Good Numbers And Tough Talk From JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase reported a $2.1 billion first quarter profit today. Last year the company earned $2.9 billion in the comparable quarter. Revenues rose from $17.9 billion last year to $26.9 billion, underscoring the tremendous net income leverage that banks currently enjoy due to the steep yield curve.

The company charged off $6 billion in loans and set aside another $4.2 billion in reserves for future losses. Investment banking and mortgage lending were cited as particularly strong segments of the company during the quarter.

The bank’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, used the occasion to take a vaguely camouflaged swipe at Goldman Sachs and put the government on notice that it didn’t intend to participate in the PPIP.

Dimon said that the bank didn’t need the TARP money that it currently has and that it had no impact on the bank’s ability to lend. He said that he would wait for guidance from the Treasury on how they might return the money and suggested that no one should be allowed to return the money faster than JPMorgan. 

As for the PPIP, he said that they had no intention to participate at any level. They do not intend to sell assets to the program nor do they intend to buy assets from other banks. Mr. Dimon suggested that he didn’t intend to borrow again from the federal government having learned a lesson about that.

So, he tries to keep Goldman from getting a leg up on everyone else and he basically disses PPIP. Of the two, I think the comments about PPIP are the more impactful. He’s basically saying that JPMorgan is in great shape and doesn’t need the help. Guess what kind of a picture that paints of those who do participate. Dimon may just have driven a stake through the heart of PPIP.

Between earnings reports and stress tests we may be coming to a point at which the winners and losers in the banking fraternity begin to be defined. Dimon was playing a little hardball this morning and probably backed Treasury into more of a corner. This has a bit of a tipping point feel to it.

more: here

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