Photo: Courtesy of CNN
In Jamie Dimon’s Senate Banking Committee hearing earlier on Wednesday, Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina asked Dimon, whose company recently announced a $2 billion loss in bad investments, to “advise” Congress on best banking regulation.
Dimon, naturally, offered to help in whatever way he could — even if that meant getting an apartment in Washington, D.C.
“Me and lots of other folks, we’ll do whatever you want, we’ll even get apartments down here. Let’s go through [the regulations] in detail,” Dimon said.
Even though Dimon acknowledged in his testimony that the loss was indefensible, DeMint seemed unfazed. Instead, the tea party favourite appealed to Dimon and banks to self-regulate through voluntary, self-imposed rules. “If we could do anything to encourage the industry to develop a lot of its own voluntary rules, that would guide us,” he said.
During his remarks, DeMint criticised Congress’ complex system of regulation.
“There’s a temptation here that every time something goes amiss, we want to add a regulation and we’ve surrounded the banking industry with so many regulations and we still seem to have problems here and there,” he said, in a not-so-subtle finger-point at Democrats’ Dodd-Frank financial oversight law, aimed at reeling in banks’ risk-taking.
Dimon agreed. “We don’t actually know who’s jurisdiction it is anymore,” he said. “I prefer simple, clean, strong regulatory system. It’s not clear to me who has the responsibility or the authority.”
DeMint also said that lawmakers had no right to judge JP Morgan. “We can hardly sit in judgement of your losing $2 billion, we lose twice that everyday here in Washington and plan to continue to do that,” he said.
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