Corker: JPMorgan loss a ‘blip,’ hearing should focus on Dodd-Frank missteps

“It's not about Congress worried about whether JPMorgan is going to make it or not — I mean, this is a blip on the radar screen,” he said on CNN’s “Starting Point.”

“This is not about the bank being in trouble. I mean, $2 billion is less than two months’ worth of earnings at JPMorgan. It’s a well-capitalized institution,” Corker said.

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JPMorgan CEO Dimon will apologize to lawmakers for his bank’s trading loss on Wednesday, reassuring the Senate Banking Committee that no taxpayer money was at risk in the transaction.

The trading debacle has led to questions on Capitol Hill on whether regulators should tighten oversight of some of the nation’s top financial institutions.

But Corker said a rush to judgment during the last financial crisis saddled Wall Street and Washington with burdensome regulations.

“This is the kind of hearing we should have had before we ever passed any kind of financial regulation,” he said. 

“What this hearing does is provide us an opportunity to see how these highly complex institutions are run, to see some of the gaps and to help inform us as we move ahead as to whether we’ve really dealt with some of the issues that created our last financial crisis,” Corker added.

He said that when lawmakers passed the Dodd-Frank financial reform overhaul, they “responded in a political way to our financial system.”

“We did not take our time to really delve into how the structure of our banking system ought to be,” he said. “It’s a 2,400-page bill. It’s like a Christmas tree of regulations.”

Corker said he expected Dimon’s testimony to highlight how ineffective Dodd-Frank was at addressing the real issues facing risk managers at banks.

“The answer in Dodd-Frank was to put a regulator alongside every bank … but there’s no way regulators are ever going to be ahead of bankers,” he added. “I think you’re going to see that in testimony today.

“I’m open to looking at a better way of ensuring that down the road our taxpayers never have to come to the aid of our large, highly complex institutions, and at the same time I want to make sure that we do it in a way that allows our great companies in American to prosper and deal with entities all over the world.

"I don't think we ever, ever asked that question under Dodd-Frank,” said Corker. “It was a political response to a structural problem and I think now we have the opportunity to try to get it right and I think over time you’re going to see a lot of positive changes take place in financial regulation to overcome this sort of political response that occurred about a year and a half ago.”