When President Obama signs legislation that's being called the most sweeping set of reforms to hit the financial industry since the 1930s, some very prominent bankers will not be present.
Politico's "Morning Money" reported yesterday that the Obama administration did not extend invitations to JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein for the Dodd-Frank bill signing ceremony today in Washington D.C. Industry sources told Politico that they found the decision "bizarre."
Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit will be among the 400 or so invitees, the Washington Post notes, as will Cam Fine, the head of the Independent Community Bankers of America. The paper also notes that Wells Fargo's John Stumpf and Morgan Stanley's James Gorman didn't make the invite list. (Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan was invited, but will not be able to attend.)
As for the logic behind keeping Wall Street's most powerful leaders from a ceremony celebrating rules that are meant to the rein the industry's worst excesses, one Obama aide explained it this way to the Washington Post:
"If you were part of an effort to spend millions of dollars opposing the legislation, you were not at the top of our list for an invitation," deadpanned Jen Psaki, the deputy communications director for the White House.
In remarks today, President Obama is expected to highlight the new safeguards offered by the soon-to-be-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Attending the ceremony, the WashPost adds, will be a seventh-grade teacher who saw her credit card rates double even though she didn't miss any payments.
What do you think? Did the Obama administration make the right decision in excluding big bank CEOs from the signing ceremony?