Moral Hazard

Rather than comment in detail on JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s remarks to ABC News of which this is a sample:

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told ABC News’ Rebecca Jarvis that some in the public see it as unfair that banks, which helped to spark the crash through high-risky lending, got a federal bailout while many ordinary people suffered.

“Some [banks] caused the problem and I understand that the American public looks at it and it’s unfair, and it was,” Dimon said in an exclusive interview for “This Week.” “They look at it like the elite Washington banks… kind of got bailed out [while] they suffered. And there’s some truth to that. They didn’t see Old Testament justice. So I understand why there is a lot of anger out there.”

The crisis, the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression, was triggered by bursting of a bubble in housing prices that had been fueled in part by increased risk in mortgage lending. Housing foreclosures soared and unemployment reached 10 percent. But despite allegations of irresponsible lending and wrongdoing by some big banks, the U.S. government helped to bail out some of the largest financial institutions and no bank executives were prosecuted.

“All the banks — banks got help — I mean I think the government did the right thing, I want to give full credit,” Dimon said. “But not all the banks needed that. And all those banks including JPMorgan continued to lend money every day to all their clients nonstop around the world.”

other than to make a couple of simple observations. First, in the ten years that have followed he has received as compensation something between $150 and $250 million.

Second, he probably knows what “moral hazard” means better than I do. What was the moral hazard in the bailouts that his bank and the other big banks received? How have they responded since then?

Sounds like he’s running for president to me.

6 comments… add one
  • Guarneri

    He can’t run for President. When he was 8 years old he lifted little Sally’s dress then threw her Chatty Kathy in the fire. And her lawyer, Napolitano, says she’s offered to testify.

  • walt moffett

    reads more like a set of talking points to defuse anti-wallstreet/populist appeals.

  • Gray Shambler

    Where would we be without guys like this to shepherd us?

  • steve

    He could never get elected. The country will never vote fora rich entitled guy.

    Steve

  • TastyBits

    I am a little late, but Jeffrey Snider has a good post on the Lehman implosion: The Global Economy Hasn’t Recovered Since Lehman

    In the 23rd paragraph, he touches on Credit Default Swaps CDS), and more specifically, the CDS’s used for capital requirements were the naked or uncovered type. Subprime was the initiating event that began the financial collapse, but once initiated, the de-leveraging was swift and catastrophic.

  • TastyBits

    It is not by Snider, but this is a another good article: Reo p105

Leave a Comment