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Meet The Most Charming Man In High Finance. His Expectation For The Future Affects Everybody

[heading]Meet The Most Charming Man In High Finance. His Expectation For The Future Affects Everybody[/heading]

JP Morgan has had to payout $20 billion to settle legal and regulatory matters in recent years, but still JPMorgan’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, remains one of the most popular figures in finance. How?

Although many of the Occupiers who lined the streets against Wall Street in 2011 might not know who Mr. Dimon is, those who follow finance closely do. And, chances are, despite his bank’s penchant for fraud and market manipulation, if you know who Mr. Dimon is, you’ve come to enjoy some of his antics.

JP Morgan shareholders like him, too. Despite the legal troubles, a wide majority of the shares voted before a recent meeting began to approve the compensation packages for Dimon, who received an $8.5 million raise to $20 million.


The meeting also sought to relieve concerns “that JPMorgan has no formal process for picking Dimon’s successor or a deep bench of executives who could take over for Dimon.” Further, several of Dimon’s lieutenants have left in the last few years.

Early in the month JPMorgan disclosed that it expects trading revenue to drop 20% in the second quarter from the year before. This follows JPMorgan’s first quarter results, where trading and markets revenue dropped 17%. So what great plan does Dimon bring to the table or is it really only his charm that keeps him around?

YTD the bank’s stock has fallen 8%. Dimon has focused on the longer term, arguing that JP Morgan could ride a wave of global growth to help more companies raise more money, predicting that equity and debt issuing would be up more than 25% over five years.



The bank is following up on its promise.

Dimon told TODAY’S Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview that the $100 million loan in the city of Detroit is not a public relations stunt.

“The cynic would be wrong,” Dimon told Lauer when asked if the investment was in response to a $13 billion fine levied against the company in an exclusive interview.

“We invest and develop communities around the world. And we’ve been doing this since our heritage started 200 years ago,” said Dimon. “So that’s what banks do. They do it commercially. They do community development.”

The $100 million dollars won’t go too far to help the Motor City, with its current official $19 billion in debt.

“We’re doing this to grow investments, to grow the city, and create a healthy and vibrant city,” Dimon said. “And if that happens, it’s good for us, too. I also look at it as an American patriot. This is one of the few cities that hasn’t had a renaissance. Most other cities have. If it’s done right, they can have one here, too.”

40 percent of the busses in Detroit don’t run, nor do 40 percent of the streetlights turn on. And so JP Morgan has issued the loan, which it hopes to make money on.

As the nation’s largest bank by assets, JP Morgan definitely has one of the charming CEO’s in the US.

“I think we can make this our finest moment,” he said. “Can Americans come together, business, labor, civics…government come together and build something and fix the city? You’ve seen rebirth of cities all over America. I think it would be an unbelievable thing if we can come together and help rebirth here.”

Dimon’s hope that his $100 million “investment” will somehow transform Detroit seems pie-in-the-sky. What does he expect after the end of the 5-year period?

“Jobs and population,” Dimon said. “If it works, you’ll have a healthy and vibrant economy, jobs and population, businesses will beget home ownership, better schools, and a completely revived city.”


Some chatter that Dimon might seek an exit popped up on the internet, the Dimon has made it clear he wishes to stay with JP Morgan for the long haul.

“I’m going nowhere,” Dimon reportedly told attendees at an April 23 event in Boston, nothing that ultimately bank’s board has the final say over the length of his tenure.

It appears JP Morgan shareholders are choosing their captain for the coming crisis, and they’re sticking with the incumbent. A crisis, as a single sentence makes clear in Jamie Dimon’s recent letter to shareholders, that certainly will happen:

“I make this promise: We will be a port of safety in the next storm.” – Jamie Dimon 

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