“Inside JPMorgan, they called it the ‘Sons and Daughters’ program. Authorities now describe it as ‘corruption, plain and simple.”
That was the first paragraph of a November 2016 CNN Business article that broke news that authorities within the Obama administration had slapped multinational American investment banking company JPMorgan Chase with $264 million in fines over corrupt hiring practices.
According to regulators from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice and the Federal Reserve, the banking giant had “‘corruptly influenced government officials’ with its hiring and internship tactics in China,” knowingly bringing under its employ the unqualified children of foreign officials for stronger regional sway.
And said tactics, formally referred to within the company as the “Sons and Daughters” program and so flagrant in their corrupt nature that spreadsheets were kept to monitor “how often the hires turned into business deals,” had prompted a three-year investigation by the Obama administration.
JPMorgan was prosecuted for hiring the unqualified children of Chinese leaders under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. I think it’s fair to ask Joe Biden why, if it’s a corrupt act to hire unqualified kids to gain influence w Chinese leaders, it was ok for Burisma 2hire his son?
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) January 31, 2020
“The so-called Sons and Daughters program was nothing more than bribery by another name,” Assistant U.S. Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said at the time.
Yet, the same scrutiny was not applied, nor the same terms employed, by the Obama administration’s chief legal authorities when it came to Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings’ retention of then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
But who are we to judge?
It isn’t as though a shady Eastern European energy firm’s decision to hire to their board of directors the entirely unqualified son of the second most powerful politician in the world is anything like JPMorgan’s systematic seven-year effort to influence-peddle itself to the front of Chinese markets by hiring hundreds of foreign politicians’ children.
Except for the fact that it would be exactly the same thing — had Burisma decided to bring on the rest of the vice president’s children alongside Hunter.
Heck, the man has even admitted it himself, telling ABC News last October that “in retrospect” he did not believe Burisma would ever have hired him were it not for his father’s name and political relevance.
“I don’t think that there’s a lot of things that would have happened in my life if my last name wasn’t Biden,” He said. “Because my dad was vice president of the United States.
“There’s literally nothing, as a young man or as a full-grown adult that — my father in some way hasn’t had influence over,” Biden added.
And how else does a 43-year-old man inexperienced in the energy industry and unable to kick years of drug and alcohol addiction somehow manage to secure hundreds of thousands as a “ceremonial figure” at Burisma Holdings?
Let alone how does a man like that manage to keep such a gig after totaling a rental car on a days-long crack cocaine bender.
At that point the question is no longer, “Was this man hired as an influence peddler?”
The question is, “How on earth could members of the Obama administration keep a straight face charging a major American financial institution hundreds of millions of dollars in fines for something it was allowing to go on under its own roof?”
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