The 10 Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Summer
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- So long summer! It's been such a tremendous season of unadulterated dumbness that we here at the 5 Dumbest Lab really, really hate to see you go.
Labor Day is upon us and that means our friends on Wall Street will soon be trading their casual polo shirts for pinstripes and power ties. Yes, it's time for America's captains of industry to get back to business. Monkey and otherwise.
But before officially saying goodbye to what has been a three-month bull market for both stupidity and stocks, we wanted to reminisce just one more time about some of the highlights -- or lowlights -- of summer 2012. So please enjoy the 10 Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Summer . See you in the fall.
10. Dimon's Self-Inflicted Disaster -- (Originally published June 15, 2012 )
What a difference a year and a $2 billion (and counting) loss makes. Right, Jamie Dimon?
JPMorgan Chase's (JPM) CEO found himself before a Senate panel this Wednesday with the uncomfortable task of explaining why and how his London-based Chief Investment Office lost billions when it was supposed to be hedging run-of-the-mill risk for the bank's excess deposits.
Of course, the reason why this appearance was less pleasurable for Jamie than his previous jaunts to Washington -- the ones where he played Congress' prize pupil sitting in a pew full of naughty, bailed-out bank CEOs -- was because in this case Dimon set the witness table for himself.
In other words, Jamie's own hubris came back to bite the government's former golden boy in the ass. And sadly, that's the real dumb part of this whole affair, not so much the loss, which, although sizable by Main Street standards, is barely a blip for a company with $1.1 trillion in deposits, $700 billion in loans and $18 billion in profits last year.
It was a year ago this week, if you recall, when the follicly-blessed bank chieftain traveled to Atlanta, the home of baseball's Braves mind you, for the sole purpose of waving a hatchet at the already-scalped Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. Why Dimon literally and figuratively went off the reservation to heckle the fairly even-minded Bernanke is beyond us. But there he was in the crowd during the Q&A session, braying about the government's stepped-up efforts to clamp down on the banking industry.
"I have this great fear that someone's going to write a book in 10 or 20 years, and the book is going to talk about all the things that we did in the middle of a crisis that actually slowed down recovery," said Dimon, who then asked Bernanke, "Is this holding us back at this point?"
Ouch. Wish you could that one back, don't you Jamie? Just like you wish you could time travel and strike April's "tempest in a teapot" line about this particular loss from the record as well. Sadly, not even your so-called "fortress balance sheet" is enough to buy you that luxury.