If we’ve learned anything from JPMorgan Chase’s $2 billion trading loss, it’s that the bank’s CEO Jamie Dimon is a charmer.
But what we didn’t expect to find out from JPMorgan’s disaster is that Lloyd Blankfein kind of sucks -- at least according to Meredith Whitney.
Whitney came to fame after correctly predicting that Citigroup would cut its dividend in a 2007 report, according to The New York Times. She's since made some less reliable predictions, including her 2010 estimate that municipalities would soon experience “50 to 100 sizable defaults.”
Whitney, now CEO of the Meredith Whitney Advisory Group, told Bloomberg TV Tuesday that Dimon’s smooth testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee last week proves that he is the exact opposite of Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein.
Of Dimon, Whitney said: “He is, like nobody else, the antithesis of Blankfein. He charms. He’s incredible. He gave the senators a massage and they gave him a massage back.”
Though Dimon went to Capitol Hill last week ostensibly to explain how his bank lost billions of dollars on a risky trade, he ended up being part of a now-notoriously soft questioning session in which he dished advice on how to ease financial regulations. Blankfein's reputation has been less squeaky clean; perhaps that comes with the territory of heading a firm known to some as the Vampire Squid.
While Whitney noted Dimon’s charm in his testimony last week, she said she was “very surprised” that it went as well as it did.
“It's a very difficult trade to explain,” Whitney told Bloomberg. “It’s hard to argue that some of these transactions aren’t proprietary trades.”