The Business On... Jamie Dimon, Chief executive, JP Morgan Chase
Friday 16 July 2010
Not another Wall Street fat cat?
Yes and no. Mr Dimon is certainly not underpaid – his bonus is thought to have been $17m last year – but he is the acceptable face of American banking.
Is there such a thing?
Well, all things are relative. Still, Mr Dimon's JP Morgan had a good war during the credit crisis, repaid its bailout money ahead of schedule and now appears to be in rude health, posting much larger profits than expected yesterday.
Is that success down to Mr Dimon?
President Obama, of whom Mr Dimon has been supportive, is certainly a fan, singling him out as one banker who deserves praise for his handling of the financial crisis.
He sounds a decent guy
He can also be abrasive. Ever since telling his dad, age nine, that he wanted to be very rich, Mr Dimon's ambition has been obvious. He made his name working for Sandy Weill, the man who built the Citigroup empire, but his mentor eventually fired him. In more recent times, Mr Dimon has worked hard to shed the "mad dog" nickname that had stuck with him since high school.
Has he paid his dues yet?
Mr Dimon certainly thinks so. Despite his friendships in Washington, the banker has become an increasingly vocal critic of regulatory reform. He insists many banks have been demonised and reacted furiously to plans for a new tax on banks' assets.
He's not quite so acceptable after all then?
Be fair. Mr Dimon is entitled to defend the interests of his bank and its shareholders. He insists he simply wants to ensure that regulatory reforms, which are bound to endure, are got right from the start.
Maybe he should run for office?
Funny you should say that. Some people did expect President Obama to name Mr Dimon as his Treasury Secretary (the job eventually went to Timothy Geithner). Maybe he's still feeling a little sore about missing out on the post.
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