Is Libor-gate Another PR Headache for Chase?

JP Morgan Chase’s team was supposed to represent the good guys—the Jamie Dimon-led superbank was one of the few financial institutions to emerge from 2008’s economic collapse relatively unscathed in the court of public opinion. But the news hasn’t been good for Dimon lately, and it might get much worse very soon.

This week, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Chase was among seven big banks subpoenaed by the Attorney Generals of New York and Connecticut to testify regarding the ongoing Libor rate-fixing scandal. One thing has become very clear over the past few weeks: The worst offenders in this case are not all based in London. This subpoena strongly implies that the AG’s suspect that top traders at America’s biggest banks were actively involved in the conspiracy.

While it’s true that most Americans don’t care about the Libor story, media coverage will almost certainly heat up over the next couple of weeks. And that’s bad news for Chase however you look at it—even if the investigation fails to uncover emails about “bottles of Bollinger.”

What do you think—has the sheen worn off “golden boy” Dimon and JP Morgan since the London Whale scandal? Will Libor make things even worse? Or will a distracted American public continue to be less than interested in the whole sordid saga? We’ll soon find out.