J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Condemns 'Too Big to Fail,' Advocates Regulation

J.P. Morgan Chase is the second-largest U.S. bank, but its CEO spoke out on Nov. 13 to condemn the policy of bailing out banks which are "too big to fail."

Jamie Dimon wrote in the Washington Post that even his bank should accept the risk of failure.

"[I]f some unforeseen circumstance should put this firm at risk of collapse, I believe we should be allowed to fail," Dimon said. He argued that rather than limiting the size of banks and financial firms, failure should be a regulatory option.

According to Dimon, regulators should be given "authority to facilitate failures," wipe out shareholders and unsecured creditors, fire management and liquidate assets.

Dimon said this is better than the alternative: "This is challenging but worth doing. The alternatives, neither of which is acceptable, are to perpetuate the politically, economically and ethically bankrupt "too big to fail" idea, or to try to impose artificial limits on the size of U.S. financial institutions."

Many say J.P. Morgan Chase bank is the "healthiest" of the four largest U.S. commercial banks, according to Reuters. The bank had accepted government loans from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in fall 2008, but was one of the companies that repaid the money in June 2009.

The bank returned $25 billion with interest, money that Dimon said the bank "never needed" according to the New York Times. In April 2009, Bloomberg reported that Dimon called TARP money "a scarlet letter" while on a conference call.

During Obama's first six months in office, Dimon has been a White House visitor on 6 occasions according to White House visitor logs.

Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC's Business and Media Institute.