Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Sandy Weill--Jamie Dimon War Continues

You might want to look at the Sand Weill call to break up the big banks as a call for a break up of Jamie Dimon's bank.

Further, whenever a senior bankster shows up on television to save you and your world, watch your wallet.

Weill, who was THE primary driver to end Glass-Stegall, showed up this morning on CNBC to orchestrate a bit of world banking.

He went on and essentially called for the return of Glass-Stegall. That is, he wants a separation of commercial banking activity from other banking activity, such as trading. His paper thin defense for such a change in view: the housing crisis. Please excuse my laugh.

Weill always knew that trading and that derivatives business at big banks was a dangerous place and gave plenty of orders at Citi underlings to shrink those businesses. If Weill was going to be a truth-teller on CNBC, he would have pointed to his shrinking of those businesses under his watch as evidence of how a bank could solve things on its own.

But now Weill wants to split them up. I'm sure its just coincidence that his bitter rival, Jamie Dimon, is running one of the major banks that would be split up under Weill's proposal.

It may be recalled that Dimon was mentored by Weill and left Weill's side only after Dimon refused to promote Weill's daughter to a position daddy thought she deserved. I'm sure it was also coincident in that during one segment of Weil's CNBC appearance this morning that his daughter, Jessica Bibliowicz, appeared alongside daddy, imparting her valuable global financial insights.

But, in addition to settling old scores, the call for a return to Glass-Steagall regulations may prove profitable to Daddy Weill. Afterall, it's always best when you can line up profit and revenge at the same time.

Bob English emails to explain how Weill should make a few more bucks if the Return of Glass-Stegall comes to a bank near you:
This is like when Lord Evelyn condescends himself to an interview with the Money Honey. Something big is in the works and Weill is the oligarch delivering the message today. This is likely part of the battle for the new payments system. But, Weill, post-Citi, isn't lobbying on behalf of the banks anymore. 
Someone has to take the fall as part of the generation of political will to enact drastic new legislation that splits retail and institutional banking (if not the currency system itself, per Mervyn King's suggestion). This is far bigger than the pusillanimous Volcker Rule, and I think it will eventually involve the repeal or amendment of the BHC Act, as I alluded to on the last CA appearance. LIBOR would seem to be but one battle front against the banks (though a major one).

None of the entrenched financial interests want to be left in the dust when tech is allowed to enter the field (especially, the CIA vis a vis AmEx and MC). So the Weill interview looks like the payment processors are throwing the banks under the bus to keep as much of the action as possible.

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