Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jamie Dimon is Right

Dealbook reports:
J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon is an emotional, entertaining bloke. And never more so when he is the most ardent defender of the U.S. financial industry.

At the World Economic Forum today, Dimon gave perhaps his most impassioned defense to date.

Asked what he thought about Americans’ popular anger directed at banks, Dimon didn’t mince words. “It’s not fair to lump all banks together,” Dimon said, according to our Barron’s colleague Vito Racanelli:

I don’t lump all media together….There’s good and there’s bad. There’s irresponsible and ignorant and there’s really smart media. Well, not all bankers are the same. I just think this constant refrain [of] ‘bankers, bankers, bankers,’ — it’s just a really unproductive and unfair way of treating people….People should just stop doing that.
Dimon is right, all banks shouldn't be lumped together. There are a lot of decent hardworking bankers at local banks that couldn't get President Obama to buy them a hot dog. They shouldn't be lumped in with the elitist plotters like Goldman Sachs and Jamie's JPMorgan Chase, which was gifted Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns during the height of the crisis.


  1. I don't think he even knows he is a corrupt parasite...Sign of a psychopath.

  2. You mean this Bear Stearns?

  3. Pre-Lloyd Blankfein's testimony before Congress with his inability to get across the simple point that he was selling product and those buying said product, who happened to be sophisticated traders, should understand what the hell they are buying,there would have been nothing wrong with these transactions.

    If Jamie thought for a minute this risk existed, he would have never done the deal. At the time of the deal, he most assuredly would have thought he had raped Bear sharehlders.

  4. It seems clear that Bear committed fraud by breaching the obligations stated in its securitization offering memoranda. So what are you getting at? Dimon was not aware of the Bear fraud at the time of the deal? Or, maybe he thought he could simply manage the risk later, not realizing at the time the spotlight the banking industry would get.

  5. Dimon would have never done the deal if he suspected for one minute that Bear would be exposed to these liabilities.

    But further, 90% of what is in the ZH piece is simply the way brokers trade daily--and would never have raised an eyebrow pre-Blankfein testimony.

    As for the breaching of obligations in its SOM that's possible, but I would have to read the SOM.

    Bottom line though Jamie thought he got a sweetheart deal on Bear.

  6. I'll defer to your judgement on what Dimon would have done, but it's difficult for me to believe he thought there would not be skeletons in Stearns' closet. I think hubris got the best of him.

    I agree that most of what the ZH article focuses on is irrelevant, as it assumes obligations, fiduciary and otherwise, that do not exist. What is most damning is the allegation that Stearns did not notify various parties after having privately settled with the originators, as is claimed to be required by the securitization docs (which I did not read).