House Subcommittee Drops a Bombshell: It Will Hold a Hearing Next Tuesday on U.S. Banks’ Role in Financing “the Horrors of Slavery”

by Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Wall Street on Parade

The hearing set for next Tuesday at 2 p.m. by the House Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is certain to have brought all of the public relations flacks into a huddle at JPMorgan Chase – home to an unprecedented five felony counts and the Teflon guy, Jamie Dimon, who still manages to get good press despite overseeing a financial crime spree for 16 years while becoming a billionaire in the process. The hearing is titled: “An Enduring Legacy: The Role of Financial Institutions in the Horrors of Slavery and the Need for Atonement.” It is certain to look at the notorious, previously disclosed role of JPMorgan Chase’s predecessor banks.

In 2005, JPMorgan Chase was forced to acknowledge that two of its subsidiaries, Citizens’ Bank and Canal Bank in Louisiana, had accepted slaves as collateral for loans and when the holders of the loans defaulted, it actually took ownership of the slaves. The two subsidiary banks had served plantation owners from the 1830s to approximately 1865 when the civil war ended. JPMorgan Chase estimated that the two subsidiaries had accepted an estimated 13,000 slaves as collateral and had ended up owning about 1,250 slaves as a result of defaulted loans.

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