Saturday, April 03, 2010

Simon Johnson: "The Most Dangerous Man In America: Jamie Dimon"

Simon Johnson's recent post on Baseline Scenario is worth reading, at least for the irresistible two paragraph opening:

"There are two kinds of bankers to fear.  The first is incompetent and runs a big bank.  This includes such people as Chuck Prince (formerly of Citigroup) and Ken Lewis (Bank of America).  These people run their banks onto the rocks – and end up costing the taxpayer a great deal of money.  But, on the other hand, you can see them coming and, if we ever get the politics of bank regulation straightened out again, work hard to contain the problems they present.

The second type of banker is much more dangerous.  This person understands how to control risk within a massive organization, manage political relationships across the political spectrum, and generate the right kind of public relations.  When all is said and done, this banker runs a big bank and – here’s the danger – makes it even bigger.

Jamie Dimon is by far the most dangerous American banker of this or any other recent generation."

It's a bit odd to vilify Dimon for not totally screwing things up like his competitors did, but Johnson's point seems to be that Dimon's success (and yes, I know that Dimon's JPMorgan has benefited vastly from the Government's interventions) makes his bank bigger, more powerful, Too-Bigger-Too-Fail,  and ultimately more dangerous on a systemic level.



EconomicDisconnect said...

Makes you wish for the time when men had to win power and honor on the battlefield. Jamie Dimon is not scary at all except for his monopoly on the government. Too bad, so sad.

Unknown said...

Join us in "The Massive Bank of America Boycott" It has begun.
We are going to tweet them a lesson they won't forget. This will be the biggest consumer protest in history made possible by the power of twitter. Search "Bank of America" on Twitter to see the progress. People have had enough. We are setting an example of Bank of America.

Kid Dynamite said...

"We are going to tweet them a lesson they won't forget." oh my, how far we've come...

Lord Ng said...

JDamie may get a little egg in his face after the WAMU lawsuit is done