During the hearing Robert Menendez, a Democratic senator for New Jersey, said the bank had been "lobbying extensively" against regulations that would protect the bank against losses," Sherrod Brown, a Democratic senator for Ohio asked Dimon if "too-big-to-fail banks are too big to manage and too big to regulate".
Dimon told the committee: "The American business machine is the best in the world. We are blessed to have it." He warned that if the wrong financial regulation was imposed the U.S. would be "throwing the baby out with the bathwater."
The bank boss was particularly critical of the Volcker rule, legislation now being drawn up by regulators that seeks to limit the types of hedging allowed at the biggest U.S. banks. His critics have argued the rule could have prevented losses like those seen in London. "I think it is unnecessary. I wouldn't have tried to write the rule as it is currently constructed," said Dimon.
Dimon was noticeably rattled by questions from Jeff Merkley, Democratic senator for Oregon. Dimon said he believed that "big dumb banks" should be subject to "a bit of Old Testament punishment" if they fail. Merkley said JP Morgan would have faced a similar punishment after the 2008 credit crunch and Dimon would would have lost his job if the government hadn't used the Tarp bail out to save the bank.
Visibly irritated, Dimon said the bank didn't need Tarp funds and only took them because the government wanted it to. Merkley said many analysts disagreed. "They are factually wrong," said Dimon, launching into a defense before Merkley said: "Sir, this is not your hearing, I am asking you to respond to questions."
Intellpuke: You can read this article by Guardian U.S. Business correspondent Dominic Rushe, reporting from New York City, N.Y., in context here: www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jun/13/jamie-dimon-blames-top-executive