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August 11, 2011

Jamie, Jamie, Jamie………..

Every time I see or hear Jamie Dimon’s latest comment, pronouncement, pontification, excoriation, window dressing, excuse, whine, or what-have-you, I think of the terrific, not-to-be-missed piece written by Graydon Carter: “Dimon in the Rough.”  

So, when I saw Jamie being interviewed on CNBC live with the terrific tan, the perfect hair, the perfect pitch, so reasonable and soothing, I immediately thought to re-read Graydon’s piece.  (One of many great lines: “Over and over, Dimon has asked that legislators and the public stop the ‘vilification’ of his people.  He’s the Martin Luther King Jr. of the overdog.”)

Here’s Jamie’s latest on CNBC today: “”We need America to do what America used to do in old times when things were tough. People got together. They didn’t scapegoat. They rolled up their sleeves. They were very open-minded. Policy was coherent and consistent. A lot of our policy is inconsistent, made in the middle of the night. I think a singular focus on jobs and growth would be a good thing.” 

Well, who could disagree. But, wait, who is doing all these bad things? 

For example, who might be “scapegoating”?  Might it be bankers who blame “inconsistent” policy or policy made “in the middle of the night”?  Might it be those who publicly castigate the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board?  Might it be those who bash Washington or politicians or Democrats or the President?  Hummmmmmmmm….might it be the way Wall Street and its allies treat anyone who doesn’t agree with them or share their ideology?

Let’s see, who might not be “open-minded”?  Might that be the new office holders bankrolled with Wall Street cash to roll back Dodd Frank and regulatory reform?  Might that be the army of lawyers,  lobbyists and spinners Wall Street has hired to delay, gut, kill financial reform?  Might that be the super-rich who are using their super-riches to make sure their taxes are never, ever raised for any purpose at any time? 

In the interview calling for doing what Americans should do when times are tough, Jamie also called the Dodd Frank Financial Reform and Consumer Protection Act “Dodd-Frankenstein.” 

“Dodd-Frankenstein”!  Really.  Can you think of anything more immature, unprofessional and ignorant than for someone to say that?  And, from a banker big-shot?  After gorging on billions of dollars in bonuses selling toxic derivatives for years, then crashing the financial system, wrecking the world economy, and requiring trillions of taxpayer dollars in bailouts, there was nothing more important to do than stop Wall Street recklessness and reform the financial system.  Yet, the vaunted Jamie Dimon resorts to ……  Really.  That’s the best he can do.  

And, who could argue about the need for “a singular focus on jobs and growth,” but that focus has been blocked by scapegoating, close-minded ideologues who used extortionate methods to extract anti-growth, anti-job concessions before they’d raise the debt ceiling, risking the US’s triple A credit rating.  I don’t recall seeing their “sleeves rolled up,” but then again they were so intent on rolling over anyone who disagreed with them I might have missed that.

So, again, we’ve got the soothing, reasonable, perfectly delivered, words that no one could disagree with, but one must always ask who those words might really apply to and what might be missing.  For example, one of the key things “America used to do in old times when things were tough” and “people got together” was shared sacrifice.  I’m waiting for those words to be said and for some concrete examples also.  Jamie………..calling Jamie………….



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