JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon sat down with the Today show's Matt Lauer to announce that his bank will make a $100 million investment in Detroit over the next five years.
Detroit, which filed for bankruptcy in July 2013, has an unemployment rate of 14% and is $19 billion in debt.
"I think we could make this our finest moment," Dimon told Lauer.
He was talking about regular Americans — firefighters, small-business owners, law enforcement, and more.
But Lauer was blunt. He asked if a cynic might think that Dimon was really hoping this would be JPMorgan's finest hour, especially after a rough year of paying fine after fine for its own malfeasance.
"The cynic would be wrong," Dimon responded. "We invest and develop communities around the world. And we've been doing this since our heritage started 200 years ago...So that's what banks do. They do it commercially. They do community development."
JPMorgan was the only bank that didn't need a government bailout after the financial crash of 2008. Back then, he was bold in calling for "Old Testament Justice" for those who destroyed the economy. That basically cemented his status as Wall Street's Captain America ... until it didn't. Since 2009, his bank has paid $31 billion in government fines related and unrelated to the crisis.
So perhaps Dimon wants a little of his shine back — maybe he wants to sit closer to Obama at the table again.
Either way, this sounds like a good deal for Detroit.
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