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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

September 26, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Dimon fights for American (bankers’) values

In case you missed it, earlier this month Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, called new international bank rules “anti-American.” Those rules, Basil III, would require banks, especially large institutions, to build up a bigger buffer of capital against crises such as, oh, you know, what happened in America in 2008 and is occurring in Europe now.

Dimon told Financial Times: “I’m very close to thinking the United States shouldn’t be in Basel any more. I would not have agreed to rules that are blatantly anti-American. Our regulators should go there and say: ‘If it’s not in the interests of the United States, we’re not doing it’.”

A man not known for his easy-going temperament, Dimon apparently blew up last week during a meeting with Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney over the same issue. FT reports “The atmosphere was so bad after the meeting that Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs and head of the Financial Services Forum bankers’ group which arranged the session, emailed the central banker to try to smooth relations, people familiar with the matter said.”

You know things are bad when Lloyd Blankfein (?!) has to play peacemaker.

Some might think it’s anti-American for big banks such as the one run by Dimon to have so much control of Washington that they exert veto power over U.S. economic policy, especially policy that might help those in trouble with their mortgages, smaller business struggling for loans — or the majority of us who will have to bail out the next disaster caused by Wall Street and the big banks. But I guess they don’t really know what it means to be a real American today.

It means, for example, working as an easily jettisoned, low-wage temp at an Amazon.com sweatshop, if you’re lucky enough to have a job, while the banksters who got away with the greatest looting in history, just keep bringing in the big bucks. Oh, that was an anti-American blurt. Forgive me, Jamie.

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Dreamliner milestone

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