Calling JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon an outspoken critic of efforts to reform Wall Street would be an understatement. Dimon has slammed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and the new regulations it contains, saying they would be “the nail in our coffin for big American banks,” and he led a group of Wall Street executives to Washington this week to personally lobby the Federal Reserve to weaken the Volcker Rule, a ban on risky proprietary trading at banks like his.
And yet, while accepting an “Executive of the Year” award at the University of Rochester yesterday, Dimon acknowledged that Occupy Wall Street, a movement that has called for new regulations and reforms and has protested outside his office, had some “legitimate complaints,” MarketWatch reports:
Asked about the Occupy Wall Street movement against financial greed and economic inequality, Dimon acknowledged that the protesters have some “legitimate complaints.”
Dimon either didn’t elaborate about which complaints were legitimate or MarketWatch didn’t report them. It’s safe to say, though, that he wouldn’t go as far as former Merrill Lynch banker Roger Vasey, who called the Volcker Rule “necessary to correct a mistake that poses a danger to our economy” or former Goldman Sachs trader Greg Smith, who decried the “toxic and destructive” culture that existed at firms like his. In fact, after acknowledging the legitimacy of some Occupy claims, Dimon seemed to rub in the fact that the biggest banks are only getting bigger. “Investment banking is going to have a bright future,” he said. “It will always be a highly paid industry.”