Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase (JPM), is smug, arrogant whiner. I don't know if he reads Real Money, but I really hope he sees this and wants to tangle with me, because I'm champing at the bit.
By all measure, Dimon should be in big-time hot water, or better yet, on trial. He blatantly violated Sarbanes-Oxley when he, as CEO, signed off on JPMorgan reports that basically swore that his bank's internal controls were up to snuff. Then, when the bank lost billions in a bungling speculative trade, which could have put the entire banking system in jeopardy -- again -- and possibly even resulted in taxpayers being called upon for another outrageous bailout, he said those internal controls were "not adequate."
You lied, Jamie.
That's a prosecutable offense.
Where is the SEC? Where is the Justice Department?
Yesterday he gave us another display of his arrogance. It was on a conference call with bank analyst Mike Mayo. Mayo simply asked Dimon if depositors would be more inclined to put their money into banks that have higher capital ratios, given the current cautious environment. Mayo made the comparison between UBS (UBS), a bank that has a 13% capital ratio, and JPMorgan, which has a 10% capital ratio. And what was Dimon's response to Mayo? "That's why I'm richer than you."
That's why I'm richer than you? Are we in kindergarten, Jamie?
People laughed. The whole room laughed. OK, maybe Mayo's question was a bit like nitpicking, but come on ... it was like the bully in the class picking on the weak kid, and everyone else in the class laughs, too, because they're also afraid of the bully. I never laughed. I was never afraid of the bully.
Now I'm sticking up for Mayo. If I were on that call, I would have asked Dimon why he lied on his company's reports and why he thinks he's been able to avoid prison. I wouldn't care one iota if I were banned from ever attending another JPMorgan conference call, even if that meant losing my job. That's just me.
Jamie Dimon is an arrogant whiner. He's still where he is today because he's got protection. His chief counsel is Stephen M. Cutler, who used to be the head of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission. With a guy like that on your team, it's a lock that the SEC won't bring any action.
Good work, Dimon. Most hardworking Americans didn't have that kind of protection, and as a result, they lost. The hardworking people of this country lost $22 trillion of their savings when the banks went on a spree of insane risk-taking and massively fraudulent lending. Those very taxpayers were then called upon to step in and stabilize an economy that the bankers had just destroyed, and to save their institutions. Do you know what Dimon's response to the people was? It was, "Don't blame us, blame yourselves for choosing the government you have chosen."
Unbelievable arrogance, that's all I can say.
There's probably no chance that Dimon will read this, but boy, I wish he does. I feel like going mano-a-mano.