Meredith Whitney Not Worried About Jamie Dimon's Ability To Handle House Financial Services Committee, Unlike Some Chief Executives She Knows

As you may have heard, later today Jamie Dimon will once again testify on Capitol re: a certain whale's multi-billion dollar losses. Unlike last week's hearing, conducted by the relatively reasonable Senate Banking Committee, this time Dimon will face questions and screeching from the relatively bat-shit House Financial Services Committee, a group of people we hope will not hold back. Yet despite the HFSC's history of making witnesses look good, not matter how egregious their offense, by conducting inquiries in a manner that would suggest recreational bath salts abuse by the Congressmen and women, Bloomberg's Tom Keene expressed worry earlier this morning about Dimon's ability to navigate the hearing.  Would today be "tougher" for the JPM chief, Keene asked Bloomberg TV Surveillance guest Meredith Whitney? According to the analyst, Dimon be more than fine and while we're on the subject, not that you asked, she can think of another bank CEO who'd crack under Congressional questioning on account of the fact that he doesn't have eyes you could get lost in. So, 1. How dare you, lady? Lloyd's impish smile and comedic timing don't do it for you? And 2. We thought these kind of blows were reserved for Vikram. Banking Industry Must Reinvent Itself, Says Whitney [Bloomberg TV] Related: Meredith Whitney Cannot Stress Enough How Little She Thinks Of Citigroup
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As you may have heard, later today Jamie Dimon will once again testify on Capitol re: a certain whale's multi-billion dollar losses. Unlike last week's hearing, conducted by the relatively reasonable Senate Banking Committee, this time Dimon will face questions and screeching from the relatively bat-shit House Financial Services Committee, a group of people we hope will not hold back. Yet despite the HFSC's history of making witnesses look good, not matter how egregious their offense, by conducting inquiries in a manner that would suggest recreational bath salts abuse by the Congressmen and women, Bloomberg's Tom Keene was still worried earlier this morning about Dimon's ability to navigate the hearing. One person who wasn't? Keene's Bloomberg TV Surveillance guest Meredith Whitney. According to the analyst, Dimon be more than fine and while we're on the subject, not that you asked, she can think of another bank CEO who'd crack under Congressional questioning on account of the fact that he doesn't have Dimon's eyes, which you could get lost in.

"[Dimon] is, like nobody else...he's the antithesis of Blankfein. He charms. He’s incredible. [Last week] he gave the senators a massage and they gave him a massage back. You see a complete juxtaposition between the two.

So, 1. How dare you, lady? Lloyd's impish smile and comedic timing don't do it for you? And 2. We thought these kind of low blows were reserved for Vikram.

Banking Industry Must Reinvent Itself, Says Whitney [Bloomberg TV]
Related: Meredith Whitney Cannot Stress Enough How Little She Thinks Of Citigroup

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Meredith Whitney: Citigroup Should Just Give Up

Earlier today, we wondered if, in light of the news that Vikram Pandit had resigned as CEO of Citigroup, analyst Meredith Whitney's opinion of the bank had changed. Choice comments that Whitney has made about the Big C in the past have included: "Citigroup is in such a mess Stephen Hawking couldn’t turn this company around"; "Citi is like an old broken-down Victorian house"; and Citi “has no earnings power, isn’t going to grow, hasn’t been investable in four years." She also once told Maria Bartiromo that the only way she'd change her mind about company would be if she received "a new brain." Still, sometimes analysts change their tune when new blood is brought in and, like former FDIC chair Sheila Bair, perhaps some of her beef with the bank had been a personal dislike of Uncle V. Now that he's gone, is she seeing Citigroup in a new light? Not so much, no. In the wake of CEO Vikram Pandit‘s surprise departure this morning, Whitney, founder and CEO of Meredith Whtney Advisory Group LLC, issued a note cautioning clients to be wary of Citigroup even under new leadership. “Citigroup is ‘the incredible shrinking bank,’ and the least interest of the big four, in our opinion,” Whitney said. “No CEO will be able to change these facts in the near-term. It appears the board feels the same way, as they have appointed an unknown to the outside to the new CEO position, Mike Corbat.” [...] On Tuesday, the stock has wavered between gains and losses on heavy trading volume in reaction to Pandit’s resignation. Shares are up 29% this year through Monday’s close. Despite signs of incremental improvement, Whitney isn’t backing down from her bearish stance. “Any seat in Citigroup’s court should come with a warning label,” Whitney says. Meredith Whitney: No CEO Can Fix Citigroup [WSJ] Earlier: Meredith Whitney Cannot Stress Enough How Little She Thinks Of Citigroup

Meredith Whitney Cannot Stress Enough How Little She Thinks Of Citigroup

Meredith Whitney is a banking analyst made famous by Citigroup downgrading Citigroup in late October 2007, saying that the bank was facing a $30 billion capital shortfall and later telling the press "Citigroup is in such a mess Stephen Hawking couldn’t turn this company around.” In the years since she's had less than flattering things to say about the firm and as recently as March 14, 2012, told CNBC that Citi "has no earnings power, isn't going to grow, hasn’t been investable in four years" and "is like an old broken-down Victorian house." (In the same interview, she told Maria Bartiromo that the only way she'd change her mind about the big C would be if she received "a new brain.") So it probably surprised a few people when, earlier this month, she upgraded the bank. But please, do not get the mistaken impression that she's suddenly in love with the place or has developed any feelings for it whatsoeverWhile her latest move was seen as an endorsement of Citi, Whitney said not to read too much into the call. "It certainly doesn't mean I'm running into the loving arms of Citigroup or I've become bullish on Citigroup. What it means is I don't see any near-term negative catalyst for the company," she said. "In the collective it's not that interesting of a stock." Ya hear that, Citi? Not if you were the last two people on earth! Whitney 'Wildly Bullish' on Certain US Markets, But... [CNBC]

Jamie Dimon To Be Asked Why He Was Running JPMorgan Like SeaWorld, Hopefully

If we're being totally honest, while it had its moments, last week's Jamie Dimon Congressional hearing to discuss Whale Boy was a bit of a letdown, theatrically-speaking. This was probably due in large part to the fact that it was conducted by the Senate Banking Committee, and the Senate typically comes off intelligent and reasonable compared to the House,* and proceeded accordingly. As we surely don't have to tell you, this is not the kind of hearing we are interested in. We are interested in hearings that involve Congressmen and women screaming "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU HAVEN'T BEEN PROSECUTED YET!!!" at financial services employees and accusing them of dressing up as Girl Scouts in order to deceive the public. We are interested in hearings that involve the use of the term "smart-alecks." We are interested in hearings that involve subjects being told to be more like Magic Johnson. We are interested in hearings that involve subjects who've never worked for Goldman Sachs being grilled until they break about working at Goldman Sachs. We are interested in hearings that involve bath salts, or the suggestion that the people conducting it have taken a bunch of them and at any moment might leap across the dais to eat the witness's face off. Fortunately, we might get the chance for all that and more tomorrow, when Dimon makes another trip down to D.C. to appear before the House Financial Services Committee to talk whales. In House Testimony, Dimon Sticks To Script [Dealbook] *Make no mistake, most of them fell short of becoming Rhodes Scholar Quarterfinalists, but we're speaking in relative terms here.

Bloomberg: Not One Bank CEO Can Fill Jamie Dimon's Shoes, Especially Not That Guy From Australia Who Doesn't Own An Iron

Earlier today, Bloomberg ran a lengthy piece about the latest crisis on Wall Street: a lack of Jamie Dimon. Specifically, a lack of Jamie Dimon telling meddlesome regulators, anti-industry populists, know-nothing Congressmen, and hypocrite bastard newspapers where they can go and what they can suck. True, it's not as though he's gone anywhere, and he's still reminding people "it's a free fucking country" but "juggling multiple investigations and a $5.8 billion trading loss on wrong-way bets on credit derivatives" has left his hands a little tied and, some believe, cost him his once untouchable "stature" in the industry. And while one should never simply offer problems without solutions, Bloomberg isn't gonna sugarcoat this one: when it comes to "any kind of credible statesmen" to step in for JD, Wall Street is shit out of luck and not just because no one besides Lloyd came close in sales of their respective Bankers At Work And Play pin-up calendars. Among current CEO's, Lloyd Blankfein, Brian Moynihan and Vikram Pandit are deemed too busy "fixing their own firms or repairing their reputations," while Wells Fargo chief John Stumpf, though respected among his peers, is ruled out due to geography (“Part of Jamie’s fitting into that role was his natural brashness as a Wall Streeter and New Yorker, and that is not John"). But hey, what about that James Gorman guy? Runs Morgan Stanley, is based in New York, has been known to put a foot up an ass when necessary? Don't even get Bloomberg started. James Gorman, 54...doesn’t fit the Wall Street titan stereotype. The Australian prefers a rumpled tuxedo he bought as a business school student in 1980 to Armani for black- tie events, and he stocks Vegemite in the executive kitchen. Or maybe perhaps all that makes him perfect for the gig? The way we see it, Jim Gorman doesn't have the time or patience for fancy extras like unwrinkled suits and burgers made from foie gras-fed cows. All he cares about is not taking shit, or prisoners. Someone asks him, "What is this Vegemite stuff," he knocks their two front teeth out. You suggest maybe he could have ironed his shirt before that gala, he takes out that iron and smashes you in the face with it. You want a worthy successor for the job, you've got him. Wall Street Leaderless In Rules Fight As Dimon Diminished [Bloomberg]

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