“Well written and an interesting perspective.” Clan Rossi --- “Your article is too good about Japanese business pushing nuclear power.” Consulting Group --- “Thank you for the article. It was quite useful for me to wrap up things quickly and effectively.” Taylor Johnson, Credit Union Lobby Management --- “Great information! I love your blog! You always post interesting things!” Jonathan N.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Jamie Dimon Wins Stockholder Vote: Exploiting Conflicts of Interest Undercuts Fairness

Chairman of JPMorgan since 2006 and CEO a year longer, Jamie Dimon faced down a daunting stockholder vote on May 21, 2013 on whether he should be allowed to retain both roles. Despite the bank’s $6.2 billion trading loss, deeply flawed risk-management oversight, and “credibility issues” with regulators, only about 32% of the votes cast were in favor of the nonbinding resolution that the chair and CEO jobs be separated. Interestingly, not only does the chair/CEO duality have an inherent conflict of interest because part of what a board (including its chair) does is hold management (including the CE) accountable, the means by which the pro-duality side campaigned also included conflicts of interest. I cannot help but wonder whether Jamie Dimon, his immediate subordinates, the bank’s board directors and even the stockholders who altogether voted a supermajority of shares in support of Dimon’s two roles were negligent ethically in failing to even recognize the institutional conflicts of interest involving Dimon and the board. To the extent that recognition existed, permitting the conflicts to exist and in some cases knowingly exploiting more than one at a time are even more squalid than merely being oblivious to them. To the extent that structural conflicts of interest were enabled through the campaign and in the election results, JPMorgan Chase can be likened to a house of cards. This does not bode well for the financial system and broader economy to the extent that the largest American bank holds systemic risk (i.e., “too big to fail”). I look at the campaigning first, as doing so will lead us directly to the main conflict of interest that is at issue here.

 Jamie Dimon, CEO and Chair of JPMorgan Chase.  The duality of roles can benefit him both personally and institutionally. NYT

The full essay is at "JPMorgan: An Unethical Monstrosity?" and at
Institutional Conflicts of Interest, both available in print and as an ebook at Amazon.