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The Times
  • Philip Maddocks: Jamie Dimon, Senate committee to wed after whirlwind courtship

  • After a whirlwind courtship that began on Capitol Hill last week, Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, and the Senate Banking Committee are planning to wed this weekend in the Capitol rotunda.


     

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  • After a whirlwind courtship that began on Capitol Hill last week, Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, and the Senate Banking Committee are planning to wed this weekend in the Capitol rotunda.
    Senate Chaplain Barry Black will preside over the ceremony, which will include a 32-tier cake in the shape of a London whale and a ceremonial shredding of the Dodd-Frank Act to celebrate the joining together of the power couple.
    “We’re doing what a bank is supposed to do,” Mr. Dimon told reporters during a conference call.
    Sen. Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina and a member of the banking committee, said, “I think a lot of us are frustrated bank managers so we just decided to marry one.” The senator went on to praise JPMorgan and its lobbyists for putting him and his fellow committee members in better financial shape than ever.
    “If only the rest of the country should be so lucky to find such a soul mate and provider, we’d all be out of this financial mess,” added Mr. DeMint.
    Mr. Dimon is no stranger to Washington. He cuts a familiar and dashing figure in the halls of political power as he aims to influence the discussion, particularly around financial regulation.
    JPMorgan spent more than $7.41 million on lobbying in 2010, which topped the industry, according to the research firm OpenSecrets.org, and several of the bank’s lobbyists also have close ties to the Senate Banking Committee. But Mr. Dimon said that until last week, he had never considered marrying the powerful working group.
    “I have always thought the SBC to be well regarded and as a body with considerable clout,” said the outspoken JPMorgan chief executive. “I guess I never looked at it as a group that I wanted spend the rest of my life with until the members started questioning me at the hearing last week.”
    Mr. Dimon said he was so moved by the outpouring of love at that government session “that all I could think of was that if I could spend the rest of my days like this, right here, with these devoted individuals, living off the money I claw back from those bad credit derivative positions taken by my bank’s chief investment office, my life will be complete.”
    Testifying at a much-anticipated celebration soiree following Mr. Dimon’s appearance at the hearing before them last week, the Senate Banking Committee members said they were “proud” of the bank, highlighting JPMorgan’s “fortress” balance sheet, its performance during the financial crisis, and for making them feel special by sending lobbyists their way on special occasions.
    “Those are the kind of qualities that you look for in a life partner,” said Charles E. Schumer, the Democratic senator from New York, tearing up over a glass of 1978 Montrachet.
    Page 2 of 2 - The wedding announcement this week is the culmination of a courtship that began a week ago Wednesday during Mr. Dimon’s testimony in Washington.
    “It’s crazy,” said Sen. David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana. “Who would have thought that a trading debacle, which has stained the reputation of JPMorgan and Jamie, and has prompted wide-ranging inquiries from regulators and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, would have ended in our wedding? But that’s love for you.”
    Despite the controversy plaguing the bank, Mr. Dimon, once again, seemed to solidify his status as Washington’s most loved banker. Clad in a dark suit and striped tie, he quickly won the heart of the Senate’s most eligible committee.
     “I guess you could say it was love at first sight,” said Mr. DeMint. “There is a feeling you get when you know someone is going to support you no matter what. You just want to reach out and make sure they know you will always be there for them, that this is forever as long as we keep getting elected.”
    Philip Maddocks is a political satire columnist for GateHouse News Service. He can be reached at pmaddocks@wickedlocal.com.
     
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