What Dimon lacked in information, he more than made up for in assigning blame — to himself and JPMorgan employees. “There are many errors, sloppiness and bad judgment,” he said, as JPMorgan’s stock sank in after-hours trading. “These were egregious mistakes. They were self-inflicted.” He called himself and his colleagues “stupid.”This is textbook language that elites use when they fail or get caught with their hands in the cookie jar. It’s the same thing our political leaders say after every foreign policy disaster, “mistakes were made.” It’s as if admitting to being incompetent, as opposed to deliberately corrupt, somehow makes everything okay.
The only thing left for Dimon to do is step up and, in a cheap, mock imitation of Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs, “take responsibility,” which in a modern American context means nothing. “Taking responsibility” is just an empty rhetorical ploy our leaders use to escape any real consequences for their misdeeds. It’s an advertising slogan, and if the actor who says it feigns enough contrition, he is magically exonerated from all blame. He gets another high paying job, collects exorbitant speaking fees and maybe gets a book deal. His kids have warm seats in the Senate waiting for them, their campaigns fueled by Daddy’s dirty money. This is what living under an aristocracy looks like.
We’re also hearing another stock phrase that is often used when things go awry: it was just a few bad apples. In this case, dark “rogue traders.” The system itself is fine, you see, it’s just those dastardly rogue traders who keep slithering into the machinery and mucking it all up, and they’re even more evil in this instance because they’re foreigners — the London Whale!
Coming up next: none of this would have happened if we had more de-regulation!