VIDEO: Rustin Silverstein on Washington Business Report – Dimon in the rough
Rustin Silverstein on the Jamie Dimon hearing:
I think what [Jamie Dimon] did most successfully came before the hearing. He did the hard work that a lot of executives—particularly Wall Street executives—don’t do. He cultivated relationships in Washington with policymakers and he made himself accessible to the public and the press in a way that many executives don’t.
He had a reservoir of goodwill by the time he got [to the hearing]. I think people were already inclined to think better of him than they would have of some of his colleagues on Wall Street. At the hearing itself, he came out of the box apologizing, expressing responsibility for what went wrong and determination to see that it didn’t happen again.
Most people are willing to move on. They don’t want to relieve what happened four years ago. They don’t quite understand the complexity of what’s going on in financial institutions—I think we may have learned this week that Jamie Dimon still may not have fully understood. I think most people are concerned about their own economic health and the health of their community and I think they need to hear that banks, financial industry and business in general are part of the solution and not part of the problem.
On why business leaders are afraid of the media right now:
I think [business leaders] feel like they’ve gotten a lot of bad press, so they view the press as the enemy—there’s no point in talking to them because nothing good is going to come out of it. Shortsighted strategy, obviously. No one wants to see that video of them walking down the street to their chauffeured cars.
I think CEOs of major companies do understand that in this media environment people will know who you are. You can’t hide up in your multi-skyscraper office anymore. The common person is going to know who is the CEO of this company that they are trying to give business to. Your customers are going to know who you are, and so you need to have a relationship with them.
Read Rustin’s op-ed featured in the National Law Journal here.