Jamie Dimon is not getting an easy time on the Hill this time. Here’s the second in a long line of questions that made him sweat.Since the housing crisis made a serious impact on her state in 2008, California Representative Maxine Waters has been especially critical of Wall Street. She got her shot at questioning JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon on his bank’s trading losses shortly after Barney Frank had his way with him.
So, yeah. Rough time.
Anyway, what’s especially interesting about Waters v. Dimon is that they got to the heart of something that Frank only danced around in his questioning — JP Morgan’s massive lobbying machine ($7 million in 2011).
Waters started off with a short speech that all lead up to this: “I’m afraid we don’t have your support on Dodd-Frank…You called the Volcker rule unnecessary…and at the same time conceded that it also may have stopped your losses in the CIO…Did the $30 billion drop in your bank’s share value effect shareholders in the US?”
Dimon: Yes it did
Waters: But you have lobbied for the foreign markets to be exempt… If this impacts your shareholders here, why would you do that?
Dimon replied that his bank is “concerned about overseas competition. That’s why we’re concerned about extraterritoriality (in terms of legislation). Our clients will go elsewhere if we can’t give them the best deal.”
Waters: So you take the position…and continue to lobby even though it harms shareholders here?
“Lobbying is a Constitutional right.” Dimon concluded.
Waters, needless to say, did not look happy about that comment.
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