“He Woke Up On 3rd Base And Thought He Hit A Triple” – A Community Banker Responds To Jamie Dimon

The recent shareholder letter by JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon provides a crystal clear example of why it’s so dangerous to encourage and subsidize the corporate welfare babies known as the “Too Big to Fail” mega banks. The letter, which features a gigantic photograph of the executive seated casually with legs crossed in jeans, a shirt that appears almost uncomfortable around his neck in the absence of a tie, and all ten fingers touching flawlessly in what undoubtably took multiple takes to provide the sufficient creepiness factor (the presence of presidential cufflinks cannot be confirmed or denied), expounded on how well the mega banks performed during the financial crisis compared to the hundreds of small banks that failed.

This was understandably too much to handle for Camden R. Fine, president and chief executive of the Independent Community Bankers of America. He wrote a scathing piece in American Banker in rebuttal titled, Dimon’s Defense of Big-Bank Model: An Exercise in Hubris.

Here are some choice excerpts:

The financial crisis caused by Wall Street has been devastating for the U.S. economy, bringing on a downturn from which we are still emerging. But apparently there are some on Wall Street who still don’t understand the effect the collapse they constructed has had on the rest of us.

With baseball season underway, I get the feeling Jamie Dimon woke up on third base and thought he hit a triple.

Ridiculing the smaller financial institutions that have to answer to the free market — that do not enjoy an absolute taxpayer backstop against failure — is beyond hubris. It shows a complete unwillingness to accept responsibility. It shows that Wall Street, infantilized by privilege, has learned nothing from what it wrought in those panic-stricken months in 2008 and 2009 and in the years of economic doldrums that have followed.

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