Our country has gone through and is currently experiencing difficult times. This is a period in our history when the public sector needs to do all it can to instill confidence in the private sector to encourage investment and ultimately job creation. Instead, some in government are promoting class warfare, onerous regulations and usurping free markets by trying to pick winners and losers like Solyndra or nationalizing a large portion of the student lending market.
To my dismay in reading American Banker, too many consultants, ex-bankers and contributors have joined the chorus of second guessing Jamie Dimon's leadership at the helm of JPMorgan Chase. In my view, given the state of the economy, this is at a time when we need to build up American industry, not tear it down. I also find much of the commentary from so-called experts hypocritical, given many of the issues that their own institutions or those that they have advised over the years had to deal with.
With regard to trading losses, all would be well advised to confine criticisms and recommendations to mitigating JPMorgan Chase's systemic risk. What remain are decisions that affect stakeholders or those with "skin in the game" such as management, employees, customers and shareholders. The owners of the bank have already spoken in favor of their Chief Executive, and rightly so.
Since he took over the reins of JPMorgan Chase on Dec. 31, 2005, Jamie Dimon has nearly doubled revenue, more than doubled net income, added $76 billion or more in shareholder equity, and created over 91,000 new jobs in the process. Let's remember that union pension funds, retirement plans and tens of thousands of individuals are invested in JPMorgan Chase. His results clearly indicate the reasons.
While a $2 billion-plus trading loss is significant, it has to be put in context. I fear others rushed to condemn his actions while their own business acumen could not stand up to the same scrutiny nor yield the same performance results.
William F. Keenan is the chairman and CEO of De Novo Corp., a consulting and marketing firm in Wilmington, Del.