Monday, October 21, 2013
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase & Co., is in an unfamiliar and painful position. He can't stop a criminal investigation into his bank. So, not only is the company facing a record fine at $13 billion but it must continue to suffer the indignity of prosecutors turning over rocks throughout the institution. It must be humiliating for a man who a short time ago was the master of the financial world. The government is determined to make an example of him and has succeeded in doing so. Other big bank CEOs must be thanking their good luck that they are not in Dimon's place and nervous about their own control systems, which is exactly what the regulators want. It is clear that if one desires the privilege of being a financial major with operations around the globe, the government will offset that power with relentless investigations into every peccadillo. Is it worth it? The Federal government might be indicating that it isn't. Some big banks might sell off operations and deliberately downsize as a result.