Tension is not unusual in this city.
So Jamie Dimon has pushed Ina Drew, his chief investment officer, to walk the plank.
Dimon called her bad bet that cost the bank more than $2 billion “stupid.”
But he himself, just a month ago, called the problem “a tempest in a teapot.”
So why doesn’t he hold himself accountable, and push himself down the plank?
And why doesn’t his board demand his resignation?
JPMorgan Chase, the giant of the giants, the biggest of the too-big-to-fail banks, was messing around placing bets on corporate debts, using the kind of fancy derivatives and credit-default swaps that sent the whole banking system over the edge back in 2008.
The irony is that Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, managed to steer his bank over that waterfall without incurring huge losses, though it did grab money from the Fed to stay comfortably afloat.
With supreme arrogance, Dimon then lobbied Washington about there be no reason for Congress or the regulators to ban some derivatives trading and hedging.
"This is a very unfortunate and inopportune time to have had this kind of mistake,” Dimon said.
No kidding. You look like a fool, and your bank’s blunder proved the validity of the Volcker rule, which amazingly has still not gone fully into effect, in large part because of Dimon’s lobbying, which diluted the law in the first place and now has delayed its implementation.
Congress and the Executive Branch need to tighten up the Volcker rule so this reckless gambling finally stops.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “Ending the Age of Austerity in Europe."
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter