Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, was never "in love" with President Obama, he told Fortune's Duff McDonald in an interview released Tuesday. The banker touched on, among other topics, financial regulation, Elizabeth Warren and the ways the real estate slump has personally affected him.
Responding to the perception that Dimon and the president were one-time pals who've since had a falling out ("Did Obama just dump his best friend on Wall Street?" The New Republic asked this summer), the banker was evasive. "We were neither in love nor have we fallen out. I still talk to the folks in the administration," he said. "He may have close relations, but I am not one of them."
At least one blogger is skeptical. "That's right, rewrite the past because the truth hurts too much," Dealbreaker's Bess Levin opines.
Dimon spent much of the interview quelling or clarifying rumors. When McDonald asked about Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard professor who has been charged with setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Dimon was diplomatic. Although Warren has called the banker's theories "wrong" on the pages of the Wall Street Journal, Dimon said he wished her all the best. "The things she has said about me? I don't take them personally," he said.
As the financial world collapsed around him, Dimon and his company have done relatively well. JPMorgan was among the first of the large banks to repay their portion of the TARP bailout. Even as scandal now mounts over alleged foreclosure fraud, the bank said its profit rose 23 percent in the third quarter of this year.
Dimon's had one bit of rough luck of late, though. His Chicago mansion is set to sell for about half of its original asking price.
"If that makes people happy, that's sad," Dimon said. "But I am sympathetic if anyone who lost money in real estate feels a little better that I did as well. Misery wants company."