Two former JPMorgan Chase employees have been charged by the federal government with criminal wire fraud, falsifying bank records, and contributing to false regulatory claims with regard to the bank's $6 billion loss last year. According to criminal complaints, Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout "artificially increased" the values of their derivative-heavy wagers "in order to hide the true extent of hundreds of millions of dollars of losses."

The name most associated with the colossal fuck up is "The London Whale," a.k.a. London trader Bruno Iskil, who ended up cooperating with the government with charges against Martin-Artajo and Grout. Martin-Artajo was Iskil and Grout's boss, overseeing the two "low-level traders" and allegedly ensuring that they recorded losses that were tens of millions of dollars lower than they actually were. Iskil won't face criminal charges because he's testifying against his former colleagues.

Scapegoats like these two, and former Goldman Sachs employee Fabrice Tourre, make for fun perp walk spectacles but seem to be pointless targets for prosecution. Numerous reports have detailed JP Morgan's "increased appetite" for risky trades that went all the way to the "upper echelons" of the company. If you think these prosecutions will do anything to curb the culture of impunity on Wall Street, Jeffrey Sachs has a bridge to sell you.