Yesterday, building on the momentum afforded her by a series of articles in the New York Times, Hillary Clinton asked the audience at a campaign stop in Toledo, Ohio: “What kind of genius loses a billion dollars in one year.” Clinton was referring to the New York Times revelation on Sunday that Donald Trump’s 1995 tax return showed a loss of $916 million. (See video clip below.)
If Hillary really wants to know what kind of genius can lose a billion dollars in one year or $6.2 billion in the case of traders at JPMorgan Chase, she should ask the bank’s CEO Jamie Dimon. The $6.2 billion London Whale loss at JPMorgan Chase is far more scintillating a feat since it involved wild derivative gambles in London in 2012 using the taxpayer-backstopped, insured savings deposits at the largest bank in the U.S. The U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations conducted an in-depth investigation and report of the matter. The Chairman of the Subcommittee at the time, Senator Carl Levin, stated that JPMorgan “piled on risk, hid losses, disregarded risk limits, manipulated risk models, dodged oversight, and misinformed the public.”
In fact, New York City, where both Trump and the New York Times hail from, is filled to the brim with Wall Street geniuses who have wiped out hundreds of billions of dollars in shareholder equity or completely destroyed their Wall Street banks through unsound business models while reaping windfalls for themselves. Compared to these guys, Trump is a piker.