Dimon vs. Geithner
Whoever thinks the government is pandering to the banks should listen to this morning's earnings call with JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon. He came about as close to giving the government the middle finger as any bank CEO has done publicly.
Regarding the PPIP, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's plan to use partnerships with private investors to buy up the toxic assets from banks, Dimon brushed it off as unnecessary: "[We have] no intent on using PPIP. We have our own assets, if we want to sell them, we'll sell them. And we're certainly not going to borrow from the government, because we've learned our lesson about that."
In fact, in Dimon's eyes, the mortgage-backed assets on bank balance sheets aren't even much of an issue anymore. "I don't think toxic assets are the problem," he said. Indeed, JP Morgan chief financial officer Michael Cavanaugh said write-downs on its toxic assets are "getting to be much less noteworthy."
And what about the government's efforts to help capitalize the banks through the TARP program? Dimon called TARP money a "scarlet letter," and said he wants to pay it back. The bank is waiting for the government for guidance on how to do that.
Of course, Dimon is one of very few Wall Street CEOs who are in a position to be so frank. He made the remarks during a call to announce better-than-expected first quarter results for JP Morgan fueled by record revenue from investment banking.
by Megan BarnettRelated LinksLive Bank Bailout DiscussionThanks, HankHarder Times