Jamie Dimon’s Obfuscation = JP Morgan’s Guilt?

13 May



I want to draw your attention to one of the most important things Jamie Dimon said to David Gregory in their recent conversation of JPM’s $2 billion proprietary trading loss:

GREGORY: The immediate question, the SEC is looking into this: Did the bank break any laws? Did it violate any accounting rules or SEC rules?

DIMON: So we’ve had audit, legal, risk, compliance, some of our best people looking at all of that. We know we were sloppy. We know we were stupid. We know there was bad judgment. We don’t know if any of that is true yet. Of course regulators should look at something like this, that’s their jobs. So we are totally open to regulators and they will come to their own conclusions. But we intend to fix it and learn from it and be a better company when it’s done.

The question Gregory asked was extremely simple: did you break any laws, accounting rules, or SEC rules? The answer Dimon gave was essentially this: “We’ve looked into it and I know the answer, but I’m not going to say right now what it is.”

Think about all the different things he could have said. Think about why he might have said this. This is bad, folks.

When baseball players are asked to testify before Congress about steroid usage, they obfuscate like this. When cyclists are asked to testify about blood doping, they obfuscate like this. When Jon Corzine responds to questions about MF Global, he obfuscated like this. Why? Because the level of cover-up is so massive that drawing any attention to the truth is overwhelmingly frightening for them. What you see from Mr. Dimon is a high level of fear about what this problem means for him, his bank, America, and the world.


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