JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has spent nearly all of this past week alternately apologizing, explaining himself and artfully dodging specific questions about his company’s $3 billion loss this quarter on a single trade made out of their London office.
Let’s be honest, it provokes a certain inevitable schadenfreude watching someone as imperious and self-regarding as Jamie Dimon have to say things like “We made a terrible, egregious mistake,” “We were sloppy,” “We were stupid,” “We hurt ourselves and our credibility.”
So much of the argument that Wall Street makes about its role in the economy is that it is the repository of the smartest people on the planet, the brilliant minds who see farther and think quicker than us mere mortals in media or government and in fact, this why they cannot and should not be regulated. Because only they understand what they are doing.
Except, of course when they don’t understand what they’re doing and end up with a new exposure of $150 billion, and $3 billion in losses in five weeks and counting. Dimon himself is well aware of how all this looks and has been whining that this episode, ”plays right into the hands of a whole bunch of pundits out there.”