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JPMorgan officials to face shareholders after $2-billion trading loss

May 15, 2012|By Andrew Tangel
  • Inside the shareholder meeting of JPMorgan in Tampa
Inside the shareholder meeting of JPMorgan in Tampa (Andrew Tangel / Los Angeles…)

TAMPA, Fla. -- JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s shareholders filed into a suburban office building here Tuesday for a potentially dramatic annual meeting.

It will be the first time Jamie Dimon, the bank's chairman and chief executive officer, and other senior executives and board members will face shareholders since the bank disclosed a stunning $2-billion loss due to complicated derivatives trades.

Since the disclosure, the bank's stock has plunged 12%.

PHOTOS: JPMorgan board faces shareholders

The attendees for the meeting drove into JPMorgan's heavily guarded east Tampa campus, part of an office park dotted with palm trees. The media were kept behind metal barricades before the doors officially opened. There were no protesters visible on the way into the campus, which was guarded by sheriff's deputies and private security.

One shareholder proposal to be taken up at the meeting calls for stripping Dimon of his chairmanship with the aim of creating a check on management.

The Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed source, reported that bank officials expect to defeat that proposal. But if shareholders backed the nonbinding resolution, the board wouldn't remove Dimon as chairman, the newspaper reported.

JPMorgan's board opposes the resolution because creating an independent chairman could "cause uncertainty, confusion and inefficiency in board and management function and relations," according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The shareholder meeting comes as Dimon seeks to repair his bank's -- and his own -- reputation following the $2 billion loss, which the bank has said could widen by as much as $1 billion or more this quarter.

JPMorgan emerged from the 2008 financial crisis the strongest on Wall Street. A charismatic, media-savvy banker, Dimon emerged as Wall Street's point man for dealing with lawmakers and regulators crafting restrictions to prevent another financial calamity.

But the $2-billion loss has diminished his credibility on regulatory matters, some say, and has renewed debates over how tough regulators should get on Wall Street.

President Obama weighed in on Monday during a taped interview on ABC’s "The View."

"JPMorgan is one of the best-managed banks there is. Jamie Dimon, the head of it, is one of the smartest bankers we got and they still lost $2 billion and counting," Obama said, according to a transcript posted online. "We don't know all the details. It's going to be investigated, but this is why we passed Wall Street reform."


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