As The Nation's George Zornick reports, it's hard to expect Senators to ask tough questions of the CEO of JPMorgan Chase when the members of the Senate Banking Committee are collective sitting on $582,088 in contributions from JPMorgan Chase. Zornick put a chart together (click here for it) detailing the various campaign contributions that the members of the Senate's Banking Committee received from Dimon's firm, like Chairman Tim Johnson who got $38,995 and ranking member Richard Shelby who got close to $73,000--Sen. Mark Warner wins out with $108,800 in donations.
Read the figures and weep for all those dollars. It all sort of explains why the stories from Dimon's Senate testimony were mostly about the CEO's steadfast mea culpa on complacency and how he thinks we should all avoid this in the future: These Senators didn't ask tough questions. "[A] vast majority of the Senators at Wednesday’s hearing ... repeatedly praised Dimon’s wisdom and executive acuity while politely soliciting his opinion on how he thought his own bank should be regulated," Zornick notes, adding, "His bank’s influence runs deeper than even the donations given to a majority of the committee and visits to the Treasury. JP Morgan also employs at least eight lobbyists that used to work on the Senate Banking Committee, and one current committee staffer used to work for the bank." Eight lobbyists, you know, just in case you forget where five-figure contributions are coming from.
Go on and read Zornick's great analysis at The Nation.