Who do you Trust More: Investment Banks or Fossil Fuel Companies?


The other day I wrote that fossil fuel companies were slightly detached from reality when one of them in an advertisement, Gulf Oil, ask us to trust them.

On Thursday, Jamie Dimon CEO of JP Morgan, in a hiss-fit of irritation and superiority, called his shareholders lazy.

Talk about detached, the Fossils got nothing on Dimon.

Is this  haze of arrogance obscuring the many important and necessary things investment banks do? Free advice: even if you don’t give a single hoot about sustainable economics, there is one set of stakeholders you don’t want to cat scratch often, and that’s shareholders.

Still, it continues to amaze just how resilient US investment banks and their CEOs are considering myriad hubris. How long will shareholders (aka most of us via our pension funds) put up with their behavior and attitude that this outburst is surely just the tip of?

Perhaps not so long as one might think. The divestment movement, building on coal, which was constructed on tobacco divestment that was born of the divest from South Africa movement — all pretty successful — could easily turn its muck-raking eye to banking in a more organized and hurtful way.

That would be good for investment banking. It needs a good shot of humility through accountability and transparency, if only to root out costly insider trading, fraud, poor lending practice, and, oh yea, maybe to avoid the next near global economic melt down as well.

There are investment alternatives to JP Morgan. Indeed, there are plenty of high return financial companies the world round to fill out the financial parts of our portfolios while sending a strong sustainability market signal JP’s way. Many large and largely mistake-free Canadian and European banks pop to mind.

I wonder if Dimon’s peers hail him for his civic responsibility as they did Morgan’s founder John Pierpont “J.P.” Morgan?  They probably don’t care as long as the mill keeps printing money. But do you think they wont remember the very minute profits fall?

P.S. I wonder what folks might be saying about Dimon lack of composure if he was a woman?


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