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comment by OftenBen
OftenBen  ·  271 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Cargo ship owned by JPMorgan Chase seized by US with 20 tons of cocaine

It sort of is, sort of isn't.

You and I both know that cartel money, blood money, has been laundered by these bastards in the past.

And I am certain that shipments like this one move all over the world daily.

I'm sure that there's nobody sitting on a board going "let's move more cocaine this month y'all."

Simultaneously, you can't just say that they bear* no responsibility for how their property is used.

I also don't do cocaine and don't do business with JP Morgan Chase already. So I'm completely unaffected.

kleinbl00  ·  271 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Coulda sworn I linked that when it happened but maybe I just texted mk, added a "LOL" and moved on. Regardless, I agree - it sort of is and it sort of isn't.

steve asserts that the headline is "blatant sensationalism." However, that's because the laundering has worked: I'll presume that from Steve's point of view, it's unfair to say that JP Morgan Chase are out running drugs. I will also presume that were Steve to run a shipping company, he would not knowingly take 20 tons of cocaine aboard. More than that, I suspect Steve would exert appropriate due diligence to ensure that his cargoes violated no maritime law. This a conventional choice, and a morally upstanding one.

The issue here is that the captain of the vessel is not the owner. The captain's boss is not the owner. Frankly, JP Morgan is not the owner, either - they neither manage MSC nor have anything to do with cargo. All they do is supervise the JP Morgan Alternative Infrastruture & Transport Fund, a product available primarily to endowments and pension funds. In other words, the likely owner of the vessel is us.

All the way along the line the ownership chain has been designed to wash away authority and concentrate profits. The people signing on to the fund care about two things: risk and yield. Yield has been low so these asset managers have been piling into risk because it's the only way to get the yields they owe.

So pension funds are now in the cocaine business. And it's absolutely nobody's fault, and nobody is to blame, and nobody has to feel bad about it. Right?

steve  ·  271 days ago  ·  link  ·  

hahahaha... I didn't notice your use of blatant... and then I turned around and used it. I don't know... I can understand your point of view, I feel like CNN was really trying to make a tie that isn't as strong as they would like. I mean... isn't a story about 20 tons of cocaine being seized enough? it just feels like this is like starting every headline with "Wells Fargo owned vehicle kills pedestrian" or "Quicken Loans owned home reposessed for being a brothel" albeit on a much, much larger scale. MSC is certainly at fault - but their bankers? It just feels like a really, really long reach.

    the ship, the MSC Gayane, is part of a transportation strategy fund run for the bank's asset management unit.

    That means JPMorgan Chase (JPM) does not have any operational control of the vessel, a Liberian-flagged ship that is run by the Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Company.

But perhaps not. I'm all for pulling the big boys down into the muck when they know what's up... but in this case, I just don't know how much anyone at JPMC would know about the cargo being hauled by a ship one of their customers financed, and nothing in the article made a strong enough tie for me to think otherwise.

goobster  ·  271 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Man... my conservative side says you can't blame a bank for how their customers use the money. (There's no commutative property in capitalism.)

But my Reality side says, "somebody's gotta fucking do something, so why not start with the goddamn bankers?"

Just linking a name like JP Morgan Chase to $1.2bn in drugs is going to result in some Very Serious Memos being sent, and underlings will be scurrying around to make sure the other illicit activities have been covering their tracks better...

kleinbl00  ·  271 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's been four months and fuckall has happened. Expect JP Morgan to continue running drugs.

OftenBen  ·  271 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If we accept that we live in an oligarchy then it makes sense to begin to hold the oligarchs accountable instead of the puppet politicians.