Jamie Dimon Defends Wall Street on Capitol Hill


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Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was in the hot seat again today after the $2 billion and counting loss disclosed last month from theirchief investment office.

Dimon testified before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, where lawmakers are worried that risky trading could lead to another taxpayer-funded bailout of the “too big to fail” banks, including JPMorgan.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., were among those who grilled Dimon about everything from jobs, Dimon’s salary and, of course, Dodd-Frank Act’s financial regulation.

“Parts of Dodd-Frank we supported, parts of Dodd-Frank we didn’t support,” Dimon said in response to a question by McHenry about whether he supported the legislation signed into law in July 2010.

“I remind people we do have the best capital markets in the world,” Dimon said.

Frank asked Dimon for his thoughts about derivative trade exemptions to which Dimon explained that JPMorgan’s trades were cleared. The long-standing representative from Massachusetts also asked Dimon about a proposal to cut funds from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). He answered that he has “never looked at the CFTC budget” and could not answer the question.

Frank said he was “disappointed” by Dimon’s responses.

In another question from Frank, Dimon said he did not know if he would be the subject of potential clawbacks by the board of directors who determines his compensation.  “I can’t tell my board what to do,” Dimon told Frank.

Dimon’s four-page prepared remarks for Tuesday were nearly identical to those of last week before the Senate committee.

“We will lose some of our shareholders’ money – and for that, we feel terrible – but no client, customer or taxpayer money was impacted by this incident,” he said in his prepared remarks both last week and on Tuesday.

Dimon told the committee it would be more effective to discuss financial rule-making behind closed doors, not during a hearing, and “not pretend they’re either for Volcker or against Volcker.”

Regulation is not “binary” but “complicated,” he stressed several times.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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