Most people are under the false assumption that the taxpayer bailout of Wall Street banks began and ended with TARP. They couldn't be more wrong.
The Wall Street bank bailout began with Federal Reserve subsidies in December 2007, and has continued in one form or another right up to now.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is nearing a deal that would allow it to benefit from a tax refund of as much as $1.4 billion, becoming the latest company to tap a little-noticed plank in an economic stimulus bill.
That law let companies apply losses from 2008 or 2009 against taxes paid in the previous five years, instead of the previous two years.
The law in question is supposed to preclude TARP banks like JP Morgan Chase, which got $25 Billion from taxpayers it has since repaid, from using this tax break to their benefit.
However, JP Morgan Chase is using a loophole - their acquisition of Washington Mutual in 2008.
Failed Seattle thrift Washington Mutual Inc. is eligible for about $2.6 billion in tax refunds, thanks to big losses in 2008. Now J.P. Morgan, which took over WaMu's banking operations in September 2008, is in discussions with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and bondholders about the refund.
To put this into perspective, JPM paid $1.9 Billion in 2008 to acquire Washington Mutual and its $327 Billion in assets. Now it will get nearly all of that money back in the form of a tax refund.
Recall that JPM was the bank that acquired Bear Stearns in 2008 for just $236 Million, or just $2 a share when Bear Stearns stock was trading at several times that moments before the takeover was announced. This only happened after the Fed extended a $30 Billion loan to JPM.
JP Morgan Chase has been on quite a roll recently. For instance, last year they were involved in a bribery scandal.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $75 million in fines and forfeit $647 million in fees to settle federal regulators' charges that it made unlawful payments to friends of public officials to win municipal bond business in Jefferson County, Ala.
The move lowers Jefferson County's bond debt to about $3.2 billion from $3.9 billion, but officials had no immediate comment on whether that was enough to help the county avoid filing what would be the largest municipal bankruptcy ever.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. said Wednesday it would pay $2 billion to settle an investor lawsuit brought after an $11 billion accounting scandal forced WorldCom Inc. to declare the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
JPM was also involved with a $7 Billion phantom muni bond scandal in 2006.
And, of course, JPM was directly involved in the Enron accounting scandal.
We even find JPM involved with rigging the Japanese copper market in the 90's.
Not to anyone's surprise, JP Morgan was also involved with the complex derivatives that Bernie Madoff used to steal from his investors.
It seems like JP Morgan Chase has had its dirty fingers in every underhanded, illegal scam on Wall Street over the last decade or so, and yet somehow manages to get all these wonderful, taxpayer funded deals.