JPMorgan Chase CEO: Bank Took TARP, ‘Because We Were Asked to’ by Treasury Secretary
By: Pete Winn – CNS News – June 18, 2012
(CNSNews.com) – Jamie Dimon, the president and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, told the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee last week that his bank took Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds back in 2008 only “because we were asked to” by the Treasury Secretary.
Dimon got into a verbal tussle with a liberal Democratic member of the committee, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), about how JPMorgan Chase came to take federal TARP money, during testimony at a committee hearing last Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
Merkley suggested that JPMorgan Chase, one of the world’s biggest banks, had benefitted from “half-a-trillion dollars in low-cost federal loans” — including “$25 billion in TARP funds” and “untold billions indirectly through the bailout of AIG that helped address your massive exposure in repurchase agreements and derivatives.”
But Dimon was quick to fire back, labeling Merkley’s assertions as “factually wrong.”
“I think you were misinformed,” Dimon said. “And I think that misinformation is leading to a lot of the problems we’re having today.
“JP Morgan took TARP because we were asked to by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States of America. Put the FDIC in the room; the head of the New York Fed, Tim Geithner; chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke.
He added: “We did not, at that point, need TARP. We were asked to, because we were told, I think correctly so, that if the nine banks there, and some may have needed it, take this TARP, we can get it into all these other banks and stop the system from going down.”