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JP Morgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon -- who now finds himself in the crosshairs of regulators after his bank posted a $2-billion US trading loss -- has repeatedly warned that too much regulation will harm the financial system.
Bart Chilton, commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, says warnings by bankers such as Dimon are off the mark.
"The bankers are about the last guys we should be listening to with regard to what is needed on regulation," he says. "Their general battle cry is these gosh awful, wicked regulations are going to drive firms right to death's door -- and that's just hyperbole."
Chilton supports what has been called the Volcker Rule, which would prevent banks from trading with clients' money or investing in a private equity or hedge fund. Chilton says that by allowing the banks to trade -- and often against their own clients -- the financial system created a massive conflict of interest.
"It's just like a split personality. We know who is always going to win -- the banks are going to win and we've seen that time and time again," he says. "The Volker rule would merely go back to put that in place where they don't have the troublesome duplexity, they're only doing the bidding for their customers."