Fox Watching Chicken Coop? Senate Banking Committee and Dimon
'American Banker' runs the numbers: Financial services have given over $13 million to senators on today's grilling committee.
MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL The Senate Banking Committee will meet today to question Jamie Dimon about JPMorgan's (JPM) $2-plus billion trading loss. So, will these be Mike-Wallace-for-60-Minutes pointed and informed hardballs, or will they be Barbara-Walters-10-Most-Fascinating-Financiers softballs, gently lobbed over the Senate aisle?
I think we all know the answer. Americans have plenty of reasons already to distrust the motives of some in Congress. Minyanville's own Justin Rohrlich covered Congressional insider trading before 60 Minutes did, in his article Insider Trading Laws Do Not Apply to Members of Congress. No, Seriously.) as well as in Congressional Insider Trading: Where Things Stand Now, wherein he details how toothless the STOCK Act -- meant to eliminate such inside dealing -- really is.
Flash forward and, while no one's surprised there's another financial issues facing Wall Street, many are shocked it took place under the watch of Jamie Dimon who, along with a virtual army, has spent the better part of his career fighting against such financial regulations as Dodd-Frank.
Now the Senate Banking Committee has a few questions for Mr. Dimon. Exactly how much of a show will this be? That's hard to say but -- and thank you American Banker for running the numbers -- given that Senators on the committee have collectively been given at least $13 million in campaign contributions from the financial services sector, few are expecting them to bite the hand that feeds them too hard.
A few tidbits from American Banker:
- JPMorgan is Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson's second-largest contributor.
- JPMorgan is third- and fourth-largest contributor to Banking Committee Members Mike Crapo and Charles Schumer.
- Former JPMorgan chief lobbyist Naomi Campter is a top aid to Chairman Johnson.
- In-house JPMorgan lobbyists include Kate Childress, a former aide to Senator Schumer.
Some observers think that the ties may even result in sharper questions from those involved. According to American Banker, quoting Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, "Contributions are useful, but they do not protect you when you have gotten in trouble in a high visibility way."