Jamie Dimon apparently isn't as slick as we all thought.
Dimon, JPMorgan Chase's CEO, "inflamed" the public's reaction to his bank's $2 billion trading loss in May, at least that's according to the CEO of the world's largest asset manager.
"Losing $2 billion is not a big thing. I think unfortunately how they portrayed it -- and I think Jamie [Dimon] has represented the bank fantastically -- but I think in this case, I think he enlarged this issue," Blackrock CEO Larry Fink said Thursday on CNBC's Squawk Box (h/t Bloomberg).
"I think it became inflamed somewhat by the reaction by JPMorgan," Fink added. "I don't think it's a big issue. I think it may be more costly than $2 billion as they unwind it, but we should not assume the regulators were not aware of these positions. We should not assume at this moment that this was an outsized position. It was a bad trade."
Dimon admitted on a conference call in May that JPMorgan had unexpectedly lost $2 billion on bad bets on credit derivatives.
JPMorgan has lost more than $30 billion as a result of the bad bets when factoring in the plunge in JPMorgan's stock price, The Huffington Post's Mark Gongloff noted in May. And the very financial reforms that Dimon has derided may have saved JPMorgan from the embarrassing loss, critics say. Dimon nevertheless urged regulators after the loss to not "throw the baby out with the bathwater."
Fink's criticisms of Dimon run counter to much of the praise he's received in the lead-up to and even after the bank's huge loss. Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair, noted in a recent article that after the financial crisis, "Dimon steered JPMorgan into the clear and then carved out a new role for himself as the self-appointed ambassador for the financial sector."
President Obama said on The View soon after JPMorgan's embarrassing loss that "JPMorgan is one of the best-managed banks there is," and "Jamie Dimon, the head of it, is one of the smartest bankers we got, and they still lost $2 billion and counting."