Ease on Down the Road: Chairman Ben Bernanke defended the Fed's asset purchases and signaled they will continue until the job market firms up. He addressed concerns that by driving down interest rates for a long period of time, the Fed's easing encourages inappropriate risk-taking: While the central bank is cognizant of that danger, he said, low rates "also serve in some ways to reduce risk in the system, most importantly by encouraging firms to rely more on longer-term funding, and by reducing debt service costs for households and businesses." Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post

JPMorgan: At its annual investor day, the bank disclosed plans to cut 17,000 jobs by the end of next year. CEO Jamie Dimon also disputed the notion that JPMorgan enjoys a lower cost of funds due to the perception that it is too big to be allowed to fail. "We pay market prices when we borrow money," he declared, according to the FT. And if you followed American Banker National Editor Maria Aspan on Twitter yesterday, you already know what Dimon had to say about the activist shareholders calling to split the chairman and CEO roles (they're "the union investors," not "real money"), analyst Mike Mayo ("I'm richer than you") and JPM's own chief risk officer (unprintable in a family publication). Wall Street Journal, Financial Times

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