By Simon Johnson
This weekend Jamie Dimon (head of JP Morgan Chase) told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that he needs “better access for bankers to politicians” and that the banking industry could do with more influence on politicians. He also mentioned the need for a forum where banks can “demonstrate their arguments to politicians and supply them with the right facts” (that wording is from Reuters’ summary).
We would welcome a debate with Mr. Dimon in any forum, preferably in public and with TV cameras present. We have previously extended a similar invitation to any bank executives – including but not limited to the 13 Bankers in the title of our book.
One of the 13 appeared in an off-the-record panel last summer with me; it’s not clear that he would agree to do the same again today. One other leading person from the financial sector – although not a current top executive – has expressed interest in a public debate; we agreed and now the ball is in his court.
Mr. Dimon regards himself as just trying to make a reasonable case regarding what is sensible public policy regarding banking. We feel the same way about 13 Bankers and the content of BaselineScenario.
If you would like to offer a venue for such a debate or to propose the format, please add that as a comment below or send me email (firstname.lastname@example.org or through this website).
And if you work with or are otherwise in contact with Mr. Dimon, please do share this post with him.