by Chris Hayes|
Story of the Week,
Up w/ Chris Hayes
JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon went before the Senate Banking Committee this week in what should have been a kind of ritual apology tour. Dimon has spent much of the last year and a half dismissing and belittling critics of Wall Street and harshly criticizing the major financial regulatory reform legislation that President Obama signed into law. The message has been: you guys in Washington don’t understand our business, so you should keep to yourself and let the professionals like us, the smartest guys in the room, do what we do best.
Which is why it was more than a little embarrassing for Dimon when it was revealed that a single unit of JP Morgan Chase, indeed a single trader in a division of the firm that Dimon personally oversaw, had somehow managed to lose about $3 billion and counting on a huge bet on credit derivatives.
There are two ways to look at the fall-out from news of this loss. The optimistic one is that the position was uncovered and exposed and dealt with quickly enough that the losses didn’t bring down JP Morgan Chase or the entire financial system.
The pessimistic one, is Lord knows what other uncovered positions are lurking out there, or what the next big Wall Street screw-up might look like.