If I were a prosecutor I’d be thanking Al Gore for inventing the internet and email (I don’t know if Mr. Vice President claimed the email invention, but without the internet there is no email). Especially email, because now you can amass evidence of wrongdoing in a very searchable and easy-to-use format. TheStreet.com has dug up a very interesting email that shows what goes on behind closed doors when the heads of two of the largest US and Spanish banks get together and talk. Not all of it appears to be legal – there may be collusion and an agreement not to compete for acquisitions.
I get the feeling some laws may have been broken here, but I am not a lawyer (thank God!). But the comment that really drew my attention was not about the collusion, but what the best banker in the country – Jamie Dimon, the head of JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) – thinks about the Chinese banking system. In this excerpt, an employee who was present at the meeting sums up Jamie’s thoughts on China:
Like many others, they are struggling to do business in Asia. Considering to buy a stake in a bank in China and asked if it makes sense to do so at current prices. Jamie replied that the concept is ok, but not now, too expensive, adding that so far "in China it is a one way street" with them wanting to get all and letting you get nothing, and that there will be more and better opportunities when China has a downturn.
Also, too difficult to know what you are buying: many of them do not yet have integrated systems, possibly a meaningful amount of political loans, etc. [emphasis added]