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Date: 2024-05-18 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00001639

People ... Bankers
Jamie Dimon

Jamie Dimon ... JPMorgan CEO : Stop Bashing the Rich

I enjoyed this audio clip of Jamie Dimon talking at an investor conference, and I can relate to much of what he had to say ... BUT ... it might resonate when talking to a room full of investors, especially professional investors who have done very well over the past 30 years or so, but it will not make any sense to the millions of people in the United States that have seen their economic opportunities and savings evaporate.

While some of the corporate sector has had a profitable few decades, a big part of US industry has disappeared. The corporate sector has not behaved at all 'responsibly' when it comes to the US balance of trade and China now has the money resources to fund the US government while the US populace has hardly any savings.

Rather little of the US is 'World Class' any more ... though it may look pretty good from the top floor of JPMorgan Chase ... it is a rather different story in the New York subway, the Hudson Rover tunnels or the broken down bridges around the country ... not to mention the 100 year old water systems, and so on.

Yes ... the USA is blessed ... but the US economic performance leaves a lot to be desired, and it is high time leaders like Jamie Dimon started to think through what is needed to get the USA back on track, the way it should be. I don't care whether the glass representing the US economy is half full or half empty ... it is time that the glass is FULL!
Peter Burgess

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, is railing against bashing the rich.

Dimon was responding to a question at an investor conference about the hostile political environment towards banks.

'Acting like everyone who's been successful is bad and that everyone who is rich is bad — I just don't get it,' said Dimon at the conference, which was organized by Goldman Sachs [GS 105.13 3.97 (+3.92%) ].

Big banks, and CEOs like Dimon, have come under fire from Occupy Wall Street and other protesters who are disgruntled about income inequality and feel that big corporations — financial institutions in particular — have undue influence on government. In fact, last month, the protesters in New York targeted Dimon specifically, marching to his apartment and the residences of other wealthy New Yorkers.

Dimon said he's worked on Wall Street for much of his life and contributed his fair share.

'Most of us wage earners are paying 39.6 percent in taxes and add in another 12 percent in New York state and city taxes and we're paying 50 percent of our income in taxes,' Dimon said in defense of his fellow Wall Street bankers.

At the conference, Dimon also provided an update on JPMorgan's [JPM 34.00 0.77 (+2.32%) ] fourth-quarter and 2012 outlook.

The bank expects investment banking income to be relatively flat in the fourth quarter compared with the third quarter, excluding an accounting adjustment, according to Dimon's presentation. The bank also expects low interest rates to reduce 2012 net income by about $400 million.

It also said it has the authority to repurchase more of its shares after spending less money than regulators had allowed on dividends.

The second largest U.S. bank can buy back $950 million in stock and warrants as part of an adjustment to a capital plan approved by the Federal Reserve earlier this year, Dimon said.

The bank is allowed to buy back stock right away but 'will decide what to do over time,' Dimon said.

JPMorgan has repurchased about $8 billion in stock in 2011, the limit outlined by the Fed as part of a stress test completed in March.

Banks have been eager to buy back their own shares at depressed prices, but also face regulatory pressure to conserve capital as a cushion against future losses.

U.S. banks will undergo another round of Fed stress tests starting in January to determine whether they can increase dividends or buy back more shares. Dimon said he expects the results for his bank will be 'fine.'

Banks also face impending international capital rules that could require large 'systematically important' banks to attain a Tier 1 common equity ratio — a measure of capital compared to assets weighted by risk — of 9.5 percent by the end of 2018.

JPMorgan could achieve 9.5 percent ahead of schedule, by the end of 2012, if its board decides to do so, Dimon said. He noted there may be a 'race to the top' among banks to reach that mark.

Dimon also provided an update on the bank's fourth-quarter and 2012 outlook.

Total investment banking revenue in the fourth quarter could be down from the third quarter, excluding an accounting adjustment, if December is a weak month, Dimon said. In the third quarter, JPMorgan posted investment banking net income of $1.6 billion on revenue of $6.4 billion.

In a presentation on Tuesday, Bank of America [BAC 5.89 0.11 (+1.9%) ] CEO Brian Moynihan said the bank's global banking and markets unit had seen better sales and trading results in the fourth quarter, compared to a 'very weak' third quarter.

In consumer banking, JPMorgan expects low interest rates to reduce 2012 net income by about $400 million, Dimon said. The bank expects to add 175 branches next year, down from a previous estimate of about 300, as new regulations crimp debit card and other fees made by banks.

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

By: AP with Reuters
Published: Wednesday, 7 Dec 2011 | 6:50 PM ET Text Size
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