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Romney says loss at JPMorgan 'normal'; Won't rush to pass new bank rules

Mitt Romney, saying business losses are part of "the way America works," urged caution in adopting new regulations in response to the $2 billion trading loss by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

In his first direct comments on the bank's missteps, Romney said, "I would not rush to pass new legislation or new regulation."

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee was interviewed in a podcast Wednesday with blogger Ed Morrissey of Hot Air in which Romney also addressed his work as a private equity executive. As for JPMorgan, he cautioned, "This is, in the normal course of business, a large loss but certainly not one which is crippling or threatening to the institution."

Though regulators should investigate the trades to understand what happened at the company, Romney framed the loss as an example of capitalism at work.

"This was not a loss to the taxpayers of America; this was a loss to shareholders and owners of JPMorgan and that's the way America works," he said. "The $2 billion JPMorgan lost, someone else gained."

JPMorgan Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, who disclosed the loss last week, told shareholders there was no justification for the "egregious mistakes" by the biggest and most profitable U.S. bank. In two lawsuits filed this week in Manhattan federal court, shareholders sued the bank and Dimon over the loss.

Romney, co-founder of private-equity firm Bain Capital, has made repealing the Dodd-Frank law that seeks to strengthen financial regulations a central part of his campaign message, calling it one of several overly burdensome laws backed by President Obama that costs jobs.

He has remained mostly silent on what, if anything, he would replace the law with to prevent the types of risky behavior that sparked the 2008 financial crisis.

A 59-point economic plan released by his campaign in September 2011 calls for replacing the law with a "streamlined regulatory framework guided by three themes: More transparency for inter-bank relationships, enhanced capital requirements and "provisions to address new forms of complex financial transactions."

"It is amazing that there are still those who are out there arguing we should repeal Wall Street reform, that we should let Wall Street write their own rules again," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday.

Also Wednesday, Romney addressed attacks over his record at Bain Capital, saying he wasn't responsible for job losses at GST Steel, the subject of an Obama's campaign advertisement this week.

"The most recent attacks are really off-target," he said. "Their problem, of course, is that the steel factory closed down two years after I left Bain Capital. I was no longer there. So that's hardly that was something that was on my watch."

Romney left Bain Capital in 1999 to go run the Winter Olympics, two years before GST steel went bankrupt.

Vice President Biden scorned "Romney economics" in a speech in Ohio, saying the Republican's approach is "as long as the government helps the guys at the top to do well, workers and small businesses and communities, they can fend for themselves."

Meanwhile, Romney pulled in more than $40.1 million for his election effort last month, his campaign said Thursday, a near match of President Obama's April fundraising haul.