In an article in Saturday’s WSJ, Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM), throws his support behind the idea for the creation of a single bank regulator, which according to Morgan’s chief, is long overdue. Mr. Dimon also says in his piece he believes that company leadership rewards have to track real, sustained, risk-adjusted performance, and emphasizes that the days of golden parachutes, special contracts, and unreasonable perks must come to an end.
Here area few excerpts from Dimon’s article:
From the WSJ: The restoration of our financial system to health does not give anyone the permission to return to “business as usual.”[N]o discussion of the future of the financial system can be complete without an acknowledgment of the industry’s responsibility to re-earn the trust of the American people. How do we earn trust back? First, company leadership must foster a culture within their institutions that focuses on integrity, strong execution, quality products, long-term value creation, and doing the right thing. Rewards have to track real, sustained, risk-adjusted performance. Golden parachutes, special contracts, and unreasonable perks must disappear. There must be a relentless focus on risk management that starts at the top of the organization and permeates down to the entire firm. This should be business-as-usual, but at too many places, it wasn’t.
The Obama administration has laid out a plan for regulatory reform that offers a strong platform for moving forward. I especially support the creation of a single bank regulator, which is long overdue. It never made sense that a credit-card product offered by Chase was overseen by one regulator according to one set of standards, while a virtually identical product offered by a competitor would be overseen by a completely different regulator according to different standards.
[D]ifferent regulators all looking at (and fighting over) the same issue is not a wise use of taxpayer money. Companies can’t operate that way. Neither should the government.
[Dimon notes however that] before creating an entirely new federal bureaucracy, policy makers should first examine ways to strengthen and refocus the authority of existing regulators….
Above all, no matter what the regulatory framework is, it means recognizing that our accountability is not only to our shareholders, customers and employees, but also to the broader public. The gulf that grew between Wall Street and Main Street has hurt everyone. Americans must see that the work we are doing is not just about earning a profit, but also about creating value that helps consumers, small businesses, government agencies, nonprofits and the whole economy. At their best, that is what financial institutions are all about.
Transparency, regulation, examinations…all noble ideas, but are worth zip as long as an incompetent Congress will pass any legislation to benefit their political contributors.