While we have extensively covered the cartelling of the physical metals warehousing industry by both Goldman and JPMorgan in the past, which has now led to hearings, an official DOJ inquiry, and finally a lawsuit, we had one recurring question - why is all the attention and fury focused solely on Goldman? After all, JPM - the firm which quietly announced it would seek to dispose, or at least try to, its physical metals business - is just as culpable, if not more. And a cartel between Goldman and JPM really demonstrates that when it comes to controlling the US, it is not just one bank, but two firms that operate in the shadows and call all the shots. Today, we were happy to learn that finally JPMorgan has finally gotten the recognition it richly deserves, and has found its rightful place: as a defendent in the second class action lawsuit filed against the firms engaging in Aluminum antitrust activity, this time with Master Screens Inc as plaintiff. And not just any lawsuit but one filled with truly floral language that captures the essence of all that Goldman and JPM were doing perfectly.
Financial institutions have intentionally made a mockery of market logic, forcing end-users to keep paying more despite rising global aluminum supplies. As the Times points out, each time you “open a can of soda, beer or juice,” GOLDMAN SACHS gets a cut. Defendants’ invidious conduct created an exclusionary and anticompetitive vertical and horizontal monopolization, with no procompetitive benefits.
By inserting itself into a healthy industry producing widely needed commodities, severely degrading functionality, and widely distributing costs while itself benefiting, GOLDMAN SACHS and JP MORGAN couldn’t fit a more archetypal description of a parasite on the markets. Hoarding in aluminum, however, is just one in a bevy of ever-multiplying non-innovations, demonstrating how the leeching of productive society has emerged as finance’s guiding light, and leeching that antitrust laws are designed to prohibit and make the economic sanctions and repayment to consumers for entering such destructive enterprises too high to pursue.
We can only hope more people read and understand the above two paragraphs as they capture the essence of modern "finance."
Full lawsuit: Master Screens Inc. v. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., 13-cv-00431, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida (Tallahassee) posted below.