theory. There are certainly differing degrees of malinvestment, so it does not create a simple dichotomy. If something is deemed by investors in a free market to be too risky, then it should not be done. Stimulus spending also opens the door to broken window fallacies when people claim that it creates net jobs, as they forget about what that money could have done if left in the private sector.

        I would let the nature of money be decided in the free market. My guess is that the result would be some combination of pre-1873 bimetallism and a less volatile form of Bitcoin, but that is just a guess.

      • Andy Kinnard

        Ok, so you’re an Austrian Economics technocrat and admit that, in following your recommendations, we would resume the economic and fiscal policies of the 1870s AND see no problem with that. Unbelievable! I’m done debating with you, Matt. The world you envision is terrifying.

      • Matthew Reece

        Since you seem determined to misquote my positions and arguments, I am done debating with you, Andy.

      • Andy Kinnard

        Matt, thanks for shredding your few remaining bits of credibility on the way out the door. I in no way misquoted or misrepresented your comments: “malinvestment” as a term creates a binary system since it in no way encompasses or implies any shades of grey (and wasn’t intended to). If it did, it’s admonition against stimulus would be lost in “grey area” equivocating, essentially validating the underlying stimulus concept. Look, all stimulus does is “move the needle” on the risk continuum a little bit. That’s not bad, it’s the design. Yes, it creates temporary bubbles that, in a properly regulated environment, would be filled in by a recovering economy (and reward those who invested in that risk). The problem is in our runaway financial markets, they near complete lack of regulation or any mitigating forces (like those that would be introduced with a Robin Hood tax). Austrian economics is an utter failure.

      • Matthew Reece

        You misrepresented my comments completely. I said that the nature of money should be decided in the free market, and that some combination of pre-1873 bimetallism and a less volatile form of Bitcoin was my personal guess for what would happen. I have no idea what would actually be decided in a free market, but I am certain that it would be better than the debt slavery machine known as central banking.

        Malinvestment does encompass and imply shades of grey, as some malinvestments cause more damage than others. It is a matter of how much productive potential was lost in each case.

        There is no such thing as a properly regulated environment that can keep bubbles from causing Austrian business cycles because creating such an environment would require knowledge of the future. This is also why planned economies do not work.

        Austrian economics is an utter failure? Compared to what? The recommendations of Austrian economics didn’t create conditions which led to massive wars, runaway national debts, artificial business cycles, and the enrichment of the few on the backs of the many. Keynesianism has done all of that.

      • Andy Kinnard

        No, you are calling for a monetary standard we haven’t used in over 100 years and that nearly every economist understands has no chance of supporting a world economy the size our currently is. You’re asking for food riots, massive die offs, chaos. There is NO indication that the “invisible hand” of the market would fix all that.

        “Malinvestment” implies no continuum…period. It implies a binary system and therefore fails (deliberately) at portraying shades of grey in investment risk.

        So, extending your thought, your favoring a totally unregulated system with no attempt at macro financial planning, huh? You’re seriously doing that with a straight face?!

        Austrian economics fails in comparison to Keynesian economics every time. Keynesian principles only fail when politicians refuse to reign in spending in good times. Austrian economics only serves to offer apology for intentionally enriching the existing power brokers at the expense of the entire world.

        Now that we’ve clarified what you are, I truly am done with you, sir. You represent the hardest of the hard line, no compromise, fiscal libertarians who don’t even realise they’re just carrying water for those who would make paupers of us all.

      • Matthew Reece

        You are engaging in ad nauseum on the first two points, as I have already explained my position and you just keep repeating the same nonsensical misrepresentation of my arguments.

        There is no such thing as an unregulated system. The question is whether regulations should arise competitively and voluntarily or be imposed unilaterally and forcefully.

        “Keynesian principles only fail when politicians refuse to reign in spending in good times.” Therefore, Keynesian principles always fail.

        “Austrian economics only serves to offer apology for intentionally enriching the existing power brokers at the expense of the entire world.” Psychological projection at its finest.

        There is no need to compromise when one’s arguments are correct and one’s position is moral, as mine are.

  • Larry

    They may be paying a 9billion$ fine, but it’s structured so that they can write it off as a bad investment and deduct it from their bottom line. Not really a big fine after all.

  • Kyle

    More example of the rich, white man establishment. How long was Martha Stewart imprisoned for her heinous crime against humanity?