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Marketplace Scratch Pad

JPMorgan, you will feel the wrath

Scott Jagow Mar 23, 2009

JPMorgan Chase, which got $25 billion in TARP money, is going ahead with plans to buy two luxury corporate jets and build a state of the art airplane hangar to house them, according to ABC News. A spokesman for the bank says no TARP money will be used to make payments on jets or hangars. Are you people that clueless? THAT IS NOT THE POINT.

JPMorgan’s plan calls for the $18 million renovation of a hangar at the Westchester Airport outside New York City. Westchester Country holds a public hearing on it tonight.

The bank’s architects say it’ll be the “premier corporate aircraft hanger on the eastern seaboard,” built with reclaimed wood, quarry tile and even a “vegetated roof garden.” In other words, it’s a green building. That’s nice. Give back every cent of the green you took from taxpayers and you can have your environmentally-friendly hangar.

The jets are Gulfstream 650’s that cost $60 million each. The manufacturer describes them as the “fastest,” “widest” and “most comfortable” private jet ever.

I’m speechless. But as Vanity Fair points out, it’s time to turn the populist anger into action. It’s time to form a commission, like the Pecora Commission of the 1930’s, to sort out who did what and to make heads roll.

From Vanity Fair:

When the governors of the New York Stock Exchange refused to send a questionnaire to its 1,375 members that Pecora wanted filled out, he threatened to subpoena every last one of them…

Pecora began at the top and worked down. He questioned J. P. Morgan Jr., the son of the legendary financier and one of the wealthiest men on earth, and got him to admit that he hadn’t paid income tax the two previous years.

And all these decades later, his company is still trying to fleece the people.

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