The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Embattled JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon faced the Senate today, testifying for the first time about his bank’s massive trading loss of over $2 billion dollars. The hearing once again revealed that populist outrage against Wall Street seems to stop at the Capitol’s door.

Dimon began by reading his prepared remarks, in which he apologized for the loss while also pushing back against accusations that his bank — the most profitable in America — is out of control.

“We have let a lot of people down, and we are sorry for it,” Dimon told the committee. “We will not make light of these losses, but they should be put into perspective. We will lose some of our shareholders’ money – and for that, we feel terrible – but no client, customer or taxpayer money was impacted by this incident.”

Dimon, who fought the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill tooth and nail and has become perhaps the most prominent bank defender in the country, then faced questioning from senators. Earlier this week, David Cay Johnston wrote that “I hope [Dimon] is asked pointed, nuanced questions that break through the veneer of his and the bank’s public remarks to date.”

While a few senators did bring tough questions — for example, Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) asked Dimon whether the controversial trade was a form of “Russian roulette,” and Jeff Merkley grilled the CEO over a report that Dimon could have spotted the trouble earlier — many just used the hearing as a forum to tell Dimon how incredibly awesome he is.

“We can hardly sit in judgment of you losing $2 billion when we lose $2 billion every day,” Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) told Dimon.

“You are rightfully known as one of the best,” gushed Bob Corker (R-TN.) Earlier this morning, he had told CNN’s “Starting Point” that JPMorgan’s massive loss was merely “a blip on the radar screen.”

Dimon personally donated $2,000 to Corker last year.

Corker isn’t alone in his potential conflict of interest; for more on the disturbingly deep connections between JP Morgan and the committee tasked with investigating it, see Cora Currier’s useful guide.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Dr. Mehmet Oz and Sean Hannity

Youtube Screenshot

Fox News prime-time host Sean Hannity is priming his audience to see election fraud in any defeat for Dr. Mehmet Oz, his favored candidate who currently leads the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania with two percent of votes outstanding. If the fast-closing hedge funder Dave McCormick takes the lead and the Oz camp claims the election has been stolen, it could set up a potentially explosive proxy war with Hannity’s colleague Laura Ingraham, whose Fox program favors McCormick and has suggested he is likely to prevail when all the votes are counted.

The GOP primary was a chaotic slugfest that split Fox’s slate of pro-GOP hosts in an unusually public way. Hannity was Oz’s most prominent supporter, reportedly securing the support of former President Donald Trump and using his program to endorse the TV personality, give him a regular platform, and target the challenge from right-wing commentator and Fox & Friends regular Kathy Barnette. Ingraham, meanwhile, used her Fox program (which airs in the hour following Hannity’s) to promote McCormick, criticize Oz, and defend Barnette.

Keep reading... Show less
Youtube Screenshot

Overturning Roe v. Wade is very unpopular, yet another poll confirms. Nearly two out of three people, or 64 percent, told the NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll that Roe should not be overturned, including 62 percent of independents. The poll also includes some good news for Democrats.

According to the poll, the prospect of the Supreme Court striking down Roe in the most extreme way is motivating Democratic voters more than Republicans: Sixty-six percent of Democrats say it makes them more likely to vote in November compared with 40 percent of Republicans. That echoes a recent NBC poll finding a larger rise in enthusiasm about voting among Democrats than Republicans.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}