Columbia University Students, Faculty, Alums Demand CU President Take Back All The Nice Things He Said About Jamie Dimon

As you may have noticed, Jamie Dimon has had some unwanted attention thrown his way over the last several weeks, on account of one of his employees losing a few billion dollars. Though the JPMorgan CEO has been dealing with public displays of hate previously reserved for Lloyd Blankfein and Goldman Sachs, and will certainly be on the receiving end of a lot more tomorrow when he testifies on Capitol Hill, he has had a few people come to his (and his bank's) defense. Yesterday Stephen Schwarzman told Bloomberg to lay off JD and JPM, noting that "occasional losses are inevitable" and "publicly excoriating JPMorgan serves no purpose except to reduce people’s confidence in the financial system," while former Goldman exec Bill Archer said the whale fail makes him just "kind of shrug." Lee Bollinger, who is President of Columbia and chairman of the Federal Bank of New York's board of directors told the Journal that Dimon shouldn't step down from his post as a director, as some have requested, and that those who cite conflicts of interest have a "false understanding of how [the Fed] works." Some individuals from the Columbia community read Bollinger's comment and, spoiler alert, are not happy. Enter, a strongly worded letter. Mr. Lee Bollinger President of Columbia University Office of the President 202 Low Library 535 West 116th Street, Mail Code 4309 New York, NY 10027 Dear President Bollinger, As faculty, alumni and students of Columbia University, we are writing to express our deep disappointment in your recent decision to support JPMorgan Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon’s continued membership on the Board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. As the Chairman of the Board of the New York Fed, your unambiguous duty - as stated by the Guide to Conduct – is to maintain “the integrity, dignity, and reputation of the Federal Reserve System . . . and to avoid actions that might impair the effectiveness of System operations or in any way tend to discredit the System.” By supporting Mr. Dimon’s tenure you abdicated this basic responsibility. By echoing Mr. Ben Bernanke’s remarks that it is up to Congress to address this problem, you denied your duty to ensure the integrity of the Fed. By stating that Congress has more pressing issues to address than this one, you, in essence, urged inaction by all parties capable of affecting this important change. Surely you understand that a functioning financial system is a pre-requisite of our country’s economic recovery. By characterizing those who wish to see Mr. Dimon resign as “foolish” and in possession of a “false understanding” of how the Fed works, you have added insult – and inaccuracy – to the injury of encouraging this institution to continue in its current form. It is worth reminding you that JPMorgan Chase is currently under investigation for its recent $3 billion trading loss – a loss Mr. Dimon initially denied and then characterized as a ‘tempest in a teapot.’ It may also bear repeating that Mr. Dimon has long campaigned aggressively against important regulatory reforms designed to prevent excessive risk taking by Too Big To Fail institutions – institutions the Federal Reserve saved with $3 trillion dollars in special lending facilities and which Congress bailed out with $700 billion of taxpayers’ money. Certainly Mr. Dimon has no place as a leader of this institution. We urge you to reverse your support for Mr. Dimon and call for his immediate resignation. By way of reminder, there is precedent for this kind of action. In April 2011, Jeffrey R. Immelt, CEO of General Electric, stepped down from the NY Fed after it was clear that GE Capital would be regulated by the Fed as a ‘systematically important’ financial institution. As one of the largest banks in the world, JP Morgan is similarly – if not more ‘systemically important.’ As an educator, you have a special responsibility to demonstrate moral and intellectual credibility, something you have failed to do in this situation. As the president of a university, you have a responsibility to ensure that students have the best possible opportunities upon graduation. Surely you understand the connection between the unemployment crisis facing young people in America and the 2008 financial collapse. That collapse not only threatened the employment potential of millions of American students, but also risked the fiscal health of the parents and grandparents who co-signed their educational loans. That you would choose to uphold the interests of major financial institutions over students and their families is unimaginable. We certainly hope that the contributions made to Columbia by JPMorgan – sums north of $500,000 – had nothing to do with your decision. Three years after the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, the country is struggling to rebuild its economy. A stable and appropriately governed financial system is a critical pre-requisite of our recovery. As the Chairman of the NY Fed, we urge you to take the obvious step of demanding Mr. Dimon’s resignation. Thank you, Current Students, Alumni and Faculty of Columbia University Richard Adams Graduate Student and Alumnus Marcellus Andrews Professor of Economics Columbia University John Atlas President of the National Housing Institute Charles H. Revson Fellow, 2004 Partha Banerjee J-School, 2000 Hilary Beattie Asst. Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology in Psychiatry Carl Bettendorf Alumnus and Adjunct Faculty Lila Braine Dana Burnell Alumni Sylvia Bettendorf Student Jamie Chen CC Class of '09 Paul Colson Faculty Jonathan Crissman Student Mina Dadgar Alumni Carolyn Douglas Associate Professor of Psychiatry Nnaemeka Ekwelum Class of 2012 Tim Foreman Student David Friedman Officer Danielle G. Student Nancy Goody Alumnae -GS of Arch & HP Warren Green Administrator Robert Hanning William D. Hartung Center for International Policy Columbia College Class of 1978 James Hone Faculty Bonnie Kaufman Faculty, Medical School Jee Kim Columbia College, ‘95 Susan Lob Adjunct Faculty and Alumni Barbara Lundblad Faculty Union Theological Seminary John Markowitz Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Alumnus College '76, GSAS '78, P&S '82 Rangi McNeil School of the Arts Alumni Sara Minard Faculty Federick Neuhouser Professor of Philosophy Michael Newell Kaveh Niazi Alumni Jeffrey Ordower Columbia College Class of 1991 Alexandra Pines Class of 2016 Ai-jen Poo Director National Domestic Workers Alliance Bill Ragen Columbia College 1980 Yuliya Rimsky Columbia University Alumnus Class of 2012 & SIPA student Class of 2014 Katherine Roberts Alumna, GSAS Eva Salzman Alumni Jeff Schneider Alumni Shruti Sehgal BC Alumnus, Class of 2011 Eric J. Schoenberg Adjunct Associate Professor Columbia Business School The Honorable David Segal Former RI state representative CC ‘01 Anat Shenker-Osorio Founder and Principal, ASO Communications, Columbia College '99 Kobi Skolnick Current student of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Class of 2013 Jill Strauss Denise J. Tartaglia Alumni Stephanie Taylor Co-Founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Columbia University alumni, SOA '07 Alan Wallach Alumnus Mark Watson Alumnus James Williams Officer Libraries Thomas J. Yager Associate Research Scientist, Mailman School of Public Health
Author:
Updated:
Original:

As you may have noticed, Jamie Dimon has had some unwanted attention thrown his way over the last several weeks, on account of one of his employees losing a few billion dollars. Though the JPMorgan CEO has been dealing with public displays of hate previously reserved for Lloyd Blankfein and Goldman Sachs, and will certainly be on the receiving end of a lot more tomorrow when he testifies on Capitol Hill, he has had a few people come to his (and his bank's) defense. Yesterday Stephen Schwarzman told Bloomberg to lay off JD and JPM, noting that "occasional losses are inevitable" and "publicly excoriating JPMorgan serves no purpose except to reduce people’s confidence in the financial system," while former Goldman exec Bill Archer said the whale fail makes him just "kind of shrug." Lee Bollinger, who is President of Columbia and chairman of the Federal Bank of New York's board of directors told the Journal that Dimon shouldn't step down from his post as a director, as some have requested, and that those who cite conflicts of interest have a "false understanding of how [the Fed] works." Some individuals from the Columbia community read that comment and are not very pleased. Enter, a strongly worded letter.

Mr. Lee Bollinger
President of Columbia University
Office of the President
202 Low Library
535 West 116th Street, Mail Code 4309
New York, NY 10027

Dear President Bollinger,
As faculty, alumni and students of Columbia University, we are writing to express our deep disappointment in your recent decision to support JPMorgan Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon’s continued membership on the Board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

As the Chairman of the Board of the New York Fed, your unambiguous duty - as stated by the Guide to Conduct – is to maintain “the integrity, dignity, and reputation of the Federal Reserve System . . . and to avoid actions that might impair the effectiveness of System operations or in any way tend to discredit the System.”

By supporting Mr. Dimon’s tenure you abdicated this basic responsibility. By echoing Mr. Ben Bernanke’s remarks that it is up to Congress to address this problem, you denied your duty to ensure the integrity of the Fed. By stating that Congress has more pressing issues to address than this one, you, in essence, urged inaction by all parties capable of affecting this important change. Surely you understand that a functioning financial system is a pre-requisite of our country’s economic recovery. By characterizing those who wish to see Mr. Dimon resign as “foolish” and in possession of a “false understanding” of how the Fed works, you have added insult – and inaccuracy – to the injury of encouraging this institution to continue in its current form.

It is worth reminding you that JPMorgan Chase is currently under investigation for its recent $3 billion trading loss – a loss Mr. Dimon initially denied and then characterized as a ‘tempest in a teapot.’ It may also bear repeating that Mr. Dimon has long campaigned aggressively against important regulatory reforms designed to prevent excessive risk taking by Too Big To Fail institutions – institutions the Federal Reserve saved with $3 trillion dollars in special lending facilities and which Congress bailed out with $700 billion of taxpayers’ money. Certainly Mr. Dimon has no place as a leader of this institution.

We urge you to reverse your support for Mr. Dimon and call for his immediate resignation. By way of reminder, there is precedent for this kind of action. In April 2011, Jeffrey R. Immelt, CEO of General Electric, stepped down from the NY Fed after it was clear that GE Capital would be regulated by the Fed as a ‘systematically important’ financial institution. As one of the largest banks in the world, JP Morgan is similarly – if not more ‘systemically important.’

As an educator, you have a special responsibility to demonstrate moral and intellectual credibility, something you have failed to do in this situation. As the president of a university, you have a responsibility to ensure that students have the best possible opportunities upon graduation. Surely you understand the connection between the unemployment crisis facing young people in America and the 2008 financial collapse. That collapse not only threatened the employment potential of millions of American students, but also risked the fiscal health of the parents and grandparents who co-signed their educational loans. That you would choose to uphold the interests of major financial institutions over students and their families is unimaginable. We certainly hope that the contributions made to Columbia by JPMorgan – sums north of $500,000 – had nothing to do with your decision.

Three years after the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, the country is struggling to rebuild its economy. A stable and appropriately governed financial system is a critical pre-requisite of our recovery. As the Chairman of the NY Fed, we urge you to take the obvious step of demanding Mr. Dimon’s resignation.

Thank you,
Current Students, Alumni and Faculty of Columbia University
Richard Adams
Graduate Student and Alumnus

Marcellus Andrews
Professor of Economics
Columbia University

John Atlas
President of the National Housing Institute Charles H. Revson Fellow, 2004

Partha Banerjee
J-School, 2000

Hilary Beattie
Asst. Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology in Psychiatry

Carl Bettendorf
Alumnus and Adjunct Faculty

Lila Braine

Dana Burnell
Alumni

Sylvia Bettendorf
Student

Jamie Chen
CC Class of '09

Paul Colson
Faculty

Jonathan Crissman
Student

Mina Dadgar
Alumni

Carolyn Douglas
Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Nnaemeka Ekwelum
Class of 2012

Tim Foreman
Student

David Friedman
Officer

Danielle G.
Student

Nancy Goody
Alumnae -GS of Arch & HP

Warren Green
Administrator

Robert Hanning

William D. Hartung
Center for International Policy
Columbia College Class of 1978

James Hone
Faculty

Bonnie Kaufman
Faculty, Medical School

Jee Kim
Columbia College, ‘95

Susan Lob
Adjunct Faculty and Alumni

Barbara Lundblad
Faculty
Union Theological Seminary

John Markowitz
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry,
Alumnus College '76, GSAS '78, P&S '82

Rangi McNeil
School of the Arts Alumni

Sara Minard
Faculty

Federick Neuhouser
Professor of Philosophy

Michael Newell

Kaveh Niazi
Alumni

Jeffrey Ordower
Columbia College Class of 1991

Alexandra Pines
Class of 2016

Ai-jen Poo
Director
National Domestic Workers Alliance

Bill Ragen
Columbia College 1980

Yuliya Rimsky
Columbia University
Alumnus Class of 2012 & SIPA student Class of 2014

Katherine Roberts
Alumna, GSAS

Eva Salzman
Alumni

Jeff Schneider
Alumni

Shruti Sehgal
BC Alumnus, Class of 2011

Eric J. Schoenberg
Adjunct Associate Professor
Columbia Business School

The Honorable David Segal
Former RI state representative
CC ‘01

Anat Shenker-Osorio
Founder and Principal, ASO Communications, Columbia College '99

Kobi Skolnick
Current student of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Class of 2013

Jill Strauss

Denise J. Tartaglia
Alumni

Stephanie Taylor
Co-Founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Columbia University alumni, SOA '07

Alan Wallach
Alumnus

Mark Watson
Alumnus

James Williams
Officer Libraries

Thomas J. Yager
Associate Research Scientist, Mailman School of Public Health

Related

Taking Chairman Title Away From Jamie Dimon Is The Craziest God Damn Thing Ken Langone's Heard Today

As you may have heard, recently some JP Morgan shareholders have been making a lot of noise about their desire to strip Jamie Dimon of his gig as JP Morgan Chairman. Their argument centers largely on last summer's incident in which one of the bank's employees lost $6+ billion on a trade. So far the board has rallied behind JD, but we hadn't yet heard from veterans of the business community. What, for instance, is Ken Langone's reaction to the idea that Jamie can't hold down two jobs at the same time? Whattayanuts? It's horse shit, is what! "Nuts!" he told Bloomberg TV the afternoon. "It's nuts!" 1. Jamie Dimon is the best CEO in America, nay, the universe 2. JPMorgan is so good is can afford things like the Whale. 3. Ken loves Jamie, as a human. 4 This "whole nonsense about governance is a lot of horse feathers" to Big Langs and 5. Unrelated but important: Ken Langone would like to remind you that he once vanquished Eliot Spitzer.

Person Sends Email To Jamie Dimon

We* don't really find it particularly amusing amusing or post-worthy that a Jefferies employee accidentally or misguidedly put Jamie Dimon on an email about a working group list but judging by the number of people who've sent it to us, this is the height of banking humor, so here you go: