JPMorgan: Regulation increases costs

Bob Moon Feb 17, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

JPMorgan: Regulation increases costs

Bob Moon Feb 17, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal: All right, so if you want tighter rules for the financial industry, that’s all fine and good. But JPMorgan Chase said today that’s going to bring a much higher cost of doing business. And it is not going to be the one paying.

Here’s our senior business correspondent Bob Moon.


BOB MOON: Right now, JPMorgan says the industry aims to make shareholders a return of better than 13 percent. But if every regulatory reform now proposed were implemented, the bank says, it would cut that by more than half.

Peter Cohan heads a management consulting and venture capital firm. He says JPMorgan and the rest of the financial industry need to accept it’s a new world.

PETER COHAN: If you look at the industry over the last five years, the average return is 10 percent. JPMorgan’s average return over the last five years was 8 percent. I think that it really depends on the individual firm, but I think 8 percent is a fair return for JPMorgan.

JPMorgan is warning the cost of banking services could jump by 33 percent. But Cohan says that’s aimed at riling up customers and heading off regulators.

COHAN: They’re obviously trying to keep from having to pay out any more money that wouldn’t go into their pockets as a bonus, so naturally they want to either stop it all together, or if does have to happen, get their customers to pay for it. Heaven forbid that they should pay the price for all the pain they caused the rest of society.

Cohan says those bonuses amount to nearly half JPMorgan’s revenue, and paying out less could help defray a lot of the cost. But the bank’s report argues it wouldn’t come close.

Jason Paez is an investment banker at New York-based Belstone Capital. He says free-market competition should force these banks to share in the higher cost of regulation.

JASON PAEZ: I think we’ve paid a price. And the direct cost, if we allow a repeat of 2008 to occur, is vastly dwarfing anything that we’re talking about in the context of this particular JPMorgan report.

Paez suggests it’s cheaper in the long run to pay the price of regulation and a safer financial system.

I’m Bob Moon for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.