JPMorgan Chase’s $2 billion-plus trading blunder is reverberating on the presidential campaign trail by rekindling calls for tighter oversight of the nation’s biggest financial institutions.
That plays into President Barack Obama’s efforts to paint presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney as a heartless robber baron.
Republicans, including Romney, have challenged proposals for tighter regulation. Obama has championed them, including those included in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul.
White House press secretary Jay Carney on Monday said the trading misfire was a reminder of why controls shouldn’t be undermined. Wall Street lobbyists are trying to gut those protections, Carney said.
Also on Monday, the Obama campaign began airing a new television ad that slams Romney’s days as a corporate buyout specialist at Bain Capital, the private-equity firm he co-founded. It includes interviews with former workers at a Kansas City steel company purchased by Bain in 1993 that later went bankrupt.
“They made as much money off of it as they could. And they closed it down,” says one former steelworker in the ad.
The Romney campaign welcomed any discussion about jobs and Romney’s private-sector performance. Polls reflect growing voter disenchantment with Obama’s handling of the economy and stubbornly high U.S. joblessness.
The JP Morgan losses, which could wind up costing the investment bank as much as $4 billion, stemmed from some of the same kind of risky financial dealings that contributed to the financial crisis.
There is some irony since JPMorgan CEO Jaime Dimon was a big backer of Obama’s 2008 campaign. Once a frequent Obama White House visitor, Dimon more recently has led Wall Street opposition to tighter federal bank regulation.
“I would call myself barely Democrat at this point,” Dimon told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Obama was giving the commencement address Monday at all-female Barnard College in New York City. Romney was in Boston with no public events.
Follow Tom Raum on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tomraum. For more AP political coverage, look for the 2012 Presidential Race in AP Mobile’s Big Stories section. Also follow https://twitter.com/APCampaign and AP journalists covering the campaign: https://twitter.com/AP/ap-campaign-2012.
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