Bloomberg News

Dimon Says Banks Need Truce With Washington to Revive Economy

November 09, 2012

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM:US)’s Jamie Dimon, who once publicly challenged Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s judgment and said Paul Volcker didn’t understand capital markets, called today for U.S. officials and corporate chiefs to halt “antagonistic behavior” and work together.

“Let’s just start collaborating, let’s get this country working again and stop fighting each other, because that’s not going to get us anywhere,” Dimon, the bank’s chief executive officer, said today in an interview on CNBC television.

President Barack Obama’s win of a second term in the White House helped propel the KBW Bank Index to its worst drop in five months on Nov. 7. Wall Street firms that threw their weight and money behind Republican candidate Mitt Romney hoping he would loosen regulation instead face more “misery” with Obama holding the White House and critics like Elizabeth Warren elected to the U.S. Senate, said David Trone of JMP Securities.

Dimon has been one of the industry’s staunchest defenders and most public opponents of Washington policymakers and their new curbs on banks. He previously said former Fed Chairman Volcker, for whom a new rule curtailing proprietary trading is named, doesn’t understand capital markets, and told CNBC in January that bankers would need psychiatrists to evaluate the intent of trades and whether they were permitted.

He took on Bernanke in a public forum in June 2011, asking whether regulation had gone too far and if anyone had “bothered to study the cumulative effect” on the U.S. economy.

“I have tremendous respect for the president,” Dimon, 56, said today. The U.S. economy is the greatest economic engine in the world, he said. “I just think that business and government collaborating has a much better chance of igniting that engine than this antagonistic behavior.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Dawn Kopecki in New York at dkopecki@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net


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