Maybe it's a case of putting your mouth where your money is.
President Barack Obama praised JP Morgan Chase in an interview recorded Monday as "one of the best managed banks there is" and its CEO, Jamie Dimon, as "one of the smartest bankers we got." On Tuesday, the White House made public financial disclosure forms showing the president and First Lady Michelle Obama had between $500,001 and $1,000,000 in a "JP Morgan Chase Private Client Asset Management Checking Account."
The annual peek into the Obamas' finances showed that the president held between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000 in U.S. Treasury Notes, generating between $5,001 and $15,000 in interest. They also held between $500,001-$1,000,000 in Treasury Bills.
Obama, who recently said he had only paid off his student loans eight years ago, has been doing pretty well by daughters Sasha and Malia: The disclosures show four college savings accounts each with between $50,001 and $100,000 in them.
Obama's "Dreams From My Father" book pulled in royalties between $100,001 and $1,000,000. "The Audacity of Hope" had more modest earnings, making the Obamas between $50,001 and $100,000. Obama's "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter To My Daughters" children's book generated between $100,001 and $1,000,000 (though the forms noted that those funds will go to the Fisher House Foundation for a scholarship fund honoring children of fallen or disabled soldiers).
The Obamas reported a regular JP Morgan Chase checking account, this one worth between $1,001-$15,000, and listed interest of less than $201.
(In his wide-ranging conversation on ABC's "The View," Obama also said that JP Morgan Chase's $2 billion trading loss is "going to be be investigated.")
The only liability listed in the Obamas' disclosure form was the mortgage on their home in Chicago. The first couple is paying 5.625% interest on a 30-year loan of between $500,001 and $1,000,000.
For readers who want more on the President's finances, here's a link.
Vice President Joe Biden also released his financial disclosure forms, which are far more modest than the Obamas' (repeat national bestsellers have a way of pumping up one's bottom line). But they include one intriguing item: A gift. According to the disclosure, Biden accepted a Vulcain Cricket Watch, with an estimated value of $800.
"The Vice President received a Vulcain Cricket watch from the proprietor of a small jewelry store while on an official trip to Finland," a Biden aide said on condition of anonymity.
"The Vice President accepted it in keeping with a tradition established by the proprietor's family of presenting this watch to U.S. Presidents visiting Finland, including Presidents Ford, Reagan, Herbert Walker Bush, and Clinton," the aide said.
The aide pointed Yahoo! News to a blog post describing that tradition.
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- President Barack Obama
- JP Morgan Chase