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Jamie Dimon Becomes Wall Street’s Hero Figure

Jamie Dimon
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Jamie Dimon

Jamie Dimon has become a heroic figure on Wall Street.

During a Q&A session with Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke in Atlanta, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon questionedwhether too much bank regulation—especially new capital requirements—might be slowing down the economy.

"Now we're told there are going to be even higher capital requirements, and we know there are 300 rules coming, has anyone bothered to study the cumulative effect of these things? And do you have a fear—like I do—that when we look back and look at them all, that they will be the reason that it took so long for our banks, our credit, our businesses, and most importantly, our job creation, to start going again? Is this holding us back at this point?" Dimon said.

The question seemed to put Bernanke back on his heels—and brought some on trading floors to their feet—cheering.

"Nobody has looked at it in all detail, but we certainly are trying as in each part to develop a system that is coherent and that is consistent with banks performing their vital social function in terms of extending credit,” Bernanke replied.

In other words, Bernanke more or less admitted that Dimon’s concerns are well-founded. Policy-makers have not thoroughly examined the cumulative effects of all the new regulations.

At one large midtown trading floor, there were cheers as Dimon spoke.

The clip of the video instantly made its way through thousands of email in-boxes inside the biggest financial companies.

One Wall Street executive described Dimon as “Our Pericles” in an email to associates. Pericles was an Athenian general who helped lead Athens into a golden age following the devastating Persian Wars.

Others are calling it Wall Street’s “Tea Party moment”—comparing it to the speech CNBC’s Rick Santelli gave that helped spark the Tea Party movement.

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