They Just Don't Get JPMorgan!

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Until now, JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon has staved off any serious talk that he'd get picked up by the seat of the pants and scruff of the neck and thrown out of his corner office.

The company's so-called rogue trading loss was just going to be $2 billion -- and that appeared tolerable to the masses. OK, maybe three. Or, uh, five. But no matter. Slick Jamie, who seemed to be telling the truth slowly on company's misdeeds, charmed the pants off of the media, traders and politicians in Washington testimony.

Now comes this revelation from The New York Times ( NYT):

"JPMorgan Trading Loss May Reach $9 Billion."

Even if this is the final number -- and, considering history, that'd be a risky bet -- it chips away at Dimon's nearly inexplicable sense of invincibility. Would CEO's of Bank of America ( BAC), Morgan Stanley ( MS) or Citigroup ( C) get the same endless supply of good will?

In reporting on the $9 billion-loss figure, that's the key takeaway. We've finally reached the point of ridiculousness, of ever cascading losses, of loss in confidence that Dimon has been forthright or, worse, even aware -- and that calls into question his future leadership.

The New York Times goes right there:

"The growing fallout from the bank's bad bet threatens to undercut the credibility of Mr. Dimon, who has been fighting major regulatory changes that could curtail the kind of risk-taking that led to the trading losses. The bank chief was considered a deft manager of risk after steering JPMorgan through the financial crisis in far better shape than its rivals."

CNNMoney, The Associated Press and Marketwatch don't go there and that's just wrong. At $9 billion and growing, it's time.
At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.

Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.

For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Fuchs appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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