UPDATED 5:13 P.M. EDT: Wall Street Journal says three to quit over massive losses
The CEO of JPMorgan Chase said the bank reacted badly to warning flags last month that it had large trading losses in complex financial derivatives and he was “dead wrong” when he initially dismissed the concerns.
“We made a terrible, egregious mistake,” Jamie Dimon said in an interview broadcast Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “There’s almost no excuse for it.”
Dimon said he did not know the extent of the problem when he said in April that the trading concerns were a “tempest in a teapot.”
“I was dead wrong when I said that. I obviously didn’t know, ‘cause I never would have said that. And one of the reasons we came public was because we wanted to say, “You know what? We told you something that was completely wrong a mere four weeks ago.’”
On Thursday, the bank disclosed $2 billion in trading losses over the past six weeks. Investors shaved almost 10 percent off JPMorgan’s stock price the next day.
“We got very defensive. And people started justifying everything we did,” Dimon said.
In the interview, Dimon said that while mistakes revealed in the past week were “bad,” they did not jeopardize JPMorgan Chase.
Asked if any laws or Securities and Exchange Commission rules were broken, Dimon responded thatit was too soon to tell.
“So we’ve had audit, legal, risk, compliance, some of our best people looking over that. 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.”
Dimon told NBC that he supported giving the government the authority to dismantle a failing big bank and wipe out shareholder equity. But he stressed that JPMorgan, the largest bank in the United States, is “very strong.”
He acknowledged the the trading fiasco has given financial regulators more ammunition against the banks.
“Absolutely. This is a very unfortunate and inopportune time to have had this kind of mistake, yeah.”
Below, Dimon talks about the company’s recent $2 billion trading loss with NBC’s David Gregory.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.