President Barack Obama has $500,001 to $1 million in a JPMorgan Chase private client asset management checking account, according to financial disclosures released by the White House.
Obama said this week that JPMorgan was "one of the best managed banks there is" despite its $2 billion trading loss being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
"This is a checking account used by the president and the first lady," said White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage. "It is the equivalent of an interest-bearing checking account available at many other financial institutions," she said, noting that it generated less than $201 in interest income in 2011.
The president's 2011 disclosures also included a regular JPMorgan Chase checking account in the $1,001 to $15,000 range. His other principal assets included $500,001 to $1 million in U.S. Treasury bills and between $1 million and $5 million in U.S. Treasury notes.
In a note about the annual financial statements that were posted online, the White House said "neither the president nor the vice president have any conflicts of interest."
Obama, in an appearance on the daytime TV show "The View," which was taped on Monday and aired on Tuesday, praised JPMorgan chief Jamie Dimon and said the bank's loss showed the need for strong financial oversight.
"You could have a bank that isn't as strong, isn't as profitable making those same bets and we (the government) might have had to step in. That's exactly why Wall Street reform's so important," he said.
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