In Gillian Tett’s ‘Fools Gold’, JPMorgan’s CEO Jaime Dimon comes in for much praise: of all the Wall Street bankers, he not only understood the crazy financial instruments that led to the 2008 global recession, but protected his turf from very serious losses.
Praise has gone to his head. Smart, savvy he wanted no part of the Obama administration attempts to ‘regulate’ WS. In fact, Dimon spent millions in Washington to work against any attempt to rope in investment banking’s bad behaviour.
The bankers could police themselves; they needed no guidance nor interference from the government even though that very same government has forked over billions to save the banks from themselves to clean up the mess they visited on the world in 2008. The fallout from this Wall Street made disaster is still with us today, even though the very banks that survived 2008 are making big profits and paying senior management undeserved bonuses.
And now, looking sickly on the telly, Dimon had to admit his bank, JPM, lost for now us$2 billion of the bank’s own money in dubious hedge fund trading. And it looks as though it will post more billion dollars losses in the third quarter.
Heads are being to roll, but not Dimon’s who cowardly won’t own up for the bank’s reputation and step down!
It isn’t for nothing that in today’s ‘New York Times’ Janet Maslin reviewed Geoffrey Ward’s ‘A disposition to be rich: how a small town pastor’s son ruined a president, brought on a Wall Street crash and made himself the best hated man in America’ [Alfred Knopf publisher].
Americans blithely ignore history, yet it comes back to bite them where they sit. Dimon’s behaviour–since he is very much a hands on CEO–is a reflexion of the horrors an unregulated WS bring.
Now, he whines Washington will come down ‘hard’ on the banking industry and put more force into legislation Dimon and his cronies have worked hard to weaken or smother completely.
Yet, Dimon is not in the least contrite though he looks green around the gills for JPM’s scheming and being too clever by half. And in the end, Mr. Smarty pants has shot himself in the foot.
Dimon, do the right thing: step down, for you’re damaged goods.
Will the stockholders reward him with a fat bonus for a job not well done and a scandal that has driven done stock by more than 7 percent?