Here at QtA we recently finished reading a most superb and recommended book, The Hellhound of Wall Street. The book tells the story of the Pecora hearings, the 1933 Senate hearings that put Wall Street on trial for the Great Crash and set the stage for the New Deal financial reforms.
One of the things that most struck us in the course of reading the book was the similarity between today’s bankers and the “banksters” of the 1920s and ’30s. Particularly, the similarity was striking between the comments made by Charles Mitchell, “banker of bankers” and Chairman of National City Bank (which now goes by the name Citigroup), and Jamie Dimon, current Chairman, President and CEO of JP Morgan Chase.
Here is Mitchell in 1933 talking about the necessity of the bonus culture that then existed on Wall Street:
“Unless the men of energy and perhaps ability can see within the organization for which he is working a point that he can possibly reach that has great material benefit attached to it, I say unless he can see that, his work is going to be somewhat … dulled.”
Read what Jamie Dimon said that made him sound like a 2012 version of Charles Mitchell after the jump.