By the sound of JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon's swagger, you'd never think that the firm just revised its profits down last week following an internal investigation into the bank's $6 billion in trading losses. Those financial setbacks might be seen as a blow to Dimon's months-long crusade against banking regulations be he has no plans to let up now. Why not? Allow Dimon to explain: "It’s a free. Fucking. Country.”
That's just one of many unvarnished quotes the ex "king of Wall Street" served up in Jessica Pressler's vignette in New York magazine. The bank's massive recent losses from the so-called "London Whale" trades were due to a number of complicated hedging strategies meant to lower the bank's risk even though they actually increased it. The Volker Rule, which Dimon continues to attack, prohibits banks with federally insured customer deposits like JPMorgan from this type of risky speculation. But that's a bunch of baloney from a reporter: A cohort of the American population that "don’t even make any money,” as Dimon noted. This is sort of what makes Dimon unique among Wall Street CEOs who've become increasingly sensitive to the direction anti-capitalist winds have been blowing. He doesn't care:
“I’m an outspoken defender of the truth. Everyone is afraid of retaliation and retribution. We recently had an event with a hundred small bankers here, and 85 percent of them said they can’t challenge the regulation because of the potential retribution. That’s a terrible thing. Okay? This is not the Soviet Union. This is the United States of America. That’s what I remember. Guess what,” he says, almost shouting now. “It’s a free. Fucking. Country."
What a guy, right?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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