Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.
October 17, 2013 at 10:25 AM
Being Jamie Dimon: A little tougher now
I am told that Jamie Dimon was in town for a private talk at the Washington Athletic Club. And I am shocked, shocked, to have been left off the invitation list, after all those years when Dimon wanted to talk to journalists and let us hear his fun, intense, informative, profanity-laced monologues on banking and the economy.
One can guess that the more than 3,400 Seattle employees fired when JPMorgan Chase bought Washington Mutual didn’t come up. Bad form, you know.
These are difficult days for the man who was once “America’s least hated banker.” Last month, the House of Morgan agreed to pay more than $920 million to settle with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Reserve, Comptroller of the Currency and U.K. regulators over the “London Whale”
trading gambling fiasco that cost some $6 billion. The SEC reportedly refused to negotiate the fine, impudence to a banker who had led the Dodd-Frank framers around by their noses.
Now the bank has agreed to pay another $100 million in fines to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and admit its traders acted “recklessly.” A Justice Department investigation continues.
The admission of guilt is a big deal. In the past, corporate wrongdoers have been able to accept their slaps on the wrist with the statement “neither accepting nor denying guilt.” But new rules allowed the CFTC to focus on the actual trading practices that brought on the whale debacle, so Dodd-Frank is not quite so toothless. Still, the New York Times reports the bank received some protection from civil litigation and more:
The bank also won some ground on the breadth of its wrongdoing. It agreed, the people briefed on the negotiations said, to admit wrongdoing stemming from trading on one particular day. The trading commission is likely to refer to other trading in its order against the bank, but JPMorgan is expected to neither admit nor deny wrongdoing in those instances.
Meanwhile, Dimon stays on as chairman and chief executive officer, one more example of the sociopathic banker elite evading accountability for the worst financial crash since the Depression and continuing in its aftermath with the same rackets, making record profits.
Not quite. According to Bloomberg, Dimon was pressured to step down as chairman of the bank’s main operating subsidiary, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Symbolic, mostly. But not every regulator fears Jamie quite so much anymore.
And now you know…the rest of the story.
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Today’s Econ Haiku:
Peel back the shutdown
A banana republic
Wouldn’t have slipped so