January 15, 2015

JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, welcome to the club! Small businesses and entrepreneurs have been attacked for years!

Sir Tom Braithwaite reports that, because of proliferation of regulators and legal bills, “Dimon says banks ‘under assault’” January 15

Indeed, no question about it, Dimon is absolutely right, but, as I see it, he has to stand in line with his compliant; at least until all those perceived as “risky” have been able to voice theirs, because they have in fact been under attack for much longer.

In those old days when regulators were very chummy with banks, days of Basel II, banks were allowed to hold very little equity against assets perceived as absolutely safe. And that allowed banks to make risk-adjusted returns on equity, on “safe” exposures, we normal citizens could never even dream of. And, in doing so, the regulators de facto removed all incentives for banks to give credit to “risky” small businesses and entrepreneurs. I can almost hear Jamie Dimon asking his Board “Why should we give loans to a “risky” when doing so we can only leverage JPMorgan Chase’s equity 12 to 1, when giving loans to the AAArisktocracy we can leverage 60 times or even more?”

But, that said, the “risky” and the banks do have a mutual complaint they can raise with respect to the fines or the penalties for bank’s misdeeds. Because, were it not for these, banks could have more equity available that could be leveraged with loans to the risky.

Perhaps judges should listen to them and force all bank fines to be placed in special bank equity accounts, available exclusively to be leveraged lending to small businesses and entrepreneurs… and I am sure all unemployed would also support that motion.