Mighty US can shake off the gloom, says JPMorgan chief

The following article is brought to you by The Australian.

(All red replies in this article are made by me the administrator of ChaseHomeFinanceSux.Com)

ON Wednesday evening, in the private dining room of JPMorgan with the illuminated Sydney harbour as a backdrop, the bank’s global chief executive, Jamie Dimon, was in the company of Australia’s leading corporate figures.

Dimon — named by the grey lady of the US, The New York Times, in December as the “least hated banker in the world” (What a JOKE!) — was struck by the negative outlook on the Australian economy of the clutch of bosses.

Instead of being lifted by the strength of the mining boom or the once in a generation terms of trade high, the mood was sombre.

In an exclusive interview with The Weekend Australian during his first visit to Australia in five years, Dimon says the Australian and US economies share striking similarities.

Both nations, he says, have the benefits of liquid markets, huge capital expenditure and fine education systems that provide the fundamentals for economic prosperity.

However, he says, both are facing social and financial policy hurdles that are holding back growth.

“We had dinner last night with some chief executives and they were pretty negative about the economy,” Dimon, 55, says.

“My experience has been that when people are negative about their own economy, then it’s not too bad. (Wow!, so the hundreds of thousands of Americans that are complaining about JPMorgan Chase Bank’s abuses of loans, modifications, and credit cards makes you believe that we have a good economy!? Mr. Dimon you are so out of touch with reality you need to retire, and quit destroying families lives all across this country!)

“There are enormous pluses in Australia. It’s not dissimilar to the US pluses. There seems to be the same kind of malaise here that may be affecting business a bit.”

Dimon — one of the world’s highest profile bankers — says the US is still the globe’s largest economy and is not in such a parlous state, despite gloomy talk.

But, just this week, US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke injected a fresh shot of uncertainty into markets by declaring the central bank did not have a “precise read on why this slower pace of growth is persisting”.(The slow growth is because the Big Banks refuse to do right by families. They just want to continue just abusing and stealing from their fellowman.)

In a worrying sign for investors, the Fed also downgraded its growth forecasts while raising its jobless predictions. “It’s not as gloomy as it’s being portrayed,” Dimon says of the US economy.

“People are reacting at the moment to every short-term stimulus. If you look at the basics, the big picture, America still has one of the mighty economies in the globe.”

It has “deep capital markets, innovation, capital expenditure, greater work ethics and great universities and that hasn’t changed.

“We are in this kind of malaise of some sort. Some of that is understandable. There are real issues that we are facing from Japan, oil, Greece, politics, fiscal deficit, and that explains it.

“There’s uncertainty about regulation. But if you look at it, corporate America is in excellent shape.”

Volatility in financial markets is being driven by the Greek sovereign debt crisis. Images of rioting on the streets against austerity measures are fracturing confidence that the nation will survive.

Dimon says Greece will not default on its debt but if it does, the event will not have same impact as the global financial crisis.

“I think the Greek default is survivable, but it’s not a good thing for the global economy on top of all the things we are already worried about, and it will reverberate — it will have negative consequences.

“I don’t think they will default. I think the more likely outcome is that the European authorities and politicians will find a way to keep Greece from defaulting.

“It does reverberate because a lot of European banks own Greek debt and investors hold European bank debt. From all of the numbers I have seen, the European banks have enough capital to withstand it.

“I don’t think it’s going to freeze the capital markets of the world. We have had defaults around the world before — Russia, Argentina and Mexico — and they weren’t good events for global economies but they didn’t derail” global growth.

Dimon points to the improved performance of the US housing market as a sign of improving economic health.
(WHERE!?!!?. is this housing growth!?, its not in the US)

JPMorgan, through its investment bank and its powerful Chase retail bank in the US, felt at first hand the pain in the US housing market.

It was stung by the direct mortgage losses in retail banking and by the bank’s underwriting of subprime and mortgage bond exposure.

JPMorgan this week finalised a $US153.6 million ($145m) settlement with the SEC over claims it misled investors about collateralised debt obligations created before the global crisis.

Dimon admits banks — including his — made mistakes.

Ever the salesman, though, he is confident JPMorgan has righted the wrongs and says it is disappointing that Wall Street’s reputation is so tarnished.

“It’s so unfair to talk about Wall Street and ethics,” he says.
(Yes, Jamie is right, there is no need to talk ethics when dealing with the UNETHICAL Wall Street and Big Banks, such as JPMorgan Chase!)

“The people that we deal with a lot on Wall Street are some of the most ethical people I know.(Is anyone else drowning in this pile of drivel besides me!?)

“There are some bad apples on Wall Street. I think the military is the most extraordinary organisation but there are some bad apples in the military.

“I think universities are unbelievable but there are some bad apples in universities. I think reporters for most part are smart and hard-working people, but there are some bad apples as reporters.”

Nevertheless, Dimon says, the best thing the world’s banks can do is to rectify blunders they made leading up to and during the global downturn.

In the crisis, JPMorgan was one of the most solvent banks in the world and maintained its quarterly profits.

The bank did receive emergency government funding and the US government made an estimated $US795m profit on its investment.

“JPMorgan is a smart, ethical hard-working company. We do make mistakes,” Dimon says.(BS!)

“There are some things that I look back and think why did we do that(Because you are Thieves!). We operate very tough, complex businesses and we try and do the right things but every now and again we make a mistake. We are very quick to admit we make mistakes. We just have to fix them.

“I know we make mistakes. Some of them are doozies. We didn’t underwrite subprime mortgages because we thought we’d lose $US10bn on them. We thought they were going to work and were doing a good thing for them and the client, but we were wrong.”(You didn’t underwrite them Mr. Dimon, because you knew they were volatile to the homeowners and the investors.)

Dimon made headlines recently when he questioned Bernanke at the International Monetary Conference in Atlanta on whether authorities were going too far in regulation of the financial sector in response to the global crisis.

It’s a topic the bank boss is passionate about, especially its application to JPMorgan.

Compared with most of its rivals, JPMorgan sailed through the crisis, stepping in to buy Bear Stearns and then Washington Mutual.

Those two moves saved the US economy a good deal of money and grief and provided stability when the financial system appeared on the brink of collapse, Dimon says.

The bank now, he says, is getting caught up in the wave of over-the-top regulation directed against the institutions that nearly toppled.(Big Bank Thieves have to be extremely regulated to protect families.)

“I don’t know if it’s unfair. I believe in good and fair regulation. People say all these banks caused the crisis but I say no, some of them were the ports of stability in the storm,” he says.

“We are proud of what we could do. We bought Bear Stearns because the US government asked. We bought WaMu because it saved the US a lot of cost.”

Dimon’s main concern with global regulation is the move to increase capital holdings required for each bank.

JPMorgan, he says, has stashes of surplus capital but will be required to hold even more once the changes are made.

Dimon has warned governments and regulators, especially Bernanke, that the capital changes could distort world money markets and have dangerous consequences.

“The stress tests have raised the capital requirements and prove that banks can maintain a capital level of 5 per cent throughout a highly stressed environment.

“I think the Basel 3 requirements may distort global markets and make banks much more political.

“I don’t think it’s necessary. I think some of the other measures are necessary, like the liquidity changes. I think it’s a typical overreaction at this point — that’s my own belief.

“It could slow the global economy. I can’t prove it, but I can almost guarantee that there has been enormous deleveraging taking place because of Basel 3.”

(Mr. Dimon why don’t you help hundreds of thousands of families and just quit, so that someone can correct all your misdeeds! Please!)

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