I know, I know, “but the month of August is barely over yet.” And yet I know ultra-big banker Jamie Dimon is the man for the month. I’m that certain there won’t be a better candidate of rich assholishness to come along between now and August 31st. For any doubters out there, let me show you some quotes from a recent interview that the CEO of JP MorganChase—–one of the largest banks in the world, one of the institutions that almost left the U.S. economy bankrupt over night, and one that just lost billions in recent risky trades—–did. These are actual quotes from an interview with New York Magazine. I won’t even edit them so people can’t say I’m picking and choosing.
“I’m an outspoken defender of the truth,” Dimon told reporter Jessica Pressler. “Everyone is afraid of retaliation and retribution. We recently had an event with a hundred small bankers here, and 85 percent of them said they can’t challenge the regulation because of the potential retribution. That’s a terrible thing. Okay? This is not the Soviet Union. This is the United States of America. That’s what I remember. Guess what? It’s a free. Fucking. Country.”
“Everyone is talking about the culture, the culture, and all that, and it’s just not true,” Dimon said. “Most bankers are decent, honorable people. We’re wrapped up in all this crap right now. We made a mistake. We’re sorry. It doesn’t detract from all the good things we’ve done. I am not responsible for the financial crisis. I hate to tell you. We were a port of safety in the storm. I find it unbelievable that that is the general theme—that you have to walk in a room and act like you are responsible for things you are not responsible for.”
Who really agrees with that that isn’t directly employed by Jamie Dimon or a corporate lobbyist spamming the comments sections on all the websites about this? Unless you’re a Faux News watching zombie or Paul Ryan, there’s no way you can agree with what he just said. In fact, they can’t even agree with it because it flies so firmly in the face of even true free-market economics. I.e. if a bank makes a shit load of risky trades, they are responsible for it when they lose money, and they should not be taking bailouts…then doing the exact same type of risky trades, losing billions (JP Morgan recently lost 5.8 billion), and then the CEO saying, once again, that he’s just not responsible.
That isn’t how capitalism works. At least not actual capitalism instead of the crybaby kind where losses are subsidized and winnings are hoarded. Dimon finds it “unbelievable” that he’s being blamed for risky trades he made, which I find even more unbelievable. Then there’s the whole ludicrous first paragraph which goes into a profanity laced tirade about how this isn’t “the Soviet Union,” which is just code for Dimon wanting there to be no regulations on banks, none.
What he’s so damned upset about is The Volker rule which prohibits banks with federally insured customer deposits from doing the exact type of risky trades that just cost JP Morgan 5.8 billion dollars. To be against the government loaning you out more money to lose makes Dimon look no better than a casino gambling addict thinking it’s “unfair” that the casino won’t front him some more money at the tables.
In real capitalism, when you lose, you lose. And if you keep losing, the government shouldn’t be expected to continuously bail you out. The only thing “unbelievable” is that the CEO of one of the largest banks in America thinks differently, even after all the lessons he should have learned over the last few years.