I was watching the FOX Business channel, and who did I see again? Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase.
Charlie Gasparino had what he called a “no-holds-barred” interview with Dimon. I watched two long segments of the interview, and once again, it appeared like a PR story for the bank.
In one of the segments, Gasparino said that Dimon, “. . . took every question I threw at him . . . I think he sees himself as a spokesman for the industry.” It was too bad Gasparino was throwing softballs.
Gasparino asked about the company’s sagging stock price, and what was wrong with the (so-called) recovery. These are hardly hardball questions in light of the many lawsuits facing JP Morgan that allege some sort of fraud.
I wrote about some of the lawsuits in a post I did last week titled “USA Today Gives JP Morgan Free Pass.” I guess Charlie didn’t read it. If he had, he could have asked about the lawsuits alleging mortgage and foreclosure fraud. I would also love to have heard what Dimon would have said about some of the missing client assets that were reportedly transferred to JP Morgan just before MF Global went under. I think it could have done JP Morgan some good to have heard what the CEO of the bank had to say about these important and thorny issues, but what do I know.
Gasparino asked about the President characterizing the big banks as “fat cats.” Dimon responded, “I’ve disagreed from the beginning of this blanket blame of all banks are all bad guys. I think that’s just a form of discrimination and it should be stopped. It doesn’t lead to productive conversation.” (Click here to see much more on Gasparino’s interview with Dimon.)
No, Mr. Dimon, it should not be stopped. There are many out here in a financially ruined America that would like real investigations and indictments of the very bankers who caused the financial meltdown of 2008. I think that would be a “productive conversation.” Unfortunately, it does not look like that will happen. Instead of indictments, the five biggest banks are in the final stages of a deal with state AG’s and the federal government to settle the mortgage mess that caused housing to collapse.
MSNBC reported recently, “A proposed $25 billion settlement between five big banks, state attorneys general and the Obama administration may help resolve some of the thornier legal issues surrounding the mortgage mess that caused the housing market to collapse. It will do relatively little to stop the ongoing wave of home foreclosures or revive the deeply depressed housing market, however. Talks got underway more than a year ago after a series of private lawsuits focused national attention on an outbreak of “robo-signing” and other shoddy and fraudulent document processing practices by mortgage servicers foreclosing on homes. Most of the key issues that have sidelined past tentative agreements have been addressed, according to a source close to the talks who was not authorized to discuss the proposal.” (Click here to read the complete MSNBC story.)