N.Y. Fed board chair stands by Dimon

June 11, 2012 at 12:10 PM
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NEW YORK, June 11 (UPI) -- The chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's board of directors said the head of JPMorgan Chase James Dimon should remain on the Fed board.

As various parties have criticized Dimon's position on the board, Chairman Lee Bollinger said, "I do not think he should step down."

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday Bollinger was standing by Dimon despite JPMorgan having recently lost $2 billion in market bets that have raised interest of both the public and industry regulators.

Echoing recent comments by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, Bollinger said it was "foolish" to assume there was a conflict of interest with Dimon on the board, given the law requires that regional Fed bank's have three levels of directors, one of which, Class A, is comprised of bankers.

Dimon "is the poster child for why we need to end the serious conflicts of interest at the Fed," Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ind-Vt., said recently.

The Dodd-Frank financial overhaul bill removed Class A directors from participation in choosing a regional Fed president, reducing their responsibility to monitoring the economy for their districts. The Fed's 12 branches, called districts, are run from Washington, not by their local boards, the Journal said.

Dimon's presence on the board was also criticized in 2008, when JP Morgan was given a government loan to take over the failing investment bank Bear Stearns.

Bollinger said Dimon would likely resign from the board in September, when his second term. It is customary for directors to serve only two stints on the regional Fed board, he said.

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