Dimon trashes bitcoin, but is OK with CDSs

JPMorgan’s chief Jamie Dimon in a seemingly unprovoked response took on bitcoin again Tuesday at banking conference in Manhattan.

Tuesday, America’s shadow president as some have called him, belittled his daughter in order to trash bitcoin. Dimon said that his daughter purchased some bitcoin, concluding “it went up and she thinks she is a genius.”

But he went on to say he would fire any trader who bought bitcoin just for being stupid.

It’s a shame Dimon did not have the same outlook when it came to his traders  buying credit default swaps in London in 2012 when the bank lost more than $7 billion on the London Whale trade.

Look, I’ve met Jamie Dimon, and interviewed him. He has strong opinions on government and regulations. He makes no bones about how great America is and he does not suffer fools lightly.

And to be honest, he could be dead on with bitcoin. It’s not a great stretch to think governments would crackdown on untaxable money moving around the globe, but let’s not forget that Dimon has written checks totaling more than $21 billion in penalties and fines to Uncle Sam because his traders were stupid with packaging mortgages or manipulating commodities during and shortly after the Great Recession.

While bitcoin has fallen below $4,000 since his statements, bitcoin is up a mere 1,100% since the JPM chief trashed it in 2015 at the same conference. Dimon admitted he does not know how high the crypto could go before the crash saying, “it could hit $100,000 before it drops.”

There’s no way to know who will be right on any investment, and yes there will always be pain when markets crash. But for Dimon to say bitcoin is a joke and compare it to the tulip craze is so far off base, since his firm is using blockchain technology right now and  developing it for broader applications.

For a man who hates government over regulating banking, his words on a crackdown in the crypto space ring hollow to me.

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