Bloomberg reports that Dimon, 56, one of the industry’s most forceful advocates, has lost stature as his bank, the largest in the U.S. by assets, juggles multiple investigations and a $5.8 billion trading loss on wrong-way bets on credit derivatives. His peers at other big lenders are hobbled by poor performance, tarnished reputations or a reluctance to step into the breach.
Bankers across the Atlantic, including former Barclays Plc (BCS) CEO Robert Diamond and Peter Sands of Standard Chartered Plc (STAN), have been muted by allegations that their firms rigged interest rates or were involved in money laundering.
'What you’re seeing in the financial-services industry is a lack of any kind of credible statesmen', said Rakesh Khurana, a management professor at Harvard Business School in Boston. Dimon’s diminished ability to defend the industry publicly 'basically leaves a vacuum', he said.
That means the industry is without an advocate to resist the most vigorous onslaught of regulations since Congress separated investment and commercial banking with the Glass-Steagall Act in 1933. It coincides with the lowest level of consumer confidence in U.S. banks since Gallup Inc. began polling on the question in 1979. The percentage of Americans saying they had a 'great deal' or 'quite a lot' of confidence dropped to 21% in June from 41 percent in 2007 and more than 60% in 1980.
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image: © Antonio Morales GarcÃa