Financial conferences can be less than exciting, but we always tune in for JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon — today, our patience was rewarded.
Dimon is speaking at the Morgan Stanley Financials Conference (live stream here), and after a few words about rising interest rates, the health of Europe, and progress at JPM, the moderator asked Dimon about the 800 lbs whale in the room, JP Morgan’s $6 billion trading loss uncovered last year.
Time and time again Dimon has said the loss was “stupid” and “embarrassing”, strong words for any CEO. His statement on it this time, however, sounded like the ultimate word.
“We knew we had a problem,” Dimon said. He explained that within the bank, they simply didn’t know how large the problem was.
“I don’t know what more I can say,” he continued. “It was badly vetted… badly monitored… But we came full kimono.”
After that, Dimon really got going.
“We tried to tell them [regulators] but we didn’t know ourselves sometimes… the model, there’s this obsession about the model. I mean, even today the facts are moving around a little bit… I sat in those meetings myself. Make believe the Pope is over here and the Chairman of the SEC is right here and you do the right thing… there was no hiding, no lying, there was no bullshitting.”
It was hard to get all that as Dimon was speaking so fast, luckily he made his dismount very clear. And he landed it cleanly.
“Just so you know, at the time I said, ‘why don’t we ask the SEC for guidance’…. in the old days you used to be able to get guidance… but you can’t do that anymore,” Dimon lamented. “And anyone who sues, we’re going to fight them to the end, so keep that in mind.”
Throws mic on the ground… walks off stage.
Not really, Dimon continued answering questions after that, but it felt like that’s what he should’ve done.