Photograph Source: Ben Sutherland – CC BY 2.0
Under just three of the emergency bailout programs offered by the Fed to Wall Street, units of the megabank JPMorgan Chase tapped over $6 trillion in cumulative (term-adjusted) loans from September 17, 2019 through the first quarter of 2020. That figure will definitely go higher as the Fed is releasing the names of the banks and the amounts they borrowed on a quarterly basis for its repo loan program.
Thus far, the numbers stack up as follows: a trading unit of JPMorgan Chase borrowed $6.19 trillion from the Fed’s repo loan program from September 17, 2019 through March 31, 2020. (Those are cumulative, term-adjusted figures.) A significant chunk of that money was borrowed at interest rates as low as 0.10 percent. The loans were collateralized with mostly treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS).
A trading unit of JPMorgan Chase also borrowed $400 billion in cumulative, term-adjusted loans from the Fed’s Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF) during 2020. All of those loans were made at a fixed rate of 0.25 percent even though the Fed accepted lower-grade collateral, such as asset-backed securities, for some of the loans.
JPMorgan Chase’s money market funds also needed to borrow a cumulative $24.8 billion from the Fed’s Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (MMLF) to bail themselves out during March and April of 2020. Some of those loans didn’t mature until 2021. JPMorgan borrowed from the Fed’s MMLF at rates between 0.50 and 1.25 percent.
While JPMorgan Chase, which has admitted to five criminal felony counts since 2014, was getting these sweetheart deals from the Fed, it was charging Americans who were struggling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as much as 17 percent on their credit cards. You can read one of its credit card customer’s complaints about that 17 percent interest at this link at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) complaint database.
Another JPMorgan Chase customer wrote to the CFPB that their employer filed for bankruptcy during the pandemic, leaving them unemployed. The customer said that when they asked JPMorgan for assistance in reducing the monthly amount they had to pay on their credit card, they were offered the following options: convert to a 60-month repayment plan with interest rates starting at 12 percent; no payment for 90 days but interest would continue to accrue at 14.24 percent; negotiate a payoff of the total principal balance of $14,000 with a 10 percent discount. (Where exactly would an unemployed person get $12,600 when they can’t meet their monthly credit card payment.) You can read the text of that complaint here.
We asked the CFPB database to show us just complaints against JPMorgan Chase since it started receiving those cozy low-interest repo loans from the Fed on September 17, 2019 – months before any COVID-19 cases had been reported anywhere in the world. The database turned up 28,974 complaints. You can browse through them here.
If you want to gauge the compassion that JPMorgan Chase has for its own low-wage tellers, you can read our report here. Despite the five felony counts and a rap sheet that would make the Gambino crime family blush under the leadership of Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase’s Board has turned Dimon into a billionaire – on the backs of its low-wage tellers and customers paying double-digit interest rates on credit cards during a pandemic and declared national emergency.
This article originally appeared in Wall Street on Parade, April 21, 2022, https://wallstreetonparade.com/
Counterpunch, April 25, 2022, https://www.counterpunch.org/