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Entries in Testimony (3)

Wednesday
Jun132012

Jamie Dimon's Senate Testimony Puts Career on Line

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- When Jamie Dimon, head of JPMorgan Chase, appears Wednesday before the Senate Banking Committee to field questions about his bank's $2 billion-and-climbing trading loss, people who know him well say they have little doubt how he will respond.

He will display, they predict, the same traits -- attractive and not-so -- that have taken him, at age 56, to the pinnacle of the banking industry.

His lightning career has taken him from American Express to Citigroup (which he formed with his then-mentor, Sandy Weil, in 1998), to Banc One, where he became CEO in 2000.  In 2004, when Banc One was purchased by JPMorgan, he became president of the combined company, then later CEO.  On is watch, JPMorgan has grown to be the biggest U.S. bank in terms of market capitalization and assets under management.

In his prepared remarks, made available before the hearing, Dimon defended JPMorgan's performance, even while admitting that the bank felt "terrible" for having lost some of its shareholders' money.

As for what Dimon may say in response to questions, one woman who advised him early in his career predicts, "He will speak from the heart."  He'll be candid, she says, forthright.  He won't mince words. "He's not coachable, not in the sense that he will listen to experts and then do what they tell him to do.  He's his own man.  I know that from my direct experience with him."

Like other former Dimon colleagues interviewed for this story, she requested to be nameless.

Patricia Crisafulli, one of Dimon's biographers, says, "He's known as a straight talker -- not just forthright but honest."  Her book, The House of Dimon: How JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon Rose to the Top of the Financial World depicts him as nothing if not direct.  With Dimon, Crisafulli writes, what you see is what you get.

That sometimes can include cocksureness, petulance and temper.

"I think very highly of him," says a Dimon colleague from the 1990s.  "There's no bulls**t about him.  People respect that.  But he's blunt to a fault -- rough around the edges.  Sometimes, he's too smart for his own good, finishing sentences for you, even when what he said wasn't what you had in mind.  He jumps to conclusions."

He jumped to a false one on April 13, when in a conference call with JPMorgan analysts, he peremptorily dismissed worries over trades made by JPMorgan's London office as "a tempest in a teapot."  That tempest, the Wall Street Journal reports, now stands to lash the bank with losses of $5 billion maybe more.

Dimon insists that the full magnitude of the London trading risk was not known to him and that he remained ignorant of key details until it was too late to prevent the loss.  

That surprises his 90s colleague, who thinks of Dimon as the ultimate detail guy: "What surprises me most in this whole debacle is that he really was a detail guy.  Nothing slipped by him.  My guess is he may have delegated too much and not have known.  If he had, I don't see how it could have reached this level of loss."

Says his former advisor, "He has a maniacal desire to have his hands on all the details. My guess is, he's truly beating himself up for what went wrong."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec132011

Former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine to Testify Again

Chris Maddaloni/CQ-Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine is scheduled to testify before Congress again on Tuesday, this time before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, but the whereabouts of about $1.2 billion in client money is still unknown.

The bankruptcy of the commodities trading firm on Oct. 31 was the eighth largest in U.S. history.

Corzine, New Jersey's former Democratic senator, testified before the House Agriculture Committee last Thursday, saying he was at a loss as to what happened to the missing money.

"I simply do not know where the money is, or why the accounts have not been reconciled to date," Corzine testified.  "My understanding is that our books and records were reflecting the chaos that occurred in the last two or three days as the firm was under severe pressure and had lost the confidence of the marketplace."

The New York Times, however, reported that the former New Jersey governor and Goldman Sachs CEO "played a much larger, hands-on role in the firm's high-stakes risk-taking than has previously been known" and that Corzine, who became chief executive of MF Global in March 2010 and resigned on Nov. 4, was "convinced that he could quickly turn the money-losing firm into a miniature Goldman Sachs."

According to the Times, Corzine "compulsively traded for the firm on his BlackBerry during meetings, sometimes dashing out to check on the markets."  In a move considered out of the ordinary for a chief executive, Corzine "became a core member of the group that traded using the firm's money.  His profits and losses appeared on a separate line in documents with his initials: JSC."

Steven Goldberg, an attorney for Corzine, declined to comment.

Included in the witness list for Tuesday's hearing are representatives from the farming industry and commodities trading sector.

In addition to Corzine, two MF Global executives, Henri Steenkamp, chief financial officer, and Bradley Abelow, president and chief operating officer, will also testify on Tuesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec082011

Jon Corzine to Testify on MF Global: 'I Don't Know Where the Money Is'

Stephen Yang/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine plans to tell Congressmen on Thursday he, "simply [does] not know where the money is" when he testifies before a House Committee investigating the bankruptcy of the financial firm he ran.

As much as a billion dollars in client funds are unaccounted for following the collapse of MF Global, and in prepared remarks, Corzine says he was "stunned" to learn it went missing.

He says he accepts responsibility for the trades that lead to the firm's demise and "sincerely apologize[s], both personally and on behalf of the company, to our customers, our employees and our investors, who are bearing the brunt of the impact of the firm’s bankruptcy."

Corzine had been expected to plead the Fifth Amendment, but in his remarks, he says he'll answer questions to the best of his ability.

However, the former chairman and CEO of MF Global cautions that "since my departure from MF Global on November 3, 2011, I have had limited access to many relevant documents, including internal communications and account statements, and even my own notes, all of which are essential to my being able to testify accurately about the chaotic, sleepless nights preceding the declaration of bankruptcy."

"While I intend to be responsive to the best of my ability today, without adequate time and materials to prepare, I may be unable to respond to various questions members might pose," he will go on to say.

[CLICK HERE TO READ CORZINE'S PREPARED STATEMENT]

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio