JPMorgan's Dimon: 'I Can't Justify' the Loss

Jamie Dimon says hedge became 'something I can not publicly defend'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2012 10:47 AM CDT
JPMorgan's Dimon: 'I Can't Justify' the Loss
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon prepares to testify on Capitol Hill, June 13, 2012, before the Senate Banking Committee about the bank's recent massive trading losses.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Jamie Dimon testified about JPMorgan's massive trading loss on Capitol Hill today, but the much-anticipated event was interrupted by protesters almost immediately, Reuters reports. "Jamie Dimon is a crook!" one man cried as the JPMorgan CEO approached the witness table, while another group chanted, "Stop foreclosures now!" Security escorted them out. Once that quieted down, the testimony and questioning was relatively polite. Dimon said the hedge portfolio had "morphed" into something risky and indefensible, the New York Times reports. "We let a lot of people down and we are sorry for it."

More moments from the testimony, from the Times and Wall Street Journal:

  • Asked about his infamous "tempest in a teapot" remark, Dimon replied, "I was dead wrong."
  • Asked why his CIO had been exempted from risk controls, he said, "the CIO unit had done so well for so long that there was a sense of complacency."
  • Dimon insists that his firm has an "open kimono" in dealing with regulators.
  • Republican Bob Corker asked Dimon if Dodd-Frank had "more than marginally made our banking system safer?" Dimon said he supported the law and that the system was safer, but eventually replied, "I don't know."
  • Many questioned whether the bank's "hedge" was really a hedge, or actually proprietary trading. "This transaction that you said 'morphed,' what did it morph into, Russian roulette?" quipped one Democrat. Dimon replied simply, "It morphed into something I can't justify."
  • Fed stress tests showed JPMorgan could survive an $80 billion loss. Asked if that was true, Dimon said it was. "But I wouldn't be the person sitting in front of you," he added, drawing a chuckle.
  • Asked if the Volcker rule would have stopped the trading, Dimon replied, "I don't know what the Volcker rule is. It hasn't been written yet."
(Read more Jamie Dimon stories.)

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