Jamie Dimon translated: Regulation that could have helped banks, and America, is useless

There he is, the all-American jerk named Jamie Dimon.

As this excellent CNBC column points out, the always-arrogant Dimon was all over the place today on the Volcker Rule during testimony in the US Senate. At one point he actually said that he had no idea what the Volcker rule even is.

What was missing from the discussion was any remorse for potential problems that bad trades might have on the US taxpayers.

The $3 billion trading loss won’t bring down JPMorgan, but after the 2008 fiasco, any large trading loss has to set off alarm bells and make people wonder what else may be hiding in there.

Remember that Dimon denied any problem weeks before the loss was announced, so his word is about as bad as it gets on Wall Street. After the taxpayers saved their precious lifestyle just a few short years ago, any normal person would have shown some concern for those still struggling, and have found a way to apologize for the added stress. But no, that’s not the Jamie Dimon or Wall Street way. We didn’t get any apology until today, when Jamie’s behind was finally dragged in front of Congress.

More on the flip-flopping Jamie Dimon’s bizarre meeting with the Senate:

Instead, and incredibly, Dimon contended twice that he didn’t know what the Volcker rule says. “I don’t know what the Volcker Rule is, it hasn’t been written yet,” the regaled banking chief told senators today.

Note to Mr. Dimon and his handlers: The proposed rule, mandated by the Dodd-Frank legislation, was published in November in the Federal Register and opened for public comment. Financial regulators are now in the process of finalizing it. That, after all, is why there’s a discussion. If the trade and the losses inform the rule, there’s still time to change it.

At least somewhat contradictorily, the chief of JPMorgan had earlier said it wasn’t clear that the rule would have prevented the trade. A little later he said, “It may very well have stopped parts of what this portfolio morphed into.” Which is it? Does he not know what’s been in the proposed rule that’s been available for seven months, or does he know enough about the rule to say it would not have prevented the trade?

As CNBC notes, fortunately for Dimon, the senators were as clueless as Dimon. Or at least we hope it was clueless though there’s reason to believe it was a convenient moment of being clueless. There are campaign contributions to be won, after all.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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