If investment banking is the problem, why then is Dimon not jettisoning it? Let it sink or swim on its own. If your job is to maximize return to shareholders, and shareholder returns are maximized by running banks rather than brokerages, why run a brokerage?
There are hints that Dimon is getting the message. The company is looking to sell its "special opportunities group," which trades in Asia. It's getting out of student lending. It's selling the commodities business. Dimon calls it "pruning."
But there is pruning and then there is pruning. There is the pruning you do on an oak tree, lopping off dead branches and raising the canopy. Then there is the pruning you do on a grape vine, cutting it back nearly to the root stock.
Maybe it's the grape vine kind of pruning Dimon needs to do if he wants to grow a better crop for shareholders.
JPMorgan Chase may no longer be too big to fail. It may be too big to succeed.
At the time of publication the author owned shares of PB and WFC but none of the other stocks mentioned.