The city of Cleveland has long had a law that forces banks it does business with to at least behave like they care about Cleveland. When bids come in, banks are ranked on how many branches they operate in the neighborhoods, whether they provide competitive loans, and their record on minority hiring.
But the law has been ignored for just as long because A.) it takes work and B.) it contains some really big words. The city’s ignored its own minority hiring statutes for much the same reason, though in that case the neglect has been aided by campaign contributions from contractors. After all, nothing helps you better mumble the words “Oh shit, I forgot” like an unexpected check for $2,000.
But it appears that JP Morgan Chase either fell behind on its “donations,” or Mayor Frank Jackson is becoming interested in behaving like a real mayor. The Plain Dealer reports this morning
that the city has pulled its payroll account – valued at $400 million plus – from the bank. When it came to the aforementioned criteria, city officials not only found that JP Morgan Chase very much sucked, but that it was refusing to provide information on how the bank was reinvesting in the city.
In the past, such oversights could have been easily remedied with a suite at a Cavs’ game and an envelope stuffed with cash. But it seems the mayor instead decided to take his first timid steps toward acting in the best interest of residents. – Pete Kotz