In an interview with Charlie Rose on PBS, televised on Monday, JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM) Chief Executive Jamie Dimon discussed among other things his company's integration with Bear Stearns:
He said that his company had “all the people decisions and that all the management teams have been integrated”.
If you look , he said, at what they call risk-weighted assets — of $220 billion, it’s probably half that today. And so we had to get that risk down, he continued … So I think we’re 75 percent through the toughest parts of it.
Besides this part of the interview, the thought-provoking comments and the directness of Mr Rose’s probing questions generated a great and insightful conversation. I was actually impressed with Mr. Dimon’s candor and his ethics, which I have to admit are a commodity scarcely found nowadays around Wall Street.
Mr. Dimon mentioned several times the importance of integrity in the corporate world. He then shifted his attention toward insider trading and rumor-mongering. The following comments I thought were very interesting.
He emphasized the fact that U.S. regulators should investigate why the trading volumes in Bear Stearns shares spiked in the days before the buyout and if this was deliberately done to bring down the investment bank:
This is even worse than insider trading, he continued. This is deliberate and malicious destruction of value and people’s lives. They shouldn’t go to jail for a short period of time. If I was the SEC, I’d find out who made the money and I’d investigate like they do when they come after us all the time, emails, phone records, you name it, and I’d find out.