Jamie Dimon: Don’t call it a comeback

I have been reading the press accounts on the William Daley appointment as President Obama’s Chief of Staff. Bo Cutter is impressed and says "the new Obama Team will get things done" because "Bill Daley can build bridges" to big business. On the other hand, Ryan Chittum has a different take. Ryan calls Daley the latest in a long line of business-friendly Obama picks. I like Glenn Greenwald’s take. He says Daley is a reflection, not a cause of the corrupt Washington culture because it shows a corporatist slant that is not pro-business but rather pro-incumbent business, pro-big business.

Here’s my take. Jamie Dimon is back. Just think, last year you could read Simon Johnson calling him the most dangerous man in America. You could hear how Dimon decries Washington’s Treatment of Banks. Syracuse University students didn’t even want him giving them a graduation speech. College kids for goodness sake. How does he feel now? Down for the count? Un-uh. After the election, Obama has wizened up. Dimon’s got his man, Washington lobbyist William Daley, in the White House – as chief of staff no less. Talk about your quiet coup, there it is.

Let’s put some levity in this, shall we. I want to pen steal a little rhyme in honour of "Cool J" and his comeback. It goes like this:

(The media): LL Cool J with a triumphant comeback
(Cool J): Don’t call it a comeback
I’ve been here for years
I’m rocking my peers
Puttin’ suckers in fear
Makin’ the tears rain down like a monsoon
Listen to the bank go boom
Explosions, overpowerin’
Over the competition I’m towerin’
Wrecking shop when I write these lyrics
that’ll make you call the cops
Don’t you dare stare, you better move
Don’t ever compare
Me to the rest that’ll all get sliced and diced
Competition’s payin’ the price
I’m gonna knock you out
Mama said knock you out

Yep. The competition is getting sliced and diced. Wells Fargo and US Bancorp lost a widely-followed case in the Massachusetts Supreme Court today where the judge said they can’t foreclosure because the banks couldn’t prove they owned the mortgages. That’s going to be a problem in a lot of other cases. Meanwhile, Bank of America is being forced to fork over billions to Fannie and Freddie for defective mortgages that they packaged up. And Citi, Dimon’s old haunts? Well Citi is looking to further downsize by flogging off CitiFinancial. The financial supermarket model doesn’t work, apparently.

How does Cool J like all this? Here’s the rhyme. Take note Goldie, now that Cool J has his man in the White House:

The man of the hour, tower of power
I’ll devour
I’m gonna tie you up and let you understand
That I’m not your average man
When I gotta jammy in my hand
Listen to the way I slay
Your crew
Destruction, terror, and mayhem
Pass me a sissy so sucker I’ll slay him
Bankers (WHAT)
Bankers (WHAT)
I’m ready (WE’RE READY)
I think I’m gonna bomb a town
Get down
Don’t you never, ever
Pull my lever
Cause I explode
And my nine is easy to load
I gotta thank God
Cause he gave me the strength to bank Hard
I’m gonna knock you out
Mama said knock you out

The most dangerous man, indeed. And you thought I was down for the count. How do you like me now?


Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty years of business experience. He is also a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. Edward also writes a premium financial newsletter. Sign up here for a free trial.