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JPMorgan’s CEO to face shareholders

JPMorgan’s CEO to face shareholders
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — JP-Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was set to face shareholders today at the bank’s annual meeting, five days after disclosing a $2 billion trading loss that has rattled investor confidence in the company.
Shareholders were to vote on whether to separate the bank’s chairman and CEO positions, both held by Dimon. They were also set to hold a non-binding vote on Dimon’s $23 million pay package from last year.
Analysts have said Dimon is unlikely to lose those votes. Most ballots were cast before Dimon disclosed the trading loss Thursday.
Peter Skillern, executive director of Reinvestment Partners, a nonprofit that holds JPMorgan stock, said he planned to speak at the meeting to encourage Dimon to resign from the board of the Federal Reserve’s New York branch.
He said he would also support stripping Dimon of the chairman’s title.
“He can’t be his own boss and his own regulator,” Skillern said. “It’s not about whether Jamie Dimon is a good leader. It’s about checks and balances and separation of power.”
Investors have pummeled JPMorgan’s stock price since the loss was revealed. The stock has dropped 12 percent and lost almost $20 billion in market value.
There was a heavy police presence at the meeting, in an office park east of downtown Tampa.
Dimon got something of a vote of confidence from President Obama, who appeared on ABC’s “The View” for an episode to be aired today. Obama used the appearance to press for tighter regulation of Wall Street.
“JPMorgan is one of the best-managed banks there is,” the president said. “Jamie Dimon, the head of it, is one of the smartest bankers we got, and they still lost $2 billion and counting.”
Obama said the bank was “making bets” in the market for the complex financial instruments known as derivatives. Dimon has said the bank was hedging against financial risk.
A part of the 2010 financial overhaul known as the Volcker rule would restrict banks from some trading for their own profit. Dimon and critics of the financial industry have disagreed over whether the trading in question would violate that rule.
Dimon is likely to repeat his acceptance of responsibility for the bad trade. He said in a TV interview Sunday that he was “dead wrong” when he dismissed concerns about the bank’s trading last month.
“We made a terrible, egregious mistake,” Dimon told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “There’s almost no excuse for it.”
On Monday, Ina Drew, the bank’s chief investment officer and one of the highest-ranking women on Wall Street, left the bank. Drew oversaw the trading group responsible for the $2 billion loss. Published in The Messenger 5.15.12

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