Jamie Dimon Goes to Washington
I didn’t watch J.P.MorganChase’s CEO Jamie Dimon testify on Capitol Hill this morning because I knew his appearance there was a charade and that it would go exactly, disgustingly, like this:
The long-shot big hope for Wall Street reformers Wednesday was that JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon would trip up before the Senate Banking Committee and expose the need for tighter rules governing big banks. His firm, after all, recently lost billions making risky bets with depositor funds on the line.
Instead, with some notable exceptions, the senators themselves turned the cross-examination into a coronation, and exposed the extent to which elected officials still feel compelled to genuflect to powerful financial interests.
Bob Corker (R-TN)
“You’re obviously renowned, rightfully so I think, as being one of the most, you know, one of the best CEOs in the country for financial institutions. You missed this, it’s a blip on the radar screen.”
Losing $3 billion is a “blip on the radar?” And isn’t why he “missed this” important?
Jim DeMint (R-SC):
“I really appreciate you voluntarily coming in to talk with us,” he said. “It is important that we talk about things happening in the industry. It helps us as we look forward and, hopefully, it will contribute to best practice scenarios in industry. I appreciate your emphasis on continuous quality improvement.
“Continuous quality improvement?” What? What’s “quality” about losing $3 billion? And is the “improvement” that it wasn’t $4 billion?
This would be Dick Durbin (D-Il) in April, 2009:
And the banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.
So yep, members of the “Senate Banking Committee” were kissing the ring of one of their bosses.