Dimon Bucking for Treasury Secretary

If JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon isn't trying to replace Timothy Geithner, he sure could have fooled me. In an ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/905aeb88-dc50-11e0-8654-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=rss#axzz1XiP8ODJj">interview with the Financial Times he objected strongly to the new Basel III requirements and advocated an American pull-out from Basel if American banks weren't granted an exemption.

"I'm very close to thinking the United States shouldn't be in Basel any more. I would not have agreed to rules that are blatantly anti-American," he said. "Our regulators should go there and say: 'If it's not in the interests of the United States, we're not doing it'."

That foray into international relations sounds decidedly political to me. His biggest beef is with the new net capital requirements, which in JP Morgan Chase's case would require 9.5% Tier 1 capital. Even though the US agreed to the increases, Dimon now believes it will erode US market share and provide an unfair advantage to Asian banks, most of whom only need 7% in Tier 1. (The disparity is a result of the size of JP Morgan Chase and 7 other global banking giants.)

"I think any American president, secretary of Treasury, regulator or other leader would want strong, healthy global financial firms and not think that somehow we should give up that position in the world and that would be good for your country," said Mr Dimon. "If they think that's good for the country then we have a different view on how the economy operates, how the world operates."

Sure sounds like he's interested in getting involved on a policy level. I wonder if Geithner's hearing footsteps...

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