May 12th, 2012
By Robert Sexton -- Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JP Morgan Chase, may no longer be the Last Man Standing
in the aftermath of its its trading unit, called the "chief investment office", revealing $2 billion in losses so far -- and maybe more. Dimon was heralded as the paragon of prudence during and in the aftermath of the 2008 financial meltdown on wall street because he allegedly steering his bank through or around the troubled waters of financial collapse will many of his compatriots were collapsing, or in turmoil.
The troubling part of all this -- though company officials, true to form, were reassuring all parties concerned that everything was fine
(just a little bump in the road of "big finance") -- was that despite the fact that as many as 40 Federal Reserve regulators were actually working every day inside the bank during the lead-up and when the losses were revealed -- many of them monitoring the activities of the "chief investment office" daily as the losses were mounting.
So the question this new revelation begs is this -- if the Last Man Standing, Jamie Dimon,
with all his risk averse perspicacity -- combined with the watchful eyes and ears of 40 bank regulators actually inside the bank every day -- cannot spot and prevent or avert a financial disaster of this magnitude -- it goes without saying the banks are not capable of regulating themselves, but it also legitimizes the questions as to whether or not banks this size dealing in financial instruments this complex, can even be regulated at all. And if not, then they must be broken into smaller banking companies and the nature of the instruments they used either made simpler or more transparent -- or outright outlawed. And bank must, of necessity, be forbidden from speculating with their own money. I do not know how we could draw any other conclusion. If the banks themselves cannot mange the risk -- and 40 bank regulators actually working inside the bank, everyday cannot monitor them sufficiently enough to prevent these financial fiascoes -- how can they be allowed to continue in business?