the greatest depression

Jamie Dimon and Meredith Whitney Do the Conference-Call Lambada

“You give ‘gov’ a bad name.”

It’s so awkward to be a part of other people’s flirtations. You know, you’re out with your friend who’s kind of a ho, and the two of you get into a conversation with some dude, and all of a sudden the two of them are in this gross back-and-forth and you’re just standing there, like, “Uhhhhh.” That was probably how listeners on a conference call about JPMorgan’s lending practices felt this morning when Oppenheimer cougaress Meredith “I skin them with my bare hands” Whitney started playing hardball with Jamie Dimon after the JPMorgan CEO said he sees the loan market returning to normal in the future.

Ms. Whitney, who has a “perform” rating on JPMorgan’s stock, then asked: “If you really believed that, you would be gunning credit card lines, right?”
“We are not speculators,” Mr. Dimon shot back. (No one on the call challenged him on this point, or at least not audibly.) “We are buying slightly more risky assets and we are growing our business, so we are not panicking.”
Mr. Dimon continued: “Obviously we are trying to modify what is going on — we are not going to say ‘Yahoo, this is over,’ and go extend credit — like we did — without fear. If you are not fearful, you are crazy.”
Then from Ms. Whitney: “I’m fearful, thanks.”
“We know you are,” Mr. Dimon replied, his smile coming through the conference call. “We are waiting for you to reverse your position.”

Then Ms. Whitney–if–you’re–nasty quipped, “That’s what he said.” Just kidding, that didn’t happen. But it really should have.

‘If You Are Not Fearful, You Are Crazy’ [DealBook/NYT]

Jamie Dimon and Meredith Whitney Do the Conference-Call Lambada