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Stop 'vilifying' executives, JPMorgan's CEO pleads

March 11, 2009 |  6:25 pm

JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon today pleaded with Congress and the White House to stop "vilifying" corporate America, and to get on with the financial-system rescue.

"When I hear the constant vilification of corporate America, I personally don’t understand it," Bloomberg News quotes him as saying in a speech at a conference hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "I would ask a lot of our folks in government to stop doing it because I think it’s hurting our country."

Dimonmarch11 He must be living in an alternate reality if he really doesn’t understand why politicians are getting mileage out of banker-bashing, with the public livid over the industry bailout.

As for the next phase of the financial-system rescue, Dimon said: "If we act like a dysfunctional family and we don’t finish these things and we’re forever debating them, I think this will go on for several years" -- an apparent reference to the credit crisis. "It’s completely up to us at this point."

Dimon also defended the bank’s decision earlier this year to stop making home loans through independent mortgage brokers.

"My biggest mistake, probably of my whole career, was not closing down our mortgage broker business sooner," he said, citing loss rates two to three times higher on brokers’ loans compared with those originated by bank employees.

-- Tom Petruno

Photo: JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Credit: Brendan Hoffman / Bloomberg News