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Easy Street

Dimonpalooza: A Guide to Easy Street’s Multimedia JP Morgan Coverage

Marketplace Contributor Jun 15, 2012

It’s been a busy week of JP Morgan coverage – and there will be more over the coming months – so it’s a good time for a wrapup of all the Easy Street reporting and analysis. You may want to start a full month back, when we provided an explainer of the confusing JP Morgan trade and an account of CEO Jamie Dimon’s more hubristic statements. We also talked with Lauren Lyster at Capital Account about JP Morgan’s improbable explanation of its bet, which we called “a unicorn hedge” for its mythic character.

As more people tried to pin down the scale of JP Morgan’s loss, we noted that even the bank probably didn’t know what it got into. A few weeks later, we brought you exclusive coverage of Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Engle’s predictions about which banks had the biggest gap to fill for systemic risk – including, of course, JP Morgan. When we spoke on a panel at the Museum of the City of New York about Reinventing Wall Street, we talked with our fellow panelists, including Josh Brown, about our conviction that the JP Morgan story was the most important of the year so far – because it was the most surprising.

As the day drew nearer for Dimon’s star turn on Capitol Hill, we started with a short curtainraiser for Marketplace Morning Report right from Washington on what to expect from the hotly anticipated Dimon hearings, introducing the term “Dimonpalooza” with the expectation that some of the outrage that fueled previous Congressional grilling may have – shall we say – faded. We introduced you to Jamie Dimon’s testimony the night before, looking at it for clues on his stance towards the Senate.

The day of the Dimon hearing, we headed over to Capitol Hill and covered the proceedings right from inside the Senate room with real-time chronicling on Twitter and through pictures on Instagram, with a big thanks to the Storify talents of our Web chief Matt Berger.                     (Here’s the slideshow version) While Dimon testified in front of an increasingly adoring smattering of Senators, we ducked into the gallery overlooking the hearing room to give an update to Marketplace Morning Report.

After the hearing ended, we talked with Lauren Lyster, the smart, tough host of Capital Account, about the testimony and why Jamie Dimon’s halo of popularity with lawmakers protected him from the usual treatment given to errant bank chiefs. We also sent over an analysis to our friends at The Guardian in the U.K., explaining the trouble with the hearings and with spotting troublesome trading at other banks.

By the end of the day, when we caught up with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal, we realized that the hearing was not so much a time to hold Dimon to account as it was a wake for the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform efforts – and it was Kai who noted that Dimon had “chutzpah” to wear Presidential cufflinks to the proceedings.

Finally, we rounded out our coverage so far with an analysis of whether JP Morgan could have been right, after all, about its trade, which was designed to profit from a global credit crisis


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