JPMorgan's Dimon as Treasury Secretary?

Jamie Dimon suggested to succeed Timothy Geithner, who's getting heat for role in Obama administration's regulatory overhaul.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 23, 2009 12:15PM

TheStreet.comImage: Jamie Dimon. Credit: © Charles Dharapak/AP  By Lauren Tara LaCapra, TheStreet.com

 

As Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has returned to the crosshairs of criticism, Washington has reportedly set its eyes on a popular Wall Street executive to replace him: JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon.

 

Geithner's tenure has been rocky with lawmakers and the public, and he has appeared to have fallen out of favor again. Geithner has come under criticism for the Obama administration's regulatory overhaul, which he had a key role in developing, as well as the bailout of American International Group and trading partners, like Goldman Sachs, during his time as president of the New York Federal Reserve in the previous administration.

 

Last week, he got into a heated exchange with members of the Joint Economic Committee over the handling of the economic crisis, with Republican Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas asking whether he'd resign and saying "the public has lost all confidence in your ability to do your job."

 

It's unclear whether that will happen, but JPMorgan's Dimon may be at the frontline of possible successors, according to the New York Post. Dimon has had what appears to be a friendly relationship with regulators. He has also been quite vocal in his views about regulatory proposals, even if they don't necessarily benefit the industry or JPMorgan.

For instance, while he has been critical of plans for a consumer protection agency, he recently wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post outlining his opposition to the notion of "too big to fail," despite the fact that his bank is considered just that.

 

Dimon is also popular on Wall Street and the banking industry because of his strong leadership of the bank through the crisis. JPMorgan's government-assisted takeovers of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, as well as its hasty repayment of bailout funds, may have bolstered his case for a role in the capitol once he retires from the bank.

 

The Post says "a number of policy makers" have begun mentioning him as a Geithner successor, although it cites anonymous sources and his name has been tossed about speculatively -- and at times jealously -- by those in the industry for some time. It's unclear whether the article originated with sources close to Dimon, who may well want the job, or with decision-makers in Washington.

 

Related Articles

 

JPMorgan's Dimon in the rough

 

Geithner sounds off on reform

 

JPMorgan plots to revive credit card business

 

No more 'too big to fail'?

 

 

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