Hello. I’m Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase and former member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. You might remember me from overseeing Chase’s acquisition of $25 billion of your tax dollars back in 2008? Some, including myself, said Chase didn’t really need government bailout money, but we didn’t want to single out the failures of other banks, so we accepted your tax dollars as a matter of solidarity. You might also remember the incident in 2012 in which I misled investors and federal regulators on losses accrued from derivative bets made by Bruno Iksil. Anyway, hi there.
Today I’d like to take a moment to warn you about something dangerous and exploitative. No, no–it’s not me, or my peers like Ben Bernanke and Bank of America CEO Brian T. Moynihan. It’s finance startups and digital apps that offer competitive financial services to JP Morgan Chase. These guys – they’re the real bad guys.
Sure, it might seem appealing to get discounted or free services from third parties that I or other major investment bankers haven’t thought of or cared to offer. However, I warn you about the dangers of fine print that could lead to potential exploitation of you, the asset. I mean, hang on, not asset. What’s the word our marketing team keeps using? Customer? Right, you’re a customer.
Did you know that these apps like Mint and Acorn scrape Chase’s websites for financial information related to your purchases and investments? It turns out that when you provided them with vast amounts of personal information coupled with your bank account numbers, you were giving them access to all the information that makes you, an ass–I mean, “customer”–valuable. Then, after aggregating all this information about your spending habits, they sell it for their own financial gain! Can you believe the gall of these startups? This kind of end user exploitation used to be reserved for only us major financial institutions. It’s getting out of hand.
How dare these twenty-something nerds in California find a way to game a system that’s already rigged! Major financial institutions don’t just become too big to fail overnight, you know. It takes years of exploiting low-income customers with offers of terrible credit lines and bad mortgages on houses they can’t afford. Companies shouldn’t be able to just waltz into an industry and exploit assets that we already targeted for exploitation using data we already wrested out of the hands of the weak and uninformed! That information is ours! Just because we didn’t think very hard about the ramifications of sharing some of our data with third parties doesn’t give them the right to serve our assets. That’s our job!
So trust me, Jamie Dimon, a man Carl Levin once describe as perpetrating a scheme that “piled on risk, ignored limits on risk taking, hid losses, dodged oversight and misinformed the public,” when I say: “Many third parties sell or trade information in a way customers may not understand, and the third parties, quite often, are doing it for their own economic benefit–not for the customer’s benefit.” This has nothing to do with my recent initiative to offer the exact same services through my own institution. Financial startups are the bad guys. I’m the only one looking out for you: the asse-…um, customer.
Louis is a Chicago-trained writer and comedian with beautiful hair, a pretty good face, and an abundance of modesty. With 10 years in technology and 15 in writing and producing comedy, his work can be read on www.cagematch.org, www.mcsweeneys.net, and numerous dismayed Facebook users’ walls (before being hastily deleted). He currently lives with his similarly gay boyfriend in the dystopian hellscape of Silicon Valley.
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