Jamie Dimon has put his own money where his mouth, institutionally speaking, has long been. The JPMorgan chief executive on Thursday bought more than $25 million of his bank's stock. It's a personal extension of his mantra that lenders do best buying back stock is when it is near book value – and right now, JPMorgan carries a roughly 10 percent discount. This vote of confidence is also an important counterweight to the panic gripping investors in U.S. financial institutions.
The S&P 500 banks index has crashed 23 percent this year. Of America's six largest banks, only Wells Fargo trades above the value of its assets minus liabilities. All the others bar JPMorgan trade below tangible book value, an even lower hurdle. Such levels were last hit during the global financial crisis.