Although the subject of congressional banking oversight can be somewhat dry, Senator John Kennedy managed to infuse some humor into the proceedings. The Louisiana Republican utilized the annual oversight hearing of the Senate Banking Committee as an occasion to tell a jest, the Daily Caller reports. Kennedy inquired whether the panel found it "ironic" that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was providing guidance on bank management through newly proposed regulations, given that the FDIC had been unable to prevent the failure of three other banks under its regulatory supervision this year.
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Kennedy directed his inquiry towards Jamie Dimon, the renowned CEO of JP Morgan Chase. He stated, "Mr. Dimon, are you not struck by the irony of the situation? The FDIC is currently addressing you and stating, "As you are aware, our track record at the FDIC is tarnished. While not in a damaged state, we shall provide guidance on how to repair your bank. Are you inclined to perceive that as ironic? Kennedy subsequently criticized the proposed regulations, asserting that they were not formulated by the United States Congress but rather by administrators in Basel, Switzerland. Additionally, he conveyed the irony of Alec Baldwin providing him with firearms safety advice in light of the actor's tragic shooting incident on set earlier this year.
Following a short pause, Dimon was compelled to smile and chuckle in response to Kennedy's remark. Kennedy, as depicted in the video footage disseminated by Forbes, raises doubts regarding the credibility of the FDIC, citing recent reports that detail alarming workplace conduct within the federal agency. Kennedy emphasized that the Basel III regulations, which are the subject of discussion, were formulated by an international organization with its headquarters situated in Basel, Switzerland.
As reported by the Associated Press, every bank CEO in attendance at the hearing expressed unanimous opposition to the new regulations, colloquially referred to as Basel Endgame. Their primary concern was that the mandatory escalation in capital requirements would result in elevated lending expenses during an already precarious period for the economy, marked by inflation and escalating interest rates. The presence of Kennedy's ingenuity and charisma undoubtedly contributed to a more captivating and animated banking oversight session.