Answer below, but first here's a pretty good article from the usually awful Daily Beast (either they own Newsweek or Newsweek owns them - not sure which way it works).
I never heard of the woman author, Nomi Prins. The initial point of the article is that Dimon has just been renamed Chairman and CEO, with a $23 million salary package, despite the bank having just lost over $2 billion with speculative "synthetic derivatives" disguised as a hedge.
A self-inflicted loss conjures up images of someone shooting himself or herself during a game of Russian roulette. Sure, the shooter might have shot the gun into his or her brain, egregiously mistaken in the belief it wouldn’t be loaded. But he or she also chose to play. It’s not so much that the $2 billion loss is catastrophic, (it isn’t) but that it happened. It can continue to bleed into JPM Chase’s books, or pop up in another form elsewhere, and be equally “surprising.”
Sure, betting mistakes happen (ask former MF Global head Jon Corzine), but it’s the characterization of the loss that’s egregious. First, because by swaggering, “we will fix it—we will move on,” Dimon has claimed dominance over global markets. (No banker who truly understands risk should be so cavalier about it.)
Secondly, the fact that after a formal announcement, a friendly Meet the Press chat, and a face-to-face with the firm’s shareholders, Dimon can still call it a mistaken hedge is ludicrous. It was a directional bet on the health of North American corporate bonds that the firm got wrong, enacted via the synthetic derivatives market to worsen the blow. To the extent that it’s betting wrong, it’s a mistake, but it’s not a hedge.
From what I've read, that's exactly right. It was speculation not hedging. So why does Meet the Press, and the President, et al, give him a pass?
Because he's a DEMOCRAT and was a huge supporter and fundraiser for Obama in 2008. Not because he agrees with the administration's economic and fiscal policies, but because he (like Buffett, Gates, etc) is a social progressive. So he gets a pass. Don't believe me? Read Charles Gasparino's Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance Between Barack Obama and Wall Street. It's all laid out in exquisite detail. Remember, Obama raised over $20 million from Wall Street in 2008, while the real reformer McCain, only $13 million.