Much hype has been made of JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s trip to the Senate Banking Committee to have a tête-à-tête with Senators over JPM’s $2 billion in hedging losses. The testimony is significant because JPM’s hedges were executed with the very same instrument that tanked the economy in 2008—the credit-default swap (insurance bought to back known risky trades).
Dimon is widely known as a skilled D.C. operator but, as Open Secrets records prove, it isn’t as well known that Dimon has some friends on the Senate Banking Committee.
“In the 2012 election cycle [Dimon] has given $6,800 to Democratic candidates and $4,500 to Republicans,” write Open Secrets. “Among the recipients are committee members Bob Corker (R-TN) and Mark Warner (D-VA). Dimon has also contributed to the top Republican and the top Democrat on the committee, though not for several years: both Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) received $2,000 from Dimon in 2008.”
Contributing to Republicans and Democrats alike—now that is a hedge. Good for Dimon, that stand-up chap. It should serve him rather well at the testimony. Publicly there will be some handwringing, but privately Corker, Reed, Warner, Shelby, Crapo and Johnson will probably give Dimon a nice, reassuring handjob.