May 11, 2012 |
It's a measure of how successful Wall Street has been at eviscerating the so-called Volcker Rule that in its current guise it would not have prevented JPMorgan Chase from making the derivatives trades that produced the stunning $2-billion trading loss disclosed this week. Even in its weakened loophole-ridden state, the rule, which prohibits banks from making risky trades for their own accounts, has been raked with gunfire from Jamie Dimon, the JPMorgan chairman who presided over that loss.
February 15, 2012 |
Regulators are confronting some 15,000 public letters attempting to influence the final shape of one of the most controversial elements of the 2010 financial reform bill. Five regulatory agencies have until July to complete a new rule that would ban proprietary trading at Wall Street firms, a move that some believe would make the U.S. financial system safer. The rule named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker would stop banks from using their own money to trade for profit rather than fulfilling a client's order.
January 10, 2012 |
Mandy Rice-Davies, an exotic dancer who played a peripheral role in the Profumo affair that rocked 1960s Britain — in which a Parliament minister was discovered sharing a mistress with an alleged Soviet spy — won her bit of fame by uttering perhaps the wisest riposte ever about the reflexive disavowals one hears from those caught doing wrong. Told that one of her high-placed lovers denied ever having met her, she replied, "Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?" Those words came back to me as I read the comments filed with federal regulators by bankers, investment big shots and high-priced lawyers pushing back against the so-called Volcker rule.
May 15, 2012 |
In a rational world, a corporate chairman who presided over a huge unexpected loss would be raked over the coals at his next shareholder meeting and his job would be up for grabs. It's not likely that will happen to JPMorgan Chase Chairman and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon at the firm's annual shareholder meeting today. Partly that's because "shareholder democracy" is a joke at almost all big companies. Dissident shareholders typically rejoice at getting a 40% backing for their proposals.
June 13, 2012 |
WASHINGTON — Jamie Dimon again proved himself Wall Street's able frontman in Washington, but his testimony on Capitol Hill may not head off tougher banking regulations following JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s risky trading losses. Dimon, JPMorgan's chairman and chief executive, appeared at ease with lawmakers as he fielded questions — some aggressive, but most deferential — at a Senate Banking Committee hearing Wednesday into the bank's trading losses of more than $2 billion. Although the hearing focused on how JPMorgan sustained the embarrassing loss, the two-hour session veered into larger debates over financial regulations.
July 27, 2012
Former Citigroup honcho Sanford I. Weill is widely seen as the man most responsible for the rise of "too big to fail" banks and, by extension, for the enormous federal bailouts they received in 2008 and 2009. This week, however, Weill shocked the financial industry when he said that megabanks should be broken into smaller pieces, separating the arms that take federally insured deposits from the ones making bets on Wall Street. Lawmakers resisted such a straightforward approach when they enacted the Dodd-Frank law to re-regulate the financial industry in 2010.