Jamie Dimon Thinks the SEC Should Slow Its Roll Before It ‘Damages America’

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Simmer down. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jamie Dimon is not one to complain. Unless of course anyone is trying to say anything about bankers. Or it is a weekday. At yesterday's American Chamber of Commerce meeting on how regulation could cut into banks' profits, the JPMorgan CEO exhibited his trademark restraint and self-awareness in the wake of financial crisis. Discussing increases in capital required of banks to prevent the need for another taxpayer bailout, Dimon said:

"Too large a disparity in capital requirements between Europe and the US would mean “you’re pretty much putting the nail in our coffin for big American banks,”.

As for the part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that requires companies to put up collateral when they trade derivatives, Dimon said he's pretty sure it would "damage America.”

Despite Dimon's caterwauling, even former JPMorgan execs say banks will be just fine, especially with bank profits back to precrisis levels. Douglas Elliott, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told MarketPlace, "There's a lot of exaggeration. There isn't any big problem here." In fact, U.S. banks are doing better than foreign rivals. Lawrence Franko, a senior analyst with Delaware Investments, which owns shares of Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan said:

Our folks in the banking world complain a lot about our more intrusive regulatory environment. U.S. financial services companies, especially the banks and the investment banks, have really come out of this quite well compared to international competitors.

But one party in the financial-regulation debate does actually appear doomed: the SEC, which is currently battling both a Republican attempt to scuttle Dodd-Frank just as it tries to implement new securities rules — and a diminished budget. Harvey Pitt, SEC chairman under George W. Bush, told Bloomberg,

“The SEC has been set up for failure,” he says. “Congress was eager to say, ‘We’ve addressed the financial crisis,’ and they didn’t worry about how effectively they had addressed the crisis. We needed smarter regulatory reform than we got.”

JPMorgan's Dimon Warns of Regulatory 'Nail' in Coffin [Financial Times via CNBC]
Banks cry poor; their profits beg to differ [Marketplace]
Schapiro's SEC Seen Ineffectual as Republicans Race to Scuttle Dodd-Frank [Bloomberg]