Monday, November 23, 2009

Jamie Dimon to Replace Geithner?

I have said before, I think it will be pretty difficult to replace Geithner, but now we have President Obama's "favorite banker" being named as a possible replacement.

NyPo reports
As support for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wanes on Capitol Hill amid frustration with the Obama administration's handling of the economy, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is emerging as a potential replacement.
Sources tell The Post that a number of policy makers have begun mentioning Dimon as a successor to Geithner, whose standing in Washington has suffered because of the country's high unemployment rate, the weakness of the dollar, the slow pace of the recovery and the government's mounting deficit..

People familiar with Dimon's thinking said he "would love to serve his country," and in recent weeks Dimon has had a noticeably higher profile in Washington, making frequent visits to government officials and earlier this month publishing an op-ed in the Washington Post that makes the case for letting large institutions that take big risks collapse rather than receive government aid...The timing might be right for Dimon to pursue the Treasury post. He recently put into place a succession plan...

Dimon has long been a big Democratic supporter, and his ties with Obama go back to when he ran Chicago-based Bank One. In addition, White House visitor logs show Dimon has been a repeated guest there...He also was a point man during the previous administration, rescuing Bear and WaMu.
Rescuing Bear Stearns and WaMu? That's definitely Jamie Dimon spin. He was gifted both of them. JPMorgan cashed in to the tune of billions from those takeovers. Will the public fall for the rescue spin?

The WaPo op-ed, in which he said there shouldn't be any bank that is too big to fail, is the most interesting piece of evidence that Dimon may be preparing to replace Geithner. When I first saw the op-ed, I thought it a bit unusual, but I then figured that Dimon was just distancing himself from the big banker pack, given the flack Goldman Sachs has had to deal with. And that still could be the purpose of the op-ed. However, in light of this NyPo report, it could also be Dimon promoting himself as a "man of the people" in anticipation of being nominated as Treasury chief.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. Want to serve your country, Jamie? Stop naked shorting silver.