"So we've had audit, legal, risk, compliance, some of our best people looking over that," Dimon said. "We know we were sloppy. We know we were stupid. We know there was bad judgment. We don't know if any of that's true yet. And of course regulators should look at something like this."
Let's look at what is known as the "Volcker Rule," for instance. Please.
That rule, named after former Fed Chair Paul Volcker, would prevent banks from certain kinds of trading for their own profit. Volcker has said Wall Street lobbyists have made this proposed regulation vastly more complicated. (Dimon says JPMorgan's errors in this case don't fall under that regulation.)
In the New York Times on Sunday, business columnist and reporter Gretchen Morgenson quotes Michael Greenberger, a law professor at the University of Maryland and an authority on derivatives, as saying that that if two still-pending aspects of the Dodd-Frank legislation had been in effect, JPMorgan?s trading position probably wouldn?t have been allowed to grow as large as it did.
?If the trades at issue were proprietary trading, as now appears to be the case, they would be banned by the Volcker Rule,? Mr. Greenberger said. ?And if derivatives rules under Dodd-Frank had been in effect, these trades would almost certainly have been required to be cleared and transparently executed. The losing nature of the trades, therefore, would have been obvious to market observers and regulators for quite some time and the losses would not have piled up opaquely.?
Also in Morgenson's article, she quotes Dimon lambasting Volcker and Richard W. Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, who has also argued that large banks shouldn't be allowed too be "too big too fail."
One guest asked about the problem of too-big-to-fail banks and the arguments made by Mr. Volcker and Mr. Fisher.
Mr. Dimon responded that he had just two words to describe them: ?infantile? and ?nonfactual.? He went on to lambaste Mr. Fisher further, according to the attendee. Some in the room were taken aback by the comments.
Neither Mr. Fisher nor Mr. Volcker would comment on the remarks. But it appears to have been a classic performance from Mr. Dimon. In-your-face. Pugnacious. My way or the highway.
Some critics of President Obama say though this is ultimately on him ? for failing to clean up Wall Street, mainly because of his own people, like Treasurer Secretary Tim Geithner.
As Peter S. Goodman, business editor for the Huffington Post, wrote on Saturday:
In short, more than three years after the global financial system nearly imploded because of unregulated, casino-style gambling, nothing of substance has changed. And here we are again, staring at a familiar set of questions: How big are these JP losses, and how much money has been set aside to cover them? Nobody knows. What happens if this turns out to be worse than Jame Dimon is telling us? Ditto.
You can blame the guy who presided over the losses, which is at least entertaining, but he was merely acting in accordance with the incentives at work. The real problem is that the people who could have changed those incentives chose not to, bowing down to the bankers in the hopes that making them richer would somehow improve fortunes for everyone else.