Dimon discusses financial reform in Chicago

Posted April 22, 2010 at 3:47 p.m.

By Greg Burns | Speaking in Chicago shortly after President Barack Obama called on leading bankers to get behind Democratic-led financial reform, Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co., said he’s 80 percent on board.

“It’s obvious we need to reform our financial system. JPMorgan has supported most of the things that came out,” said Dimon, as he accepted an award Thursday from the Executives’ Club of Chicago. “We agree with 80 percent. We might be right on the other 20 percent.”

Dimon said he supports consumer protection, but not a separate agency as
leading Democrats have proposed. And while he’s comfortable moving some
over-the-counter derivatives into clearinghouses, he wants exemptions
that critics have described as gaping loopholes. “It’s just not true,”
Dimon countered.

He warned that public anger about the financial system’s federal bailout
could translate into bad policy. “It sounds like a lynch mob to me,” he
said. “I’m hopeful it will all sort out in a rational, reasonable way.”

Dimon drew laughs after Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn described him as a “man
of the people” who lent money to the state during the worst of the
financial crisis.

“I wish the Democrats in Washington would call me a man of the people,”
Dimon said.

He also said JPMorgan held the Illinois loan on its books longer than it
had planned: “We kept it for awhile because nobody would take it off
our hands.”

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