The FBI has opened a probe into trading losses at JPMorgan Chase & Co, stepping up the pressure on the bank after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve said they were also looking into the wrong-way bets that led to the losses.
Yet at the same time, shareholders backed embattled Chief Executive Jamie Dimon at the bank's annual shareholders meeting in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday, voting against a proposal to split the CEO and chairman roles.
Though shareholders mostly gave Dimon a pass, pressure mounted on the bank to reclaim some of the millions of dollars it paid to the executives who oversaw the trades. Dimon said JPMorgan would pursue more disciplinary action against those who were responsible.
"We will do the right thing. That may well include clawbacks," he told reporters after the annual meeting.
The timing on any such move was not clear, though, and the various regulatory probes could add complications. A source familiar with the FBI investigation, opened by the agency's New York office, described it as being at a preliminary stage.
Granted, this is very much an election year ploy, and Dimon remains on the NY Fed board (and personally I don't think Dimon is very long for that particular position.) Still, no matter what the Obama administration's motives here are, the results are what matters and it comes as a warning to the rest of the banks in Big Casino land that there's actually a price when you come up snake eyes and expect the taxpayers to foot the bill.
Dimon too will be under tremendous pressure to give up any bonus cash along with executives in order to pay back losses. The stockholders will most likely insist, especially the big hedge fund guys and big pension fund holders.
The Dimon Dog's days may be numbered. We'll see.