Here’s a bit of information that was overlooked as JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon headed into his Senate Banking Committee testimony. Three of the committee’s members currently hold stock in JPM.
According to OpenSecrets.org:
Three members of the Senate Banking committee, which questioned JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon on Wednesday, held JPMorgan Chase investments in 2010. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) sold some of his stock, and now holds under $1000 in the company from the $1001 to $15000 he owned in 2010. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) still holds between $1001 and $15000, while Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) filed for an extension and has not yet released her records.
That’s not all, of course. Nine other Senators also hold stock in JPM. According to personal finance data, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has sold between $50,000 and $100,000 in JPMorgan Chase bond holdings, while Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) 2011 disclosure shows that she owns $101,000-$250,000 in JPM stock, the same amount as in 2010. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) has between $1,001 to $15,000 in stock.
Some Senators, on the other hand, sold JPM stock. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) had between between $52,003 and $130,000 in 2010, but has reported $1001 to $15000 for 2011. Not bad, Jeff. OpenSecrets notes “Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) also withdrew significant funds, and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) reported no investments after announcing a small holding in 2010.”
Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) held JPM investments in 2010 but have asked for extensions for 2011. The single largest stakeholder in JPM was Sen. Lautenberg, whose personal financial disclosure forms indicate he owns at least $1,000,001 in JPMorgan Chase stock.
According to OpenSecrets.org data, which came from personal financial disclosure forms filed by all members of Congress for the year 2010 (disclosure forms for 2011 were due in early May), “15 Democrats and 23 Republicans owned shares in JPMorgan Chase worth a total of between $2.1 million and $3.8 million.”
Any individual in America should be allowed to invest in whatever company they like, but there’s something quite wrong with this government when a bank CEO testifies before Senate Banking Committee members (who bring legislation to the Senate floor) who own stock in his company. What was Dimon’s testimony if not a stockholder meeting of sorts for Senators?
This cannot be overstated: Jamie Dimon walked into that Senate testimony having donated to several committee members and with the knowledge that several Senators had investments in JPMorgan. This is corporatocracy laid bare.