On May 10 of this year, Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan, announced that billions of insured deposits at his bank had been invested in high risk derivatives and had sustained at least a $2 billion loss. The Department of Justice and FBI have commenced investigations. Dimon is expected to announce the current extent of those losses this Friday in an earnings conference call.
Following the May 10 announcement, there were numerous calls for Dimon to step down from the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That organization is the primary regulator of the firm. There was widespread public outrage that the CEO of a bank had no business serving on the governing body of his regulator. (The New York Fed has a long history of such conflicts.)
Now it has emerged that not only was Dimon conflicted in his role on the New York Fed but the President and CEO of the New York Fed had an equally dubious conflict of interest.
“New York Fed employees are subject to the same conflict of interest statute that applies to federal government employees (18 U.S.C. Section 208). Under Section 208 and the New York Fed’s code of conduct, a Bank employee is prohibited from participating personally and substantially in an official capacity in any particular matter in which, to the employee's knowledge, the employee has a financial interest if the particular matter will have a direct and predictable effect on that interest. Participation in a particular matter may include making a decision or recommendation, providing advice, or taking part in an investigation.”