Despite chatter of Barack Obama and Jamie Dimon parting ways, the President continues to find time in his schedule to compliment the JP Morgan Chase chief executive. Tuesday morning's airing of The View on ABC gives Obama another opportunity to praise Dimon as he makes his first public statements about the bank's $2 billion slip-up. It sounds like he sugar-coated it a little bit: "JPMorgan is one of the best-managed banks there is," Obama said (per Dow Jones). "Jamie Dimon, the head of it, is one of the smartest bankers we got, and they still lost $2 billion and counting."
It's sounds a little bit strange for Obama to avoid casting any doubt on Dimon, but there's a well documented history of a mutual affection between the two. Dimon, who got his first chief executive job at Bank One in Chicago, developed close ties with the Obama crew early on. Dimon became one of the Democrats' biggest donors and once Obama got elected became a frequent visitor to the White House. Throughout the course of those visits, Dimon also became the banking industry representative that Obama trusted most to explain what was happening in the wake of the financial crisis. In 2009, The New York Times' Jackie Calmes and Louise Story documented one meeting during which Citigroup chairman Richard Parsons attempted to explain banking. The President cut him off and said, "All right, I'll talk to Jamie."
Since 2009, Obama's gotten tougher on the banks, though as his statements on The View show he's maintained a certain fondness for Dimon as a chief executive. On The View, the President goes on to detail how it's not really JP Morgan's fault they tripped and dropped $2 billion down a hole; it's because of the sorry state of financial regulation in this country: "This is one of the best managed banks. You could have a bank that isn't as strong, isn't as profitable managing those same bets and we might have had to step in. That's why Wall Street reform is so important."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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