Jamie Dimon recently told a group of summer interns that the 2008 collapse, ‘was not our fault‘, that ‘our clients are happy with us‘, and that ‘The While has been harpooned. Dessicated. Creamted.’
While Mr. Dimon might like to believe his fairy tales, the truth of the matter is the entire 2008 crisis is the result of derivatives, which were invented by his very own Blythe Masters.
So YES, Mr. Dimon, in fact the 2008 collapse WAS YOUR FAULT! As is the slow-motion contagion spreading across Western economies currently.
The JPMorgan Chase CEO is really, really, really sorry. Except when he’s not.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” the JPMorgan Chase CEO interrupts, leaning into the microphone and peering out at the several hundred summer interns, sweating in their first business clothes, that have gathered in the auditorium of the former Bear Stearns building for a friendly Q&A session with the boss. “Before you go to the next level of generalizing, saying, ‘all bankers,’ ‘all banks.’ I don’t like that.” The room murmurs its assent as Dimon, pacing onstage in his summer uniform of a suit and no tie, warms to his topic. “I don’t buy this thing that our industry is responsible for all the ills of the world. We have great people at JPMorgan Chase. We operate with a lot of rigor. Our clients are happy with us. Sure, we make mistakes, like we have got this Whale thing. Businesses make mistakes. So we’ve got to clean them up, learn from them, and get better. And I want you to know the London Whale issue is dead,” he says. “The Whale has been harpooned. Dessicated. Cremated.” His voice carries over the students’ laughter. “I am going to bury its ashes all over.”
He’d certainly like to. But, “there’s a tail,” he concedes to me on a recent morning, sitting in his 48th-floor office, a homey space filled with knickknacks and family photos that requires passage through a gauntlet of machines and a security guard escort to reach. He means “tail” in the business-y sense, as in: The trading scandal that rocked the firm at the beginning of the year will have lasting repercussions.