Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Dimon, in the Giving Xmas Spirit, Gives Obama the Bird?

Just had to link to this naked capitalism post by Tim Duncan:
Bankers Support Regulation? Au Contraire?

Only hours after Obama met with Wall Street "fat cat" CEO bankers (about half of whom opted to be patched in by conference call -- how's that for signaling?), JPMorgan put out this media release on its Web site.

The JPMorgan statement of Dec. 14 appears to be guarded support for financial regulation. In other words "yes, let's have some of course, but slowly, slowly ... carefully, carefully."
The details matter, and the stakes are simply too high and the consequences too far-reaching to do this hastily and poorly. While we agree with many of the proposals, we share concerns with others that some regulatory proposals could restrict lending by banks, which will hinder economic growth and job creation.
Duncan's analysis:
This press release so quickly after the meeting at the White House today would seem to have no apparent purpose other than to make it clear to the other bankers and lobbyists that nothing has changed with regard to the industry’s passive-aggressive battle against the CFPA. It also appears to be a rather harsh metaphoric middle-finger to the White House given that it is posted less than 24 hours after the President personally asked for Mr. Dimon’s support.
Why did I find this amusing? Well, because of my April blog post, JPMorgan Flips Geithner the Bird. At that time, Dimon was saying basically, "Hell no, we're not going to offer up any assets for PPIP (Geithner's plan to relieve banks of toxic assets)."

Since the Geithner Plan was rolled out with all due fanfare, and awaited with baited breath, the Dimon comment was actually pretty explosive, though it got scant coverage. The subtext of Dimon's remarks was clear: "Screw you. Take your PPIP and stick it up your nether regions." And PPIP has been dying a slow death all year long, as other banks decided to shy away from the program as well.

So has JPMorgan (or Dimon, more specifically) now metaphorically flipped off Geithner and Obama too? If so, that would be arrogance seasoned with plenty of chutzpah.