You'd think it would be a humbling setting: After posting $2 billion in trading losses, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon stood before House lawmakers today to explain the trail of wreckage his bank left. Instead, the man who repeatedly ignored internal calls to reign in the bank's chief investment office, appeared inconvenienced by the questions of mere mortals.
When Rep. Maxine Waters began asking why JP Morgan lobbies for reduced regulation, Dimon interrupted with a smug and obvious declaration that "Lobbying is a constitutional right. We have a right to be heard," bluntly sidestepping the direction of Waters' question. When Rep. Sean Duffy asked if his bank's trading losses could in the future extend beyond $2 billion to, say, $50 billion, Dimon smiled: "Not unless the moon strikes the earth."
you can kind of tell that Dimon thinks he is way way smarter than Duffy.— KateNocera (@KateNocera) June 19, 2012
Reporters noticed, members of Congress noticed it, the smooth-talking banking giant wasn't ready to admit much more than hey, this stuff happens, don't go too far in regulating our bank. When asked about the Volcker Rule, Dimon called it "badly vetted, badly implemented." He also rebutted with one-word answers whether his bank could become too big to fail: "No." When asked by Rep. Gary Ackerman about the difference between gambling and investing, Dimon upped the smugness even more:
Dimon: I think when you gamble you usually lose to the House.
Ackerman: That's been my general experience with investing.
Dimon: I'd be happy to get you a better financial advisor and improve upon your experience.
It seems that after being coddled by the Senate yesterday, Dimon's feeling pretty good about himself. Could someone bring this guy down a notch?