What Would It Take To Get Andrew Ross Sorkin To Call For Jamie Dimon To Resign?
By William K. Black / neweconomicperspectives.org

Posted on January 17, 2014 by Devin Smith

I have concluded that the journalists who write for the New York Times’ “Deal Book” are incapable of embarrassment or introspection.  I have waited in vain for Andrew Ross Sorkin to make a New Year’s resolution to make 2014 a fresh start.  There are scores of Deal Book article that drive a white-collar criminologist and a (real) financial regulator to despair.  I focus here on one article by Sorkin on October 14, 2013 entitled “The Bloodlust of Pundits Swirls Around Jamie Dimon” that exemplifies how much harm Deal Book does because of its pandering to the elite financial CEOs who became wealthy from the frauds that drove the crisis, its ethics-free approach to financial fraud, and its analytical ennui.  Deal Book could be a national asset, but it is a net liability.  This first installment discussing their “Bloodlust” article analyzes Sorkin’s use of the world “bloodlust.”



As his title indicates, Sorkin writes to discredit “pundits” who criticize Dimon (CEO and Chairman of the Board of JPMorgan, the largest bank in America).  Note that the spin begins in the title.  The critics could be described as “independent experts,” but they are labelled dismissively as “pundits.”  Far worse, they are supposedly driven by “bloodlust.”  That compound noun has two obvious root meanings, both inappropriate and both designed to prejudice the reader against Dimon’s critics.  As one reads the column it becomes clear that Sorkin presents no evidence that the critics seek Dimon’s “blood” – they think he should be fired.  The column presents no evidence that the critics even want Dimon to be held accountable for JPMorgan’s epic fraud spree by being sued or prosecuted.

The column offers no evidence that the critics “lust” to have Dimon held accountable for his failures.  “Lust” was meant to imply an irrational, all-consuming passion to harm Dimon unrelated to the merits of Dimon’s conduct.

Sorkin presents quotations from a single critic that he interviewed.  Please read with me now that critic’s crazed tone.  I know you will share my horror at the extent of the critic’s bloodlust.

“By any objective measure, Jamie Dimon should be fired. The compliance failures are egregious and systemic.”

We can all agree with Sorkin that “bloodlust” is the only word appropriate to capture the depravity, the sheer madness of that statement made by the vile “Dennis Kelleher, president of BetterMarkets, a nonprofit Wall Street watchdog.”  Please do not allow your children to read Kelleher’s shocking language lest they suffer night terrors.

I know readers join me in my prayers for Sorkin.  He must have been in terror for his life while he was interviewing Kelleher, fearing that the madman might harm Sorkin in his “lust” to rush out to Wall Street to wreak his bloody vendetta against Dimon.  I know we all pray that Sorkin will soon recover from the PTSD he suffers as a result of the trauma of interviewing Kelleher and witnessing his shocking “bloodlust.”  Sadly, Sorkin was so brutalized by the experience that he still dives under tables and curls up into a fetal position when a car backfires or he hears the word “compliance.”

To paraphrase Supreme Court Justice Holmes’ famous phrase, Kelleher’s right to free speech ends when he creates a “clear and present danger” of “bloodlust” by “falsely shouting ‘compliance’ in a bank and causing a panic.”  As Sorkin knows, compliance is the grave threat to many Wall Street leaders.

“Bloodlust” has a third, more subtle, implication for many readers, particularly in the context of Wall Street.  It invokes the fears of “blood libels” against Jewish financial leaders.  For all these reasons, it would have been hard for Sorkin to choose a more dishonest and biased title for his article.

Sorkin’s signaled his solidarity with Wall Street CEOs by adopting the “bloodlust” meme

“Bloodlust” was also a silly title because it did not provide even a fig leaf of cover that Sorkin had any regard for journalistic professionalism.  As we will see in the next installment, Sorkin’s title arose from him giving another financial CEO, Daniel Loeb the most favorable media terrain from which to launch his latest attack on President Obama.  Kelleher, and the truth, were simply collateral damage arising from that attack.

Sorkin used his “Bloodlust” column like Ronald Reagan, the Republican candidate for President, used his August 3, 1980 address to the Neshoba County Fair (chosen for its proximity to the infamous killing ground of Philadelphia, Mississippi) to make his infamous signal to Southern whites: “I believe in state’s rights.”  Reagan’s cynical, ethics-free purpose was to signal that he was with Southern whites no matter how grave their crimes, how much privilege the perpetrators obtained from those crimes, and how much harm those crimes caused.  Sorkin’s “Bloodlust” column signaled to Wall Street CEOs that he was their guy (and Deal Book would remain their champion) no matter how many crimes they committed and how much harm they caused to the public.

Worse, Sorkin and Deal Book would savage anyone trying to hold the privileged criminals accountable.  Southern whites and their media servants condemned the NAACP and the SCLC as “outside agitators” and no white was ever convicted of lynching a black person for over a century before the federal government began enforcing the law.  The powerful could commit crime with impunity against the politically and economically weak and be praised in their hometown press while anyone who sought to hold the criminals accountable was vilified by the local press (and even the clergy – the context of Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” responding to the letter from eight white clergy urging Birmingham black’s to refuse to support “outsiders” like King and to stop protesting).

Fortunately, the press learned that lesson and would never repeat its greatest betrayal of its professional and ethical responsibilities that persisted for over a century.  There is no way that Deal Book would seek to savage an NGO dedicated to good governance because it had the temerity to state that Dimon should be fired for running a bank that commits an epic crime spree (that takes pages to tersely describe on Deal Book’s graphics).  I know that the New York Times is Wall Street’s local paper, but it purports to be our national paper of record and it needs to act like it.

The fantasy conclusion to my column

Those of us of Irish descent are often incurable romantics.  While we expect the worst we continue to hope for the best.  Sorkin could write a column tomorrow calling on Dimon to resign and urging a national priority effort to prosecute the financial officers who grew wealth through the frauds that drove the crisis.  Deal Book could devote a month to presenting the views of regulators with a track record of success on the changes we need to make to end our current pattern of suffering recurrent, intensifying financial crises.  Instead of religiously avoiding any discussion of the ethical crisis in American business Deal Book could begin a weekly series of articles on the nature of that ethical crisis and specific proposals to remedy it.  Deal Book could be a national asset instead of a national and professional embarrassment.  In short, Sorkin could grow a “P” and emulate (Stanley) Sporkin.  (Hey, I admitted it was fantasy.)

Of course, any of these steps would cause Sorkin to lose his ability to lunch with Loeb, but I can personally assure him that he will learn more about finance’s pathologies, and how to address them, by noshing with Mike Patriarca for 30 minutes than he would learn in a lifetime of lunches with Loeb.  I’m also willing to bet that Sorkin has never written a word about Patriarca, which proves my point.  Here’s a hint, Patriarca is an important part of the reason that the Savings and Loan debacle was did not become a trillion dollar plus disaster and did not cause a financial crisis.  He’s also the guy that led our successful effort to drive liar’s loans out of the S&L industry in 1990-1991.  If he had been the Chairman of the Federal Reserve rather than Alan Greenspan there would have been no financial crisis in the United States.

2.5 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 15,844 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 8,861 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
25 Mind-Twisting Optical Illusion Paintings by Rob Gonsalves
Dovas · 8,401 views today · The beautiful and mind-bending illusions in Canadian artist Robert Gonsalves’ paintings have a fun way of twisting your perception and causing you to question what in his...
Forget Shorter Showers: Why Personal Change Does Not Equal Political Change (2015)
11 min · 5,724 views today · Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday; or that chopping...
F*ck That: A Guided Meditation for the Realities of Today's World
2 min · 3,815 views today · Just acknowledge that all that sh*t is f*cking b*llshit — you're here now, in this place, with your inner stillness. Take in a deep breath ... now breathe out. Just feel the...
The Empire Vs. The People - Police Attack and Arrest Peaceful Protestors at the Dakota Access Pipeline
6 min · 2,938 views today · On October 22, just before dawn, hundreds of people, including many families, gathered and prepared to march toward the Dakota Access pipeline construction site near Standing...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 2,897 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
The Burden of the New Story
Adebayo Akomolafe · 2,533 views today · The 'new story' - that longed for milieu when all is right with the world and things are set straight - seems to be taking its sweet time coming. Why?
No Moral Superpower: Arundhati Roy, Edward Snowden, and the Crimes of Empire
Jake Johnson · 2,246 views today · When Arundhati Roy was preparing, in 2014, for a trip to Moscow to meet Edward Snowden, she was troubled by two things. One of them was the fact that the meeting was arranged...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 1,956 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
These Incredible Stories Remind Us of Our Better Selves
36 min · 1,947 views today · #WhoWeAre is a campaign to share the stories of people whose actions show us compassion and to send a message of empathy, hope and optimism. These videos will automatically...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,639 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Men Loving Men
Bianca Vivion · 1,459 views today · When my father was seven he and his best friend Phil cut their index fingers open and placed them together to create a “blood pact” that they would always be brothers. To this...
#Hypernormalisation - Why Heathrow Plan Is Proof We Exist in a Catastrophic Fantasyland
Matthew Adams · 1,338 views today · The British government recently gave the green light for Heathrow airport’s third runway. It was heralded by its supporters as a vital boost for jobs and growth – and proof...
Who I'm Voting For...
3 min · 1,156 views today · Prince Ea announces who he's voting for. It's probably not who you think.
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 639 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 608 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Writers Tom Hayden and Naomi Klein Talk About Journalism and Activism
27 min · 563 views today · Author, Activist and Former California State Senator Tom Hayden talks in depth with the author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein, about the state of the fourth...
Ode to Lesvos
5 min · 561 views today · An inspiring story of a few remarkable heroes on the Island of Lesvos who helped almost half a million refugees in 2015 has been documented in a new short film called Ode to...
'Maritime Graveyard': 2016 Deadliest Year Ever for Refugees Crossing Mediterranean
Deirdre Fulton · 529 views today · "From one death for every 269 arrivals last year, in 2016 the likelihood of dying has spiraled to one in 88," says UNHCR spokesman
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
What Would It Take To Get Andrew Ross Sorkin To Call For Jamie Dimon To Resign?