‘Sniffling’ Jamie Dimon Heckles Ben Bernanke

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Photo: ROD LAMKEY JR/AFP/Getty Images, ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images

In the years since the financial crisis, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon has attempted to style himself as a reasonable business leader pushing back at what he sees as excessive financial regulation. He has employed the usual methods, such as backstage lobbying and leaking opposition stories to the press, to support his cause. He has also frequently taken to the stage himself, where he reminds folks that after all it was he, the Last Man Standing, who saved Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, and gently suggests, with his casual frat-boy demeanor, that the financial industry's taping of the economy's balls together and then ripping it painfully off was just bros being bros, they wouldn't do it again, no need to get all worked up about it, trust him, look at those puppy-dog eyes. This is apparently not working so well, because yesterday during a Q&A with Ben Bernanke in Atlanta, Dimon was moved to outright heckling. "I totally, completely agree that we had a crisis, and that it means we should do a lot of things to fix it and reduce risk," he began.

"I have a great fear that somebody will write a book in ten or 20 years, and the book is going to talk about that the things we did in the middle of a crisis that will slow down the recovery," a "sniffling" Dimon, according to the Journal, told Bernanke. He continued, as if asking a question.


“Do you have a fear, like I do, that when we look back and look at them all [financial rules], that they will be a reason it took so long that our banks, our credit, our businesses and most importantly job creation started going again?” Dimon asked Bernanke. “Is this holding us back at this point?”

Bernanke responded awkwardly, of course. What he should have said was, Hold up: Dimon's great fear is someone's going to write a book? How does he expect people to take his economic predictions seriously if he thinks book publishing is going to be around in twenty years?

Jamie Dimon Asks Ben Bernanke to Not Regulate Banks Too Much [MarketBeat/WSJ]