Oct. 11 - JPMorgan Chase top executive Jamie Dimon, already fighting a barrage of legal issues, now has the bank's first quarterly loss since he took over seven years ago to mar his once stellar image. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Troubles continue to dent and ding the legacy of JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon. After coming out of the financial crisis without a scar, Dimon now has the blemish of presiding over his first quarterly loss at the bank. If you look at the past three months alone, legal and regulatory woes took $7.2 billion out of the bank's coffers, some of that stemming from acquisitions to bail out troubled firms during the crisis like Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual. But that rising bill isn't just tied to the financial crisis. Some of those billions are to deal with future settlements over the now infamous London Whale trade of 2012. As a matter of fact, Dimon has now built up a $23 billion war chest to deal with litigation issues he says are far from over and "painful". Warning in a statement: "While we expect our litigation costs should abate and normalize over time, they may continue to be volatile over the next several quarters." But if you look at how the bank is operating under his command, Dimon's image looks less damaged. Stripping out special items, as well as losses tied to legal issues, America's biggest bank turned a profit slightly shy of 6 billion dollars, which at first glance is better than analysts were expecting. So far, operating profits like that has drowned out any calls for him to split his role as Chairman and CEO.