A Wall Street banker launched into a tirade against the Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney for suggesting global banks increase their cash reserves as a hedge against another financial crisis, according to a report Monday.
The London-based Financial Times reported that Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, railed against Carney after the Canadian central banker endorsed proposals for systemically important banks to increase the capital on their balance sheets from three per cent to seven per cent of the money invested or loaned.
The biggest banks would hold 9.5 per cent.
Systemically important banks are those big enough that their failure would threaten to bring down the global financial system.
Fears that some of the biggest banks in the world would run out of cash after making investments in dodgy American mortgages and insuring those investments with complex financial derivatives led to the 2008 financial crisis.
In the U.S., that saw financial institutions such as Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Washington Mutual, AIG and Merrill Lynch bailed out, taken over or vanish altogether.
The proposals are part of the so-called Basel III agreement, put together by global regulators late last year.
Dimon’s tirade was reported to have happened behind closed doors in Washington, D.C., Sunday at a meeting of dozens of leading bankers and regulators, people Carney would know from his 13 years working at another Wall Street giant, Goldman Sachs, beginning in the 1990s.
'Everyone is claiming to be a boy scout while accusing others of juvenile delinquency.' —Mark Carney , Governor, Bank of Canada
It became so heated, according to the FT, that Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein sent an apologetic email to Carney afterwards.
Wall Street has suggested the proposals will lead to market manipulation of complex derivatives used to underpin bank balance sheets to the advantage of European banks over American ones.
Dimon has used the term "anti-American" to describe the reforms. But Carney’s prepared remarks suggest some skepticism.
"If some institutions feel pressure today, it is because they have done too little for too long, rather than because they are being asked to do too much, too soon," he said.
"Everyone is claiming to be a boy scout while accusing others of juvenile delinquency," he remarked.
A Bank of Canada official declined to comment on the report but told CBC News in an email that "we have been engaged in constructive dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders, both domestic and international, as we move forward through the financial sector reform process."