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Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka on JPMorgan Chase and Financial Regulation

Calls for a strengthened Volcker Rule, and a new Glass-Steagall Act

This week, Congress is debating how to protect our financial system from the risks posed by too-big-to-fail banks.  The recent $2 billion trading loss suffered by JPMorgan Chase serves as further evidence that our nation’s largest banks are not only too-big-to-fail, but they are too big to manage properly.  JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon’s hubris in overestimating his ability to manage the financial risk posed by speculative trading demonstrates the need for independent regulatory oversight.

The “Volcker rule” provision in the Dodd-Frank Act that will restrict speculative trading by banks is a good start.  Bank regulators must resist the ongoing demands from Jamie Dimon and other Wall Street CEOs to water down this rule.  But Congress should go a step further, and pass a new Glass-Steagall Act to separate high-risk investment banking from more traditional banking activities.

America needs a financial system that provides for sustainable prosperity, not one based on speculative trading.  We need a strong Volcker rule to constrain excessive risk-taking by management, and we need a bright line to separate speculative trading from the traditional role of banks as lenders.  Anything less will place our economy at risk of yet another financial crisis in the years to come.

Contact: Jeff Hauser (202) 637-5018

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