JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon is an ingrate.
Today he called the $25 billion in U.S. government rescue funds his firm received through the Troubled Asset Relief Program a “TARP Baby,” and said he can’t wait to give it back.
Tar-Baby came from the Uncle Remus stories about Br’er Rabbit. It was a doll made of tar and turpentine. The more Br’er Rabbit fought Tar-Baby, the more became stuck to it.
But the term also has racial connotations and some white politicians have been chided for using it, including Mitt Romney and John Kerry.
I understand Dimon’s frustrations with the government taking over Wall Street, and all. But if TARP is indeed a “Scarlet Letter” – another literary term Dimon used to express his displeasure at taxpayers’ investment in his firm – it’s going to stick to him.