JPMorgan's Dimon broadly optimistic on reform

NEW YORK Mon May 24, 2010 10:53pm EDT

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon addresses a news conference at a tri-annual meeting of The Business Council in Dallas, Texas in this May 5, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon addresses a news conference at a tri-annual meeting of The Business Council in Dallas, Texas in this May 5, 2009 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon is broadly optimistic financial reform is headed in the right direction, he said on Monday at the Japan Society's Annual Dinner in New York.

"We'll end up with something better than what we had before," he said, although he added that he is not expecting perfection.

Dimon, who has criticized elements of the U.S. financial reform effort, such as the move to trade all derivative instruments on an exchange, said he believes it is possible to find a way to wind down large, systemically important companies, without hurting taxpayers.

White House Economic Adviser and former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker introduced Dimon, 54, as a man "at the top of his game" and said under his leadership JPMorgan "maintained stability throughout the crisis."

"I'm also proud to call myself a banker," Dimon said.

JPMorgan, the second-largest U.S. bank by assets, acquired troubled investment bank Bear Stearns Cos and failed Seattle thrift Washington Mutual in 2008.

In a short, broad-ranging speech, Dimon said no one individual and no one group of people was responsible for the crisis, but there was too much leverage in the system and there were regulatory lapses.

The Senate approved a sweeping Wall Street reform bill on Thursday, capping months of wrangling over the biggest overhaul of financial regulation since the 1930s.

JPMorgan shares closed down 3.6 percent at $38.62 on Monday.

(Reporting by Elinor Comlay; editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)

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