Lawsuit vs. JPM: Fraudulent Settlement between DOJ and JPM

Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - 2:06pm
Why am I not surprised to read a headline that includes “fraud” and JPM?”
The US Department of Justice, another completely corrupt, perverse institution, was about to sue JPM for its admitted “serious misrepresentations” about mortgage backed securities. But, at the last minute, JPM's Dimon and Attorney General Holder reached a secret deal.
Despite admissions of wrongdoing by JPM, which, in a normal situation NOT involving a TBTF bank, there would have been perp walks and serious jail time, the US DOJ reached a SHAM settlement with JPM, which settlement is NOW itself the subject of a separate lawsuit. (The complaint is here:
The Lawsuit:
The lawsuit was filed on February 2, 2014, in the US District Court, District of Columbia, Case Number 1:14-cv-00190-BAH, captioned: “Better Markets, Inc. v. Department of Justice, Eric Holder, Jr.
The sixty page Complaint challenges the “validity of the historic and unprecedented $13 billion contractual agreement between the DOJ and JPMorgan Chase & Co. that was announced on November 19, 2013 but never reviewed or approved by any court.”
The lawsuit alleges that “The $13 Billion Agreement is a mere contract whereby JP Morgan Chase agreed to pay $13 billion in exchange for complete civil immunity from DOJ for years of pervasive, egregious, and knowing alleged fraud and other illegal conduct related to the worst financial crash in the U.S. since 1929, which caused the worst economy in the U.S. since the Great Depression (“Financial Crisis”). The Financial Crisis is estimated to cost the U.S. between $13 trillion and $38 trillion (which would be as much as $120,000 for every man, woman and child in the country). As the DOJ admitted, JP Morgan Chase’s illegal conduct in making “serious misrepresentations to the public” and “knowingly bundl[ing] toxic loans and sell[ing] them to unsuspecting investors” had a “staggering” impact, “helped sow the seeds of the mortgage meltdown,” and “contributed to the wreckage of the” Financial Crisis.” (Complaint, at ¶¶ 1-3).
It goes on to point out that the DOJ JPM deal “was the product of negotiations conducted entirely in secret behind closed doors, in significant part by the Attorney General personally, who directly negotiated with the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, the bank’s “chief negotiator.” No one other than those involved in those secret negotiations has any idea what JP Morgan Chase really did or got for its $13 billion because there was no judicial review or proceeding at all regarding this historic and unprecedented settlement. However, it is known that JP Morgan Chase’s $13 billion did result in almost complete nondisclosure by the DOJ regarding JP Morgan Chase’s massive alleged illegal conduct.” (Complaint, at ¶ 6).
So, why is this a problem? Simple, follow the money.
Since JPM admittedly defrauded investors, those same victims are either filing their own lawsuits, or will be filing their own lawsuits, provided that the statute of limitations has not run out. Any of those potential victims would naturally want to see what proof the DOJ managed to amass, including details, facts, names, dates, etc. However, as the lawsuit notes, NONE of this critical source information was disclosed AT ALL!
Why am I not surprised by this? Who said fascism? Correct!!!!
The lawsuit alleges: “Notwithstanding such extensive and historic illegal conduct that resulted in a $13 billion payment, the DOJ did not disclose the identity of a single JP Morgan Chase executive, officer, or employee, no matter how involved in or responsible for the illegal conduct. In fact, the DOJ did not even disclose the number of executives, officers, or employees involved in the illegal conduct or if any of them are still executives, officers, or employees of JP Morgan Chase today. Moreover, the DOJ did not disclose the material details of what these individuals did, when or how they did it, or to whom and with what consequences. The DOJ was even silent as to which specific laws were violated, to what degree, and by what conduct. The DOJ also did not disclose even an estimate of the amount of damage JP Morgan Chase’s years of illegal conduct caused or how much money it made or how much money its clients, customers, counterparties, and investors lost. Remarkably, the DOJ does not even clearly state the period for which it is granting JP Morgan Chase immunity: The $13 Billion Agreement states that the investigation spanned the period between 2005 and 2008; another document refers to JP Morgan Chase’s illegal conduct between 2005 and 2007; and the DOJ press release references actions in connection with the listed RMBS issued “prior to January 1, 2009.”
“Thus, these and many other critical facts remain unknown and undisclosed in the substantively uninformative settlement agreement; the brief and misleadingly-labeled document entitled “Statement of Facts” (“SOF”), which was clearly drafted by the DOJ and JP Morgan Chase to conceal rather than reveal; or the press release issued by DOJ to trumpet the $13 Billion Agreement (“Press Release”).
“As a result, no one has any ability to determine if the $13 Billion Agreement is fair, adequate, reasonable, and in the public interest or if it is a sweetheart deal entered into behind closed doors that, by design, intent, or effect, let the biggest, most powerful, and well-connected bank in the U.S. off cheaply and quietly for massive illegal conduct that contributed to the Financial Crisis and the economic disaster it caused. Indeed, one could argue that the $13 billion payment was for making sure no one ever learns the scope and detail of JP Morgan Chase’s illegal conduct.” (Complaint, ¶¶ 8-10).
So let me make sure I have understood it correctly. JPM’s Dimon personally engineered, in direct negotiations with THE ATTORNEY GENERAL of the USA, a secret, back room deal, which provides blanket immunity protecting JPM from any civil lawsuits or judgments based on their admitted fraud. Too Big To Fail? Indeed.
Here is what some press article had to say. And, note that none of the articles mentions the outrageous REASONING as to why the DOJ / JPM settlement is so abhorrent! From the lawsuit, at paragraph 13: “Given all those undisclosed facts and the shroud of secrecy in which the DOJ and JP Morgan Chase have cloaked the $13 Billion Agreement, the public could well perceive it as an effort by the DOJ to keep JP Morgan Chase’s illegal conduct nonpublic so that the agreement between DOJ and JP Morgan Chase could never be independently scrutinized or evaluated. Would that perception have a factual basis? No one knows, and without review and assessment by a court, no one will ever know because transparency, accountability, and oversight were all sacrificed in this settlement and in the settlement process.”
Back to the lawsuit, from paragraph 17: “the total lack of transparency and meaningful information regarding what JP Morgan Chase did, how they did it, how much they profited, how much clients lost, of course, ensures that no one will ever be in a position to challenge their self-serving assertions. One might think that was the point of secretly negotiating the agreement and drafting it to reveal as little as possible.” Indeed, one might.
Why is it that only Matt Taibbi has the courage to tell the truth and ask the hard questions? Why do bloggers, like me, have to point out the obvious?
Here is some press coverage so you can see for yourself:
“The non-profit group Better Markets filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department on Monday to block what it called an "unlawful" $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Co over bad mortgage loans sold to investors before the financial crisis.
“The record settlement, which was reached in November, does not release JPMorgan from potential criminal liability over the mortgages it packaged into bonds. But Better Markets said it was still appalled that the settlement gave the bank "blanket civil immunity" for its conduct without sufficient judicial review.
"The Wall Street bailouts were bad enough, but now taxpayers are being forced to accept a secretive backroom deal that may well have been another sweetheart deal," said Dennis Kelleher, chief executive of Better Markets. (Kelleher, a former attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, has become well-known for his critique of both Wall Street banks and regulators who he has often accused of failing to hold the banks accountable for wrongdoing).
"The Justice Department cannot act as prosecutor, jury and judge and extract $13 billion in exchange for blanket civil immunity to the largest, richest, most politically connected bank on Wall Street," he said.
The lawsuit itself is filed in the USDC, District of Columbia. The link to it is here: “It seeks to impose an injunction halting the settlement with JP Morgan Chase from going forward. It calls the settlement unconstitutional and also alleges it violates the Administrative Procedures Act and more importantly the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989,” (
Some things to Think About:
FIRREA is typically what the DOJ has traditionally used to extract settlement terms in enforcement actions on Wall Street. Critical to understand is that if the court were to rule against the attorney general, it could discourage future use of FIRREA to reach settlements.
Naturally, given the stakes, the lawsuit has political overtones: “The entire DOJ settlement was designed to “conceal, not reveal,” insisted Kelleher, adding that such a deal carried out by the Bush administration would have drawn cackles from Democrats.” “If (former Attorney General) Alberto Gonzales did this with Halliburton, what would people say?” he asked incredulously.”
The lawsuit is, as noted, a longshot: “One prominent legal expert called the Better Markets effort a long shot. “While Better Markets is a well-intentioned and aggressive advocate for investors, I do not believe there is any basis or support in law for their position,” said John Coffee, a securities law professor at Columbia University in New York and a frequent witness before Congress. “The executive branch can settle disputes with a third party without seeking court approval.”
“Had the Justice Department filed a lawsuit, it still could settle without court approval providing it is not a class-action suit and there is no injunction involved, he said.”
“The courts don’t have a role inherently in settling all disputes,” said Coffee, suggesting a court ruling favoring Better Markets would set precedent. “I think this would greatly expand the role of the judiciary in resolving disputes.”
“Significantly, no outside law firms signed on to the Better Markets action, nor do any appear as a counsel of record. That’s often a sign that a case lacks strong backing of the underlying legal argument.”
Another fatal flaw seems to be the lack of standing, or legal right, to file the lawsuit. “It’s not clear Better Markets has legal standing to bring such a request for injunction since it was not a homeowner, investor or shareholder harmed by JP Morgan Chase’s behavior in the run-up to the financial crisis of 2008. But, undeterred, Kelleher said as a public advocacy group his request for relief is very much like groups that have successfully won court injunctions when citizen health or the environment are being harmed.
So, like all areas of law, one foresightful attorney has sought to apply an existing law in a forward looking manner. It is laudable, but not likely to lead to new legal precedent, because the lawsuit is likely to be dismissed on a 12(b) challenge.
At least one prominent Forbes’ writer seems to agree: (
“And in this lawsuit Better Markets fails to even state a plausible case for why the non-profit, which calls itself “the public’s voice in the fight to reform and strengthen our financial system,” has a stake in the matter. In fact, if arguments like the ones Better Markets makes were allowed in court, the government could hardly make a move without being barraged with second-guessing lawsuits by non-profits and anybody else who preferred Plan A over Plan B.”
I’ll be watching.
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About the Author


Feb 19, 2014 - 2:22pm


first first!

All i can say is that I hope anyone suing JPM gets super frikn rich off of them! dirty bastages

Feb 19, 2014 - 2:46pm

Go Public

The suit needs to be spread all over the place and name the names over and over. The end result needs to be the basis for indictment criminally and jail.

Intentional negligence by a government official is not a protected action.

Feb 19, 2014 - 2:50pm

This all makes perfect sense . . .

Let's see . . . JPM breaks every law known to the financial industry, and gets slap-on-the-wrist fines.

JPM runs out of silver, so calls in loans to MFingGlobal, then has bankruptcy judges change the rules so they can steal MFingGlobals' clients' silver.

JPM goes from hugely short comex gold to hugely long comex gold in 18 months, all done while the market is at the bottom.

JPM would have done the above in silver, had it been possible, but extricating themselves from their massive short would have blasted silver to the moon. So, they stayed short comex silver, but bought up as much phyzz as they could muster. Again, at a long, drawn-out market bottom--these things can't be done in a day, ya know.

And, here's why all this and much more, is so:


Feb 19, 2014 - 2:50pm


#4 ?

Feb 19, 2014 - 2:55pm

Top Ten

Guess I'll take 5th

I learn a lot from your writings CL and I appreciate it greatly.

Feb 19, 2014 - 2:57pm

Great article CL

Man, every time I read this stuff I get really angry. "Justice" department indeed, withholding information on criminal fraud from people who were screwed by JPM. I have a strong affinity for equal protection under the law. But today it is more like Animal Farm, some are "more equal" than others. Maddening.

Feb 19, 2014 - 3:02pm

Holder & Dimon

flipped a coin to see who would shake down who. We, as usual, lost the toss.

Thanks bundles, CA Lawyer for making this so much clearer to me than it was previously.

Jump Jamie! Jump! Hold Eric's hand and jump!

Feb 19, 2014 - 3:08pm


Thank you for the kind words. I blog here exactly for this reason. It is an honor to be able to share my humble insights. I am not always correct, but I try my best to see objectively the things that are actually happening, and to then comment fairly about it.

I am skewed a bit to the conspiracy side of things, but only because I have seen so many things in my lifetime to make me spring load to that position as a default.

I was in Honduras in 1986, as a US Army Helicopter pilot. I saw things with my own eyes, that then did not make sense, and that now, are obvious in retrospect and from additional information that has come forward.

I use that experience to try to point out the same things, here, in real time, so that one can make an informed decision.

For example: I was at Tegucialpa, at the airport, sitting in my helicopter, waiting to depart. I was just sitting in that hot contraption, sweat dripping down my nose, and I saw many people working on the tarmac. Most of the workers had uniforms on, were hispanic males, short, no taller than about five feet two inches or so. But every now and then, a tall white guy, wearing dark sunglasses, shorts, and a polo shirt, would walk by and disappear into a hangar. The hanger was non-descript, but was guarded by soldiers with automatic weapons. At the time, I thought it was odd to see a tall white guy in shorts, when everyone else was a shorter hispanic.

Now I know that there was this Iran Contra stuff going on, and those tall white guys were almost certainly CIA.

If I had a smart phone, I could have taken a picture, posted it, then let the community deduce the rest. But that was then, there was no internet, no smart phones, and no blogging community.

But, this is NOW! And I am going to give my best insights to inform and help others.

Thanks for the kind words.

Feb 19, 2014 - 3:11pm

Pining, Thanks

I am just trying my best to keep up with you, my friend. Thanks for the kind words. I was going to post some pictures, or video, but just did not have time. I have to zip off to see a client now, but thanks anyway.

My idea was to post a picture of Dimon and Holder, two supplicant fat pigs, each licking each other's balls, but I just could not find one.

I think that just about sums it up, no?

Mr. Fix
Feb 19, 2014 - 3:13pm

These things are always fun to watch,

but the complete lawlessness of our system means that the outcome has already been predetermined.

Waiting for J.P. Morgan to lose a case in court would be like waiting for the CFTC to grow a pair.

J.P. Morgan is clearly an operating arm of the Fed, and the Evil Empire who has already co-opted our government at every level, they would not be so blatant with their illegality if it was any other way.

Pining wrote a post a few days back thinking that our collapse would be in a more or less linear fashion, and although I wrote a rebuttal to refute that position, one of the most important points that I had overlooked, was that very fact that the more power the evil entities in charge can accumulate, the more control they can exert over the system to collapse it.

Only a few years back, bankers and politicians needed to at least create the illusion of legitimacy and legality.

They have so much power now, that they do not need to carry on such a pretense.


Since their ability to crash the system can now go on unchallenged, I would expect things to move along rather quickly at this point,

and the evidence appears to be all around us.

Feb 19, 2014 - 3:18pm

Pining, Thank you for taking


Thank you for taking the time to come back and comment on my post, on your 'Rounders' thread last weekend.

Yes I am aware the stock market is in fact a rigged game, as you pointed out, and that 'buy-and-hold' is indeed affected by the game-riggers.

I have the tendency to seize on a portion of something I read, and then elaborate on that one small piece. We all have our own idiosyncrasies.

And even though I am an amateur investor, I am fully on-board with:

"A portion of your investments in Gold and silver in your possession are a way to step away from this game, or at least hedge some of the risks involved."

But I am also on-board with gambling 2% of my income in my employer's 401K and their kicking in 3%.



ancientmoney California Lawyer
Feb 19, 2014 - 3:20pm

What a mind picture . . .

Bag-o-gold, where are you when we need you . . .

"My idea was to post a picture of Dimon and Holder, two supplicant fat pigs, each licking each other's balls, but I just could not find one." Is that legal in D.C.?

Oh, yeah, that and anything else is legal for the elite. Silly me.

ancientmoney Mr. Fix
Feb 19, 2014 - 3:36pm

@Mr. Fix re: JPM suits . . .

"Waiting for J.P. Morgan to lose a case in court would be like waiting for the CFTC to grow a pair."



Ever notice that all cases are settled before discovery starts? No subpoenas, no evidence, just pay the fines with free fiatskis from Mama-Fed's tit.

ancientmoney California Lawyer
Feb 19, 2014 - 3:40pm

@CalLawyer re: CIA . . .

"Now I know that there was this Iran Contra stuff going on, and those tall white guys were almost certainly CIA."


Being a pilot, you would appreciate the book JFK, by Fletcher Prouty:

from Amazon site: "He (Prouty) was the author of JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy and The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies. L. Fletcher Prouty (1917-2001), a retired colonel of the U.S. Air Force, served as the chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Kennedy years."

Prouty actually flew the top brass and CIA operatives all over the world, but has special knowledge of Vietnam shenanigans--makes me angry just rethinking about it.

Feb 19, 2014 - 3:46pm

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Silver on a waterfall . . .

Fed minutes released. Taper is on.

When you own the algos, you control price.

edit--wow! four posts in a row--everybody shell-shocked?

Verus nemo
Feb 19, 2014 - 3:52pm

Ancient: "four posts in a row"

Nope. Just heading back to the LCS, that's all! ;-)

Feb 19, 2014 - 3:54pm

Hi CL Keep on summarizing


Keep on summarizing these issues for us. There are not enough people shining light on the nefarious side of the big biz-govt partnership, which lends your blog posts greater value.

stockoneder Pining 4 the Fjords
Feb 19, 2014 - 3:56pm


The whole purpose and function of government is to make some people more "equal" than others. Anyone who believes differently just doesn't have a grasp on reality.

Feb 19, 2014 - 4:10pm

@AM re: government/big biz partnership, aka fascism . . .

A few notes:

One of the biggest boons to government growth was the tax withholding laws. Every business must withhold taxes and social security from their employees and submit to IRS. This started in 1943. Much easier to collect from thousands of entities than from hundreds of millions.

Obamacare was created to tap into the 18% of GDP that the healthcare industry accounts for.

Soon, "Cap & trade" (carbon taxes) will be shoved down our throats, as the bankers and their government needs another big revenue source.

Banks and governments stole the peoples' money in 1933, 1964 and again in 1971. The great middle class has shrunk and shrunk and shrunk as a result of these grand thefts.

With myRA, the next step in the takeover of financial industry has been taken.

This list is endless.

Feb 19, 2014 - 4:25pm

Well, I hope this isn't a reflection of the coming year...

I've been providing web hosting services for 16 years. Our servers have been connected to same network, at the same location in South-East London for all that time. Reliability has always been truly amazing - which is exactly what I need.

Until the last 4 months, and now today.

In the last four months the network has gone down six times (this is unheard-of in my 16 years experience), due to two man-made errors (sloppy engineering work on network upgrades that failed) and four DDOS (distributed-denial-of-service attacks.

Between 1998 and 2013 (that's 14 years) I think there were just two DDOS attacks, and only one fuck-up when upgrading the network, which resulted in failure - and that one was in 1999. Downtime then was just 30 mins.

Today a DDOS attack took down the network we're connected to for 2 hours (it went back up an hour ago). We've NEVER had downtime for that long - in the past downtime was never more than 20-30 mins, and usually just a few minutes. The two network maintenance/upgrades that failed in the last 4 months were because engineers had made an error in installing and setting up hardware. An error? These people are making mistakes when in the past they never did (apart from that one time I mentioned in 1999). It's sloppy work - maybe they're losing the will to take care of what they do? Overworked, underpaid? The cost of living is affecting their ability to think straight?

The other three DDOS attacks in the last four months have resulted in downtime of between 30 mins and an hour. This is absolutely unprecedented for me.

A few of our clients are international companies who monitor the uptime of their sites. After the last five downtimes over the last four months I've had to personally call and explain why their sites were down and give assurances.

I'm going to be in a shit tomorrow morning when their monitoring software shows todays 2-hour downtime, the longest ever. But that's not the point of this post.

I hope what I'm seeing isn't the reflection, via my line of work, of what's coming this year. What's happening is well out of the ordinary.


CAL - not read your post yet - I'm still fuming. I will when I've calmed down a bit .

Dagney Taggart
Feb 19, 2014 - 5:21pm

Selective Enforcement of the Law

Does the DOJ legally have the option of selective enforcement of the law? Does Holder have the legal power to cut "secret deals"? Whose responsibility is it to act against a rogue DOJ?

(Thinking to myself: The world has seen Fascism before and that didn't work out too well for the racketeers. Do these criminals actually want to get killed? Is that the ultimate tribute to their big wooden owl?)

OK, I'm back. Do Americans have any recourse other than the obvious, and deserved, use of arms? I wonder how long it will take a fed-up Patriot to find out if any of these monsters bleed green. Because I care and want to see a peaceful justice prevail, but the DOJ better do something meaningful to these criminals before they all get publicly Mussolini'd because that tidal wave will not stop until Holder ends up beside them in a hole. We've seen this before with the Reign of Terror: If Holder acts too late, even doing the right thing in the end will still not save him.

Thanks CL. I don't feel so bad about how rough the last 2 weeks were for me anymore. Just creating value and watching the circus of looters.

Feb 19, 2014 - 5:30pm
BagOfGold ancientmoney
Feb 19, 2014 - 5:34pm


About wanting me to post a picture of the Dimon & Holder piglets licking their "significant others"...on such short notice...this is the only similar picture I could find in my archives!...So sorry!!!...

Bag Of Gold

Feb 19, 2014 - 5:44pm

Well, the "Just-Us"

Well, the "Just-Us" department needs to make sure the club stays "Just-Us".

On a more serious note, how exactly does a $13bn fine get paid, and what does the DOJ do with that money? I think I know the real answers, but if all settlement was legitimate and by the book, how would things transpire?

Feb 19, 2014 - 5:49pm


What a curious plunge this afternoon eh?

Tom Petty - Free Fallin'
Feb 19, 2014 - 6:00pm

In Fascism

the primacy of politics is established. In Fascism the economy and the financial system have to serve the state, not vice versa. In this case the state and the nation was the victim of the criminal activity of the bankers. And the DOJ makes a deal that PROTECTS them and keeps them out of jail. I could call a cat thousand times a bird, it will nevertheless be a cat. So this has NOTHING to do with Fascism. This is plain and simple Plutocracy. The (hidden) rulership of money. A result of a very weak state with a weak judicial system and banks, oligarchs and insider families much stronger than the state. If it would be Fascism, the banksters who committed this fraud against the state and the public would already rot under the earth. A laywer is not a historian, but a minimum of political education can be demanded if such articles are written. Plutocracy.

Feb 19, 2014 - 6:01pm

goon 20 Australia this weekend.

Had I known the goon 20 thugs were mtging in concert, to yak attack the worthless fiat currencies, I'd'uv said nothing yesterday on a silver short squeeze. All the glue factory fiat horses lined up for the run this weekend. USDinker dollar still the winning elmer's white night drying clear in fed fud transparency; regardless the meat grinder getting the turbo spinning blade closer to 80 failing epic on the USDX. You can be certain it's time to pull the plug on the equity markets and get the ole USDinker dollar to limp away from the grinder blade for now. Looks like it will be another staged safe haven for paper fiat ponzi USDinker dollars and the debt bonzi bubble growing even more goon-normous. So it is for now as the 24th looks to be a combined liquidity vortex opening up on Q, from 3.16 trillion in reverse repos from 12/11/13. I'd get prepared next week to see paper assets per equities, to be screaming over a top one another as the mkt exits get jammed. Equity blood squeezens flooding the street.

ancientmoney Lintltj5
Feb 19, 2014 - 6:07pm

@lintltj5 re: $13b fine goes where?

"how exactly does a $13b fine get paid, and what does DOJ do with that money"


Answer #1: JPM/Fed writes a check to DOJ. DOJ then buys arms to sell to Mexican druglords in exchange for heroin, mescalin, etc. All's well that ends well.

Answer #2: JPM has DOJ put it "on their tab" to be exchanged for other favors later, like taking it in the shorts in silver, so as to prolong the power of the DOJ and rest of alphabet soup agencies of U.S. govy.

Answer #3: Some combination of above.

ancientmoney HeirHelmut
Feb 19, 2014 - 6:11pm

@HeirHelmut re: Plutocracy vs. fascism . . .

I think I was the guilty party to use fascism in describing the ongoing fraud we call government and the financial system.

But, you are semantically correct; this is more a plutocracy than true fascism. The bankers/big biz has taken over the government--not vice versa.

Feb 19, 2014 - 6:28pm

The state of affairs is what we get for a reason . . .

Good article at ZH on this topic. My C&P don't work here for some reason. It says we essentially want the system to work this way (as a whole, not us rugged individualists).


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