James B. Lee, Jr.

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Jimmy Lee.jpg

James B. Lee, Jr. (known as Jimmy Lee) is a vice chairman and on the executive committee of JPMorgan Chase & Co.[1] as well as being co-chairman of JPMorgan's investment bank.[2]

Lee, an ardent Republican[3] and Chase’s top dealmaker, led the negotiations over the Federal government’s bailout of Chrysler on behalf of the auto company’s creditors, and demanded that taxpayers pay 100 cents on the dollar "and not a penny less" to the private creditors,[4] before being backed off when President Obama called his bluff and threatened to push the company into disorderly bankruptcy or liquidation.

Ties to Pete Peterson's "Fix the Debt"

The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem."

Lee, who was added to the Fix the Debt steering committee list after the original list was announced, is on the executive committee of JPMorgan Chase & Co.[5] JPMorgan Chase is one of the nation's "too big to fail" banks, which played a major role in the 2008 financial crisis. Lee, an ardent Republican[6] and Chase's top dealmaker, led the negotiations over the Federal government's bailout of Chrysler on behalf of the auto company's creditors, and demanded that taxpayers pay 100 cents on the dollar "and not a penny less" to the private debtors,[7] before being backed off when President Obama called his bluff and threatened to push the company into disorderly bankruptcy or liquidation.

This article is part of the Center for Media and Democracy's investigation of Pete Peterson's Campaign to "Fix the Debt." Please visit our main SourceWatch page on Fix the Debt.

About Fix the Debt
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem." Through a special report and new interactive wiki resource, the Center for Media and Democracy -- in partnership with the Nation magazine -- exposes the funding, the leaders, the partner groups, and the phony state "chapters" of this astroturf supergroup. Learn more at PetersonPyramid.org and in the Nation magazine.


Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest

The Institute for Policy Studies has estimated that JP Morgan Chase has potential tax savings of $4.9 billion if Fix the Debt's proposal to radically cut the tax rate[8] on repatriated foreign earnings was put into effect. JPMorgan Chase has paid Fix the Debt communications consultants The Glover Park Group $210,000 in 2011-2012 to lobby Congress on its behalf on financial issues. JPMorgan gave $924,799 to PACs in the 2012 election cycle, according to a report by Public Campaign.[9] Lee himself gave $70,800 to PACs during the same time period and $22,500 to individual candidates for federal office ($18,500 -- or 82 percent -- to Republicans).[10] In the 2008 presidential election, Lee was a bundler for Republican John McCain, raising over $500,000 and contributing (including his spouse and dependent children's contributions, if any) $114,634 to all federal candidates, parties, and PACs in the same election cycle.[11] Lee is also on the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has demanded that the president find budget savings by cutting back benefits rather than raising taxes on the wealthy.[12] The Chamber lists the "Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act" and "Various issues relating to the fiscal cliff, tax reform, entitlement reform, and sequestration" in its fourth quarter 2012 disclosure form.[13]

Resources and Articles

Featured SourceWatch Articles on Fix the Debt

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References

  1. JPMorgan Chase & Co., "Executive Committee", organizational website, accessed January 1, 2013.
  2. U.S. Chamber of Commerce, James B. Lee, Jr., organizational biography, accessed January 2012.
  3. Andrew Ross Sorkin, Romney's Run Puts a Spotlight on Private Equity", New York Times, December 12, 2011.
  4. Neil King Jr. and Jeffrey McCracken, "U.S. Forced Chrysler's Creditors to Blink", The Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2009.
  5. JPMorgan Chase & Co, "Executive Committee", organizational website, accessed January 1, 2013.
  6. Andrew Ross Sorkin, Romney's Run Puts a Spotlight on Private Equity", New York Times, December 12, 2011.
  7. Neil King Jr. and Jeffrey McCracken, "U.S. Forced Chrysler's Creditors to Blink", The Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2009.
  8. Institute for Policy Studies, [www.ips-dc.org/files/5507/IPS-CEO-Campaign-to-Fix-the-Debt-report.pdf "The CEO Campaign to 'Fix' the Debt: A Trojan Horse for Massive Corporate Tax Breaks"], report released November 13, 2012.
  9. Public Campaign, Un-Shared Sacrifice: How 'Fix the Debt' Companies Buy Washington Influence & Rig the Game, organizational report, November 19, 2012, p. 3.
  10. Center for Responsive Politics, Contributors: James Lee, OpenSecrets.org campaign finance database, accessed February 2013.
  11. Center for Responsive Politics, Bundlers: John McCain (R), OpenSecrets.org campaign finance database, accessed February 2013.
  12. U.S. Chamber of Commerce, http://www.uschamber.com/issues/letters/2012/multi-industy-letter-financially-sustainable-national-entitlement-programs "Multi-Industry Letter for Financially Sustainable National Entitlement Programs"], letter to Congress, November 14, 2012.
  13. Chamber of Commerce of the U.S.A., Lobbying Report, filed with the U.S. Congress, October 1 - December 31, 2012.