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Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase toned down since last Tampa visit

What a difference three months — and a $2.3 billion trading blunder — can make.

Jamie Dimon is sounding contrite and humble this week as the JPMorgan Chase CEO rolls into Tampa today for his company's annual meeting. He has been taking to the airwaves apologizing for the "terrible, egregious mistake" which could balloon to a $4 billion loss.

It's a far cry from Dimon's tone the last time he made a public swing through the Tampa Bay area.

Back then, he was peeved about ongoing protests by Occupy Wall Street and preached it was time to move past the financial debacle of 2008.

"You need to stop denigrating business because it doesn't build confidence," he said in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times during a February bus tour of Chase properties throughout Florida. "We need to move on."

Dimon was in a celebratory mood at the time. Profits were up, the megabank had just inked a multi-state settlement over questionable mortgage foreclosure practices, and Dimon had cemented an enviable reputation for avoiding some of the major miscues that plagued other bank leaders during Wall Street's meltdown.

Mistakes were made, he acknowledged. But he was critical of an endless debate about who's to blame in the mortgage crisis, about the bailout, and America's widening wealth gap. His biggest objection was to indiscriminate blame being thrust onto banks like Chase.

"You don't justify it because you've had a tough time. As a matter of fact, in a tough time, the best people stand tallest," he said. "They're the ones who discriminate between the right and wrong. They're the ones who stick to the true blue. They're the ones who stand tall. Not the ones who out of convenience scapegoat and fingerpoint."

To see the Times' Q&A with Dimon in February, go to links.tampabay.com.

Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase toned down since last Tampa visit 05/14/12 [Last modified: Monday, May 14, 2012 10:24pm]
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