From the beginning to the end of the financial crisis and Great Recession, JPMorgan Chase never lost money in a single quarter. The company absorbed failed banks (Bear Stearns) when no one else could, and its "fortress balance sheet" proved strong enough to endure the greatest economic challenge since the Great Depression.
After all that success, it makes sense that the company's CEO, Jamie Dimon, could be a little cocky. And in my opinion, he sometimes is.
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The proof lies in these quotes from the company's fourth-quarter conference call earlier this week.
On making the strategic decision to keep JPMorgan Chase together or break up the companyAn analyst asked Dimon for his thoughts on calls to potentially break up JPMorgan, which is the largest U.S. bank by assets. After a lengthy response considering the actual reality of breaking up a bank like JPMorgan, Dimon made a case that investors should back off and give him the benefit of the doubt. He said:
On the rapid drop in global oil prices, and how that could affect JPMorgan ChaseIf you follow this season's earnings calls, expect to hear a lot of questions on the impact of the sudden and rapid decline in oil prices. JPMorgan's call was no different. Is Jamie Dimon concerned? Nah.
Of course, you don't achieve Dimon's success without having some answers as to why. He explained the (lack of) concern a bit further:
For JPMorgan, the diversity of the business will shelter the company from any material pain. Some companies will struggle, some loans will go bad. But low gas prices help consumers and improve the bank's performance in other businesses.
Isn't it more fun though to hear Dimon's way of saying that?
On the flipside of Dimon's intonation -- a deep and long-term commitment to shareholdersIt would be unfair to JPMorgan investors to not include a few quotes from Dimon saying all the right things (even if his word choice is a bit curt). Consider these rapid-fire quotes from throughout the call:
Has Dimon's performance earned him the right to his outsized ego? Or has self-confidence morphed into arrogance and hubris? Yes, he may be a shareholder-first chief executive, but even the best of intentions can fall short if decision making becomes clouded with overconfidence.
Those are questions that I don't have the definitive answer to, but that won't stop me from enjoying the Jamie Dimon show.
The article JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimons Big Personality Shines Through This Weeks Earnings Call originally appeared on Fool.com.
Jay Jenkins has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase and recommends Berkshire Hathaway. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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