Ordinarily JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon doesn’t care what people say about him and his bank, he says. Ordinarily he just lets insults roll off his back. “If it makes people happy” to insult him because of their own insecurity and jealousy, he told Fortune last year, “that’s sad.” But occasionally someone asks him an ignorant question, like “What do you think about Americans directing their anger against the banks over the bailout?” and he just loses it, like he’s back on the playground in Chicago and someone has said something about his mother. The heat rises in his face, maybe, and his chest tightens, and his brain becomes so swollen with rage and indignation that he forgets that the pain inflicted by those generic insults — “greedy bankers,” “fat cats” — is nothing compared to the pain experienced by the millions of people who lost their homes and jobs due to a recession that was overwhelmingly, undeniably caused by actions of banks like his own, and he fails to recognize that while, sure, it’s great that he was able to scoop up Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual at bargain-basement prices as they were going down — and where is his medal for that by the way? — ordinary people aren’t really impressed by that, and maybe he should just keep his mouth shut and take his lumps. But he can’t. He just has to say something. A questioner at a panel at Davos yesterday apparently knew all of this and chose the opportunity to ask his trigger question. “It’s not fair to lump all banks together,” Dimon replied, growing “visibly more animated,” according to Barron’s.
Dimon clearly felt aggrieved by the question and the negative banker headlines, and went on for a while.
That he gives the same reaction every time and hasn’t appeared to ever think it through even once is kind of amazing, though. He’s like a Tickle Me Elmo doll, but with rage instead of laughter.
Dimon’s Davos Cry: Don’t Blame All Banks [Barrons]