JPMorgan CEO: Banks 'Not Too Big to Fail' - TheStreet

JPMorgan CEO: Banks 'Not Too Big to Fail'

Jamie Dimon again defended the Fed's role in his bank's purchase of Bear Stearns at a fire-sale price in March.
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JPMorgan Chase

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CEO Jamie Dimon on Tuesday defended the

Federal Reserve's

involvement of the bank's fire-sale purchase of Bear Stearns and endorsed part of a regulatory overhaul bring considered that could aid similar future crises.

Dimon, speaking at a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. conference in Virginia, said allowing Bear to fail, as some Fed critics have suggested the central bank should have done, would have been "a catastrophe." He also noted that investment banks are "not too big to fail" and sounded enthusiasm for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's

comments earlier in the conference

, calling for the creation of a mechanism through which regulators could unwind a failing investment bank.

"I think the government is taking proper, in my opinion, monetary and fiscal policy at this point," he said.

The Fed in March pledged to assume $29 billion worth of Bear's shakiest mortgage-related assets when JPMorgan bought the nearly bankrupt brokerage for $2 a share. JPMorgan later increased its offer to $10 a share after an outcry from owners of the stock, and the deal closed in late May.

While expressing support for some regulatory overhaul, Dimon was critical of a proposed change to accounting rules that would force an acquiring bank to write down the value of assets in its target. JPMorgan is rumored to be interested in buying a regional bank like


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JPMorgan shares were up 3.9% to $39.37 in recent trading.

This article was written by a staff member of