Dimon To Ackerman: "We Don't Gamble. Gamblers Lose"
In a somewhat inspired line of questioning by Rep. Gary Ackerman on the differences between 'investing' and 'gambling', the JPMorgan CEO diligently notes that "on average Gamblers lose" implicitly stating, we assume, that 'investors on average win'. Ackerman interestingly takes up the common myth that banks (and Wall Street in general) were 'on the level' and 'facilitated investing' but to him the 'hedges' that JPM (among others) are placing are nothing but gambling as he correctly notes the dismal truth that banks are not in fact there for the common good in "helping jobs and being good for America". Betting against your initial bet suggests a lack of 'knowing what you are doing' is how Ackerman frames his concerns, and furthermore (as we pointed out), hedging against your hedge just makes the whole thing farcical as if "throwing darts at a dartboard" and in the process does not help the economy or create one job. The main thrust being that: if JPM is right a majority of the time it helps the company, but if they are wrong it puts systemically everything at risk - the public investing confidence in the system (an unhedgeable risk). Dimon's contrite response is: "We don't gamble; we do make mistakes."