JPMorgan & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon will testify in front of the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday, June 13th, regarding Chase’s unbelievable multi-billion dollar trading loss. Seems normal enough, the catch being this: during the congressional questioning, senators, like hungry sharks, have a chance to score big political points off Dimon’s testimony.
The congressional committee has been following Chase’s jaw-dropping $2 billion trading loss, counting it as part of its oversight of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Chairman Tim Johnson had said that he intended to call Dimon in to testify and after some scheduling hiccups, Dimon acquiesced (meaning that no formal subpoena was required).
“I expect Mr. Dimon to come prepared to provide the committee a better understanding of this massive trading loss so we can take the implications into account as we continue to conduct our robust oversight over the full implementation of Wall Street reform,” Banking Committee chairman Johnson said in a statement.
The bank originally reported losses of $2 billion on May 10th, but now it seems those early estimates might have been a little too conservative. CNN Money reports that there are some saying the losses could be as high as $6 or $7 billion.
Let’s not forget the politics at play here. No matter who is walking around with Chase’s $2 to $7 billion, the real winners in this debacle are the Democrats pushing the Dodd-Frank reforms (and that will show during Dimon’s testimony – remember when I called politicians hungry sharks?). Dimon is really more of a lamb led to slaughter – a scapegoat, a patsy, a red-handed excuse to talk about important election-y stuff. Why, Dimon himself, along with most Republicans, have been critical of the Dodd-Frank reforms, and now look at the ironic situation he finds himself in.
“It plays right into the hands of pundits out there, but that’s life,” admitted an uncomfortably self-aware Dimon in a press conference.
In case you were worried about the fate of JPMorgan, Christian Science Monitor reports that such losses only really make a small dent in a financial institution like Chase, further adding gasoline to the idea that Dimon’s appearance has huge political overtones.
I feel like the 99% all over again.