Felix Salmon very properly turns one argument in Roger Lowenstein’s admiring profile of JP Morgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon on its head: Mr Dimon may be a better banker than the other Wall Street chieftains, but this does not imply that his bank ought to be more lightly regulated, but precisely the opposite.
What Lowenstein doesn’t do, at this point, is talk about how all this only serves to underscore how weak the U.S. banking system’s risk-management systems are: JP Morgan Chase survived in large part thanks only because it was lucky enough to have Dimon at its helm. If Stan O’Neal had been in charge, things would have turned out very differently indeed. As a result, it becomes not only sensible but necessary to hobble JP Morgan more than Dimon feels is warranted. You don’t set speed limits on the basis of how fast the very best drivers can safely travel.
Jamie Dimon may be a better banker, but if he were the best, he would welcome regulation.