Morgan the Conqueror
My favorite financial conglomerate is back in the news again. Items this past August suggested graft in the form of hiring spawn of Chinese officials, and now it’s not a suggestion…
The bank disclosed in a securities filing on Friday that authorities were now looking into “its business relationships with certain related clients in the Asia Pacific region and its engagement of consultants in the Asia Pacific region.” JPMorgan did not specify where the inquiries were directed.
But according to people briefed on the matter, government authorities are examining JPMorgan’s hiring practices throughout Asia, focusing on South Korea, Singapore and India. That scrutiny comes after JPMorgan itself flagged those countries for further review, the people said.
SEC and Justice Department investigations “are still in fledgling stages.”
At one point, according to interviews with the people who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the bank created a formal “Sons and Daughters” program. And what began as an effort to ferret out nepotism and avoid bribery accusations in the United States became a two-tiered process. Those well-heeled applicants appeared to enjoy less stringent standards and fewer interviews.
Japan wanted to dominate Asia straight down to India and also Australia and did so through a war that led to being nuked. JP Morgan has a strong presence if not a mini-dominance over those areas, and here is the lesson of 20th Century history: if you want to rule the world or a substantial part of it, you don’t conquer—you bribe and buy.
And by the way, JPM is also being investigated over the Madoff affair. More on that when more comes along.