“Many companies have transactions that go bad,” Greenberg said today on “In the Loop With Betty Liu” on Bloomberg Television. “Everybody’s not paraded down to Washington to testify.” “He handled it OK,” Greenberg said of Dimon, 56. “It was really outrageous to have the CEO come down and testify before Congress because of a transaction that didn’t work out well.” [Bloomberg, related]
A Company Is In The Hole For $182 Billion, Hank Greenberg Can See The Merit In A Congressional Hearing But $2-9BN? Beat ItBy Bess Levin
Banks Prove That They Are Not Too Big To Fail By Saying “We Can Fail” On A Piece Of Paper, Moving OnBy Matt Levine
One way you could spend this slow week is reading the “living wills” submitted by a bunch of banks telling regulators how to wind them up if they go under. Don’t, though: they’re about the most boring and least informative things imaginable and I am angry that I read them.* Here for instance is how JPMorgan would wind itself up if left to its own devices**:
(1) It would just file for bankruptcy and stiff its non-deposit creditors (at the holding company and then, if necessary, at the bank).
(2) If after stiffing its non-deposit creditors it didn’t have enough money to pay its depositors it would sell its highly attractive businesses in a competitive sale to willing buyers who would pay top dollar.
This seems wrong, no? And not just in the sense of “in my opinion that would be sort of difficult, what with people freaking out about JPMorgan going bankrupt and its highly attractive businesses having landing it in, um, bankruptcy.” It’s wrong in the sense that it’s the opposite of having a plan for dealing with banks being “too big to fail”: it’s premised on an assumption that the bank is not too big to fail. If JPMorgan runs into trouble that it can’t get out of without taxpayer support, it’ll just file for bankruptcy like anybody else. Depositors will be repaid (if they’re under FDIC limits); non-depositor creditors will be screwed just like they would be on a failure of Second Community Bank of Kenosha. Read more »
Despite Jamie Dimon’s promise that JPMorgan will be “solidly profitable” for the quarter, some are skeptical given the growing estimates of Whale-boy’s losses. According Mike Mayo, the bank “will only make $727 million…including $4 billion of losses in the unit that made the bungled bet [though] if the losses exceed $5 billion, JPMorgan could make an overall loss.” Barclays’ Jason Goldberg thinks things are gonna be okay here, and sees the bank making $3.3 billion, assuming you know who will have only lost it $3 billion when all is said and done. And yourselves? Read more »
J.P. Morgan has added at least five new employees over the past month to the risk department in its Chief Investment Office, the unit responsible for trading losses that may have climbed to $9 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The bank is expanding the risk unit as it responds to the trading debacle and rebuilds the CIO, said one person familiar with the bank’s thinking. [FINS]
Saba Capital Management’s Boaz Weinstein recently exited a now famous and profitable credit derivative bet against JPMorgan, according to sources familiar with the trade. In May, JPMorgan reported a $2 billion trading loss in its chief investment office, due to large bets on an obscure group of indexes that track the performance of corporate bonds, including the Markit CDX NA IG Series 9 index. Weinstein’s Saba, among other funds, bet against that trade. Saba, which has liquidated its position in its entirety, “exited directly to JPMorgan’s CIO office,” according to a source familiar with the hedge fund. Weinstein, a former Deutsche Bank trader, was one of the early proponents of a trade that involved buying Investment Grade Series 9 10-Year Index CDS, discussing it at the Harbor Investment Conference in February. Ironically, the conference was held at JP Morgan’s Madison’ Avenue offices. [Reuters]