With $2 billion lost in a risky investment, J.P. Morgan will have to explain its actions in Washington. While under the eye of scrutiny, J.P. Morgan need not dwell upon its mistakes, but refocus the conversation on what can make J.P. Morgan a thought leader. Since Congress bailed out Wall Street, J.P. Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon has been a leading voice in the resistance against new government regulations put forth in the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act. However, his company’s recent actions have thrust him into the spotlight of why such regulations passed. Dimon can now take steps to repair the reputation of J.P. Morgan and reaffirm it as a banking leader.
Dimon has moved quickly to manage the crisis within the company after calling the trading loss of $2 billion “a blackmark” and reassured stakeholders of J.P. Morgan’s commitment to good business practices. A top-level executive involved left the company. Nonetheless, the more the media glimpses the gaps in judgment made in the $2 billion mistake, the more J.P. Morgan’s stock will depreciate in value and its leadership will remain questioned. As the leading voice of the company, Dimon can direct the company and the banking industry on a new course – collaborate with Wall Street reform as a thought leader instead of resisting it.
Dimon can announce a campaign led by J.P. Morgan in partnership with government leaders and private sector groups that will ensure that greater accountability and transparency with investor money is a priority. This campaign can connect to improving financial literacy at all levels of education from children to adults. J.P. Morgan can present forums with leading personal finance moguls such as Suzi Orman and Clark Howard. J.P. Morgan can manage its reputation with investors and the public by taking these steps in becoming a solution to a lingering problem of risky, shortsighted trades on Wall Street.
J.P. Morgan has a unique opportunity to be a thought leader in Wall Street reform. The question is whether its CEO Jamie Dimon will recognize hearings in Washington as the best chance to do it.