May 17, 2012

Further Wall Street Bloodletting: Photographers Give JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase monolith

What does a bank disaster look like?

Part of the impunity of Wall Street firms has to do with how stealth they are — how they can operate like individuals in the eye of the conservative Supreme Court justices and the expected Republican nominee but otherwise lack a public face. With the news of the massive derivative loss by JPMorganChase, one apparently still mounting, this AP photo tries to capture both issues, the anonymity and the loss.

Monolithic in scale (playing off the tiny figure, citizens or shareholders but a speck), there is also a Darth Vadar-ish quality to the monochrome, the darkness compounded by the black skin of the building, logo and the man.


Also evocative, of course, are those headquarters shots where the executives and the moves of America’s “best managed bank” remain in shadow while the cops are on hand to serve and protect.


… Though it’s hard to tell if law enforcement — the mayor a mega-business publisher — is on the inside or outside.

… Finally, on the enigmatic chase to depict America’s ongoing banking trauma, these images from Getty show Chase doing an effective job keeping distance between protesters and the shareholders at this week’s annual meeting in Florida.

Screen shot 2012 05 17 at 11 19 53 AM

(photo 1: Seth Wenig/AP caption: A man talks on a phone in front of the Chase logo at JPMorgan Chase headquarters in New York, Wednesday, May 16, 2012. U.S. House Republican Rep. Shelly Moore Capito, chairman of the House Financial Services subcommittee, on Wednesday said that the $2 billion trading loss at JPMorgan Chase raises critical questions about how banks control their risks. But Republican lawmakers rejected calls from Democrats for stricter oversight of Wall Street. )(photo 2 & 3: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty caption: People stand inside JP Morgan & Chase, Co. headquarters in New York, May 14, 2012. US President Barack Obama said Monday that the fact that JPMorgan Chase — one of the country’s ‘best managed’ banks — could lose $2 billion in derivatives trades, showed the need for tighter banking regulation. Obama said in an interview on ABC television’s ‘The View,’ to be broadcast in full on May 15, 2012, that JPMorgan chief Jamie Dimon was ‘one of the smartest bankers we got and they still lost money.’ photo collage:

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Michael Shaw
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