I’m working on a longer piece about money and the men and women who enable the making of it. But why not start first with a wonderful work of art?
This is based on a Rihanna song and video called “Diamonds,” but for my money, the one below is better. The images, including the shared images, are used more tightly, the message is stronger, and emotionally, this is just as poignant.
You don’t get to be Jamie Dimon without service providers — sorry, friends — like the men and women who control the Justice Department. And the “wicked prize” (as Shakespeare calls it) is right up front, where everyone can see it. Money. There’s a bull market on greed in the world of the 1%, and they’re all out to corner it. It’s Tulipmania season in the hearts of the grasping, an immense and dangerous speculative bubble in overreach, and I’m not being hyperbolical.
Masters of the universe
Wall Street’s high on derivatives
Ride the bull — we’ll never die
Chasing profits ever high
Thirteen billion penalty
From mortgage securities
Fraud you sold me, market dives
Chasing profits ever high…
Crime to crime, Morgan thrives
Foreclosures spike just like your bottom-line
From the video’s producers:
American Family Voices (AFV) today released a new music video parody, this one turning Rihanna’s song and video about Diamonds into a story about Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan Chase, and a string of settlements that were way too weak in comparison to the scopes of JPM’s crimes. Coming out the same day as Dimon’s opulent holiday card, the video provides a marked contrast to Dimon’s view of himself.
“This video is our answer to those politicians, regulators, and prosecutors who think the Wall Street masters of the universe should be coddled”, said Mike Lux, President of AFV. “Instead of treating them with kid gloves and kindness, the arrogance of Jamie Dimon should be poked, parodied, and prosecuted.” … AFV is also launching a new online petition to break up the big banks.
“Parodied and prosecuted” indeed. I mentioned the bull market in “overreach” above. Obama wants catfood for you so that David Koch can sweeten his 36 billion dollar pile. That’s literally true, and the way of the world we’re in. Me, I’d stop at half that number.
There’s a scene in Hamlet, terribly ironic, in which Claudius, who murdered his brother to get his brother’s throne, his treasure and his wife, thinks he’s alone and confesses to God his crimes. He cannot ask forgiveness though, because he knows that to be forgiven he must give up the goods he got by crime.
There’s one line of this speech that always speaks to me as I witness the flow of funds in our own corrupted day. Here’s part of what Claudius says (my pauses; “gilded” means gold-covered):
Then I’ll look up;
My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? “Forgive me my foul murder”?
That cannot be; since I am still possess’d
Of those effects for which I did the murder,
My crown, mine own ambition and my queen.
May one be pardon’d and retain th’ offence?
In the corrupted currents of this world
Offence’s gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft ’tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law: but ’tis not so above;
There is no shuffling, there the action lies
In his true nature; and we ourselves compell’d,
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence.
What then? what rests?
Try what repentance can: what can it not?
Yet what can it when one can not repent?
“Oft ’tis seen, the wicked prize itself buys out the law.”
Bribing the judge with the loot, the wicked prize. Shine bright, Jamie Dimon. May you dim some day.
To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius