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IIF 2019: Dimon and Gorman on regulation and why it sucks to be public

The CEOs of JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley worry about the consequences of capital and liquidity regulation – and are not surprised that companies prefer to stay private.


The Friday lunchtime US bank chief executive chat is the star turn at the Washington DC meetings of the Institute of International Finance (IIF). This year the October 18 event was pared down to its essentials: the double act of JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon and Morgan Stanley's James Gorman.

It started promisingly. Gorman sounded mildly startled by the opening music.

"Is that the Magnificent Seven?” he asked. “We're a few short here!"

That was a taste of things to come. Perhaps conscious that Dimon usually steals the show when it comes to the one-liners, Gorman upped his comedy game this year. Having deftly navigated his way through a school tour party to get to the security scanner at the Ronald Reagan Building on DC's Pennsylvania Avenue, he repaired to one of the media lunch tables to scribble some notes.

If he was penning jokes, it was time well spent.

Since it was earnings week, and both JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley had reported decent numbers, IIF chief executive Tim Adams wanted to know their secret sauce.

It hardly seems possible that Dimon could appear to care less about what he says than on any previous occasion, but yet he managed it.

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