Jamie Dimon defends bankers at Davos


Wall Street executives flocked back to Davos this year with some extra pep in their strut. The financial crisis has abated and the top firms have cut their ties with TARP. Many are making big bucks again. They are back to living large with clients here and generally appear a lot more unapologetic than in pervious years.

JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon captured this new mindset when he said in a panel discussion that he was tired of bank bashing, clashing with none other than Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France. Dimon asked Sarkozy "not to let bank regulation be driven by anger toward bankers, and he warned that bad policy-making would impede growth," according to the New York Times.

"Mr. Sarkozy, in turn, reminded Mr. Dimon of the severe pain inflicted by the financial crisis. 'Let's not forget what happened,' he said. 'The world has paid for it with tens of millions of unemployed who had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with it and yet paid for everything. It created a lot of anger.' Referring to the sky-high leverage used by banks before the crisis, Mr. Sarkozy said, 'We have to ask ourselves, are we in a market economy or a madhouse?' "

There's always a risk of coming across a bit too defensive, but Dimon's feeling are no doubt shared by other bankers. They're certainly willing to let Dimon carry the rhetorical load as only he can.

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