What Was Not Said During Jamie Dimon's Media PR Campaign
Today's Meet The Press PR damage control campaign orchestrated on behalf of Jamie Dimon by the fawning press was just another attempt at redirection, in which a faux contrite Jamie Dimon promises that as a result of being '100% wrong' about his prior "Tempest in a Teapot" description of the Bruno Iksil debacle, he has learned his lesson, and in tried and true American fashion deserves a second chance. The rest was filler. What was not said is that the entire business model of the modern US banking edifice, where due to the Net Interest Margin limitations imposed by ZIRP, is one of prop trading as being a glorified hedge fund is the only way the banks can generate a rate of return above their cost of capital.
- What was also not said was the glaring lies by Blythe Masters from a month ago who swore up and down to CNBC that JPM does not engage in prop trading: "We have offsetting positions. We have no stake in whether prices rise or decline"
- What was also not said is that contrary to "conventional wisdom" where a few prop traders have been sacked (most likely due to not taking enough risk) prop trading is alive and well across Wall Street, even if it has been largely rebranded as 'flow trading' - just as the high freaks are scrambling to come up with a new name for HFT because that will make all the difference.
- What was also not said, nor discussed, is why anyone would trust or invest in these money center banks when their balance sheets are so opaque, even their apparently clueless CEOs flip-flop within a month on what is really happening, with accounting standards so poor, that nobody can figure out what they are investing in, and why Mark-to-Market is still halted (Aren't banks finally quote unquote healthy?).
- Finally, the most important thing not said, was Glass-Steagall, the one law whose overturning allowed the commingling of deposits and hedge fund activity courtesy of Gramm-Leach-Bliley, hilarious called the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999. If America is to have even a remote hope of returning to normalcy, Glass-Steagall has to be reinstated. Which is why nobody brought it up on MTP: neither the anchor who is accountable to an organization which needs the status quo for advertising revenues, nor the hungry for TV exposure senator, nor the DCF-expert access journalist. Nobody.
Luckily America's population - at least the part which realizes that nothing has changed for the better, and that fundamentally things have continued deteriorating, especially when removing the central planners' crutches - is becoming increasingly more educated and realizes just how much it is being lied to by prominent bankers, on prime time TV, in a process that further destroys any residual credibility of the status quo. And for those curious what happens when the last ounce of faith in a failing system disappears, we have one word: Europe.