By Peter Schroeder - 05/14/12 10:11 PM EDT
President Obama said JP Morgan Chase, despite its recent $2 billion trading loss, is "one of the best managed banks there is."
Ever since the Wall Street giant announced one of its trades would cost the firm billions, it has been hotly criticized and the subject of intense scrutiny from both regulators and lawmakers. But in a recent interview, the president offered kind words for the bank as a way to bolster the case for his Wall Street reform law.
"JPMorgan is one of the best managed banks there is. Jamie Dimon, the head of it, is one of the smartest bankers we got and they still lost $2 billion and counting," he said in an interview with ABC's "The View" that will air Tuesday.
The administration has sought to defend the financial overhaul from critiques from both the financial sector and Republicans. GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, while acknowledging some parts of the law have merit, has vowed to repeal it.
But the president contended that JP Morgan's mistake proves the need for the law, which gives regulators the power to step in and wind down large ailing financial institutions. While JP Morgan can whether a multibillion error, other banks would not be so lucky. Dodd-Frank prevents the need for future bailouts, he argued.
"This is one of the best managed banks. You could have a bank that isn’t as strong, isn’t as profitable managing those same bets and we might have had to step in. That’s why Wall Street reform is so important," he said.