JAMIE DIMON: 'I'm damn proud of what Wall Street does...'

Jamie DimonAP ImagesJamie Dimon is ‘damn proud.’

JPMorgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon says he’s “damn proud” of Wall Street.

He also added that most people are “damn ethical, smart, and create a huge amount of value.”

The outspoken bank chief made those comments during a discussion hosted by the UJA-Federation of New York for young bankers last month.

Before taking questions from the young Wall Streeters, Dimon said he wanted to say a few things that had been on his mind.

He pointed out that many of the banks are “responsible,” “philanthropic,” and “community-minded” companies. He added that they pay their people well and they have programs in place to make sure employees are treated fairly.

Wall Street gets pilloried perhaps more than any other industry. Dimon doesn’t think that’s fair, though. Yes, there are some bad apples, but those exist in every industry and they shouldn’t spoil the bunch.

Here’s a transcript [via Undercurrent]

“The other thing I want you to know — I’m damn proud of what Wall Street does. I mean, I know you read the papers and stuff like that, but I think most people on Wall Street are damn ethical, smart, [and] create a huge amount of value. It’s a tough job. You know, it takes a lot of brainpower — these jobs — and the world is a complex place. It’s complex if you’re building cars or you’re dealing with, you know, global financial companies, or certain types of financial products. So that you know, in my opinion, I applaud people show do.

You know if people are bad, we should punish them, but I don’t personally like the fact that, you know, all Wall Street gets blamed the same way. I do think there are some terrible people on Wall Street.

There are terrible people in every profession I’ve ever seen. OK, from the Church, to the media, to politics. Well, when I was in Illinois — I was there for seven years — two of my, my two governors were in jail.

“OK, and you know I could go on and on and on. You know, and obviously we should try to be the best we can and clean up the bad stuff, and Wall Street, you know, got blamed somewhat deservedly by the American public for the catastrophe we all just went through. So you know, it’s a little bit understandable, but I’m proud of what people do.

“And I do think it’s incumbent on all of us to do a slightly better job, so we don’t cause additional problems in the future….”

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