Looking Back on JPMorgan’s London Whale Saga

With criminal charges imminent, we look back on reporting of the London Whale revelations at Wall Street On Parade. 

Personal Investing Lessons From JPMorgan’s London Whale Debacle 

Ina Drew

Despite a multitude of formulas for measuring risk, multiple layers of oversight management, 28 members of a risk management team with titles like Managing Director, Executive Director, and Vice President, it somehow didn’t occur to any of these folks that the number one criteria for a trading investment is that you need to be able to get out of it. Continue Reading 

JPMorgan: Poster Child for the Most Dangerous Financial System Since 1929

Senator Carl Levin

Last Friday, Senator Carl Levin told the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that JPMorgan “piled on risk, hid losses, disregarded risk limits, manipulated risk models, dodged oversight, and misinformed the public.” And here’s the punch line: that’s not even the worst of what JPMorgan did. Continue Reading… 

The Other Thing JPMorgan Was Doing In Its Chief Investment Office: Profiting on the Death of Employees 

Gambling on high-risk synthetic credit derivatives is not the only area of interest at JPMorgan’s  Chief Investment Office (CIO) – the division that has thus far admitted to losing $6.2 billion in the London Whale debacle. According to Exhibit 81 released by the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Ina Drew, the head of the CIO, was also overseeing the investment of funds in the firm’s Bank Owned Life Insurance (BOLI) and Corporate Owned Life Insurance (COLI) plans – a scheme enshrined by the U.S. Congress in 2006 that allows too-big-to-fail banks as well as many other corporations to reap huge tax benefits by taking out life insurance policies on workers – even low wage workers – and naming the corporation the beneficiary of the death benefit. Continue Reading… 

Senate Censors Part of Report on JPMorgan About Its Stock Trading 

Throughout the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation’s 98 exhibits of emails and internal memos on the wild trading schemes at JPMorgan, the word “Redacted” appears.  In a high number of the areas where the material is censored, it concerns trading in the stock market, not the credit market where Bruno Iksil, the trader known as the London Whale, was causing giant ripples and eventual mega losses for the largest bank in the U.S. To date, there has been no media attention to the issue of stock trading within the Chief Investment Office nor has the issue been raised by investigators. Continue Reading 

JPMorgan: The House that Jamie Built Looks Much Like the House That Sandy Built 

Jamie Dimon

Much of the investing public, and I would venture many members of the research team at the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that compiled the 307 page report on JPMorgan’s $6.2 billion in losses from the London Whale trade, are unaware that the company’s Chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon, learned at the knee of the mastermind of too-big-to-fail – former Citigroup Chairman and CEO, Sandy Weill. From 1982 to 1998, Dimon was Weill’s first lieutenant, rising to the rank of President of Citigroup.  Continue Reading 

JPMorgan Puts Jamie Dimon Underlings In Charge of Investigating Dimon’s Failures In London Whale Episode 

Yesterday, JPMorgan released a report from its Board of Directors that found [drum roll] that the Board was not culpable in the London Whale episode, it just needed to tweak a few things going forward. London Whale refers to the blowing up of $6.2 billion of insured deposits at JPMorgan’s commercial bank through reckless trading in derivatives in London. Continue Reading 

Regulator Says JPMorgan Engaged in Unsafe or Unsound Banking Practices But Preserves Golden Parachutes for Execs 

Yesterday, two of JPMorgan Chase’s regulators, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve, released the details of their cease and desist consent orders with the mega bank over its lack of proper risk controls in its Chief Investment Office (CIO).  The lapses have led to $6.2 billion in losses thus far. JPMorgan, for its part, made sure its golden parachutes – outsized payments to departing executives –would not be limited by the consent agreement. Continue Reading

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