This interview of Jamie Dimon, head of JPMorganChase, on tonight’s Charlie Rose Show is well worth listening to. It took place last week at the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival. I always like listening in on these events as I spent almost every summer in Aspen growing up including a stint at the Institute as a teenaged participant in a seminar there led by Bill and Judith Moyers.
Dimon comes across as straightforward and honest and, of course, hard nosed about the rumored short pressure on Bear Stearns on Wall Street. He describes the massive effort it took to get the takeover of the flailing Bear in some detail. As he said, buying a house and buying a house on fire are two very different exercises.
He does struggle with the question of regulation. Clearly there is something very wrong at the heart of the global financial system. Dimon seems to argue that it is just another downturn that is typical in the volatile system of finance capital.
If true, then a light touch would be called for. But arguably there is something deeper at work – a disconnect between the pace of globalization and technological change, on the one hand, and the managerial control of those processes by the institutions of finance capital.
If I am right, and Dimon is wrong, then the house is still on fire.