JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, said the bank did the Federal Reserve a “favor” by acquiring Bear Stearns in 2008 and that the bank has lost up to 10 billion dollars related to its acquisition through litigation, write downs, etc. Jamie Dimon was in Washington D.C., at the Council on Foreign Relations, where Capital Account segment producer Justine Underhill asked him if he now regretted working with the Fed to acquire Bear Stearns. Specifically, the New York Attorney General’s filing of a civil lawsuit alleging fraud related to mortgage securities at Bear is what sparked the market’s concern. Below we have some of Jamie Dimon’s response:
Dimon said JP Morgan Chase was asked by the government to buy Bear Stearns “at great risk to ourselves.” When asked if he would reconsider acquiring Bear Stearns knowing what he knows know about the company, Jamie Dimon said: “it’s real close,” and said that his board wouldn’t let him. Dimon said the 10 billion dollars in Bear-related losses can be put in the “unfair category,” adding that he “thinks the government should think twice before they punish businesses every single time something goes wrong.”
Here’s the Q&A from the press conference with Dimon’s attempt to settle the score.