Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, has thrown his support behind JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon to succeed Timothy Geithner as Treasury secretary.
During an interview on PBS’s “Charlie Rose” on Monday night, Buffett said Dimon would be the “best person” for the job during a crisis.
“If we did run into problems in markets, I think he would actually be the best person you could have in the job,” Buffett said, according to Bloomberg.
“World leaders would have confidence in him.”
Buffett’s endorsement of Dimon may surprise some market observers after the investment bank disclosed a huge loss – now more more than $6.2 billion, according to Bloomberg – from a wrong-way bet on credit derivatives.
Dimon previously told analysts the trading losses were caused by “errors,” “sloppiness” and “bad judgment,” according to CNN Money.
But Buffett doesn’t think the incident should disqualify Dimon from succeeding Geithner when he steps down, likely to be early in Obama's second term.
“Obviously, you know, there was a failure of control,” Buffett, 82, told Rose.
“If you run an army, if you run a church, if you run a government, any large institution, people will go off the reservation sometimes.”
Dimon has previously ruled himself out of contention for the position.
In an interview with CNBC in 2011, Dimon said he was never interested in the job of Treasury secretary.
If you know me at all, I am not suited for politics,” he said at the time. “Anyone who runs a company and gets out in the field would say the same things I do.”
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