Few Clouds 38° Good Afternoon
Few Clouds 38° Good Afternoon

JPMorgan CEO grilled this time on Hill

JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon had a tough reception Tuesday when he returned to Capitol Hill for a second round of questions over the bank's $2-billion trading loss.

House lawmakers from both parties pressed Dimon on a number of fronts: Did JPMorgan manage risk properly? Has the bank become too large and complex to control? The hearing before the House Financial Services Committee was far more combative in tone than Dimon's appearance last week before the Senate Banking Committee.

Dimon again apologized for the trading loss and the damage it caused to shareholders. The company has lost about $23 billion in market value since it came to light on May 10.

But Dimon stressed that taxpayers and customers of the bank were not affected by the loss. And when pressed, Dimon was firm and frank.

At one point, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) asked Dimon how high the losses could mount. "Is it fair to say that JPMorgan could have losses of half a trillion, or a trillion dollars?" Duffy asked.

Dimon replied bluntly: "Not unless the Earth is hit by the moon." He avoided putting a number on the bank's trading loss, which has raised concerns about the risks large banks pose to the U.S. financial system just four years after the financial crisis.

Dimon also bristled at a suggestion from Duffy that JPMorgan, with $2.3 trillion in assets, has become "too big to fail."

"No, we're not too big to fail," Dimon told Duffy in a heated exchange. "I don't think there's any chance we're going to fail. But if we did, any losses the government would bear should go back, be charged to the banks." Dimon also defended the bank's risk strategy ahead of the loss.

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