Bruno Iksil

  • I mean really the whale is fine.

    News

    The London Whale Hated All The Lying About How Much Money He Was Losing

    Today U.S. prosecutors charged former JPMorgan CIO traders Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout with various crimes for mis-marking the London Whale structured credit portfolio positions. The complaints are here and here and reading them you get the strong sense that Bruno Iksil, the Whale himself, was the hero of the whole saga. Oh, sure, he […]

    / Aug 14, 2013 at 12:00 PM
  • I want to think that Iksil has a sense of humor about the whole thing and has this poster hanging in his living room. Though I guess it'll be funnier once any legal liability is behind him.

    News

    No One Wanted To Tell The London Whale He Was Looking A Little Bloated

    Here’s a good Sonic Charmer post about how JPMorgan could have prevented the London Whale loss by imposing a liquidity provision on the Whale’s desk: Liquidity provision means: ‘the more illiquid the stuff you’re trading, the more rainy-day buffer we’re going to withhold from your P&L’. And since one way a thing becomes illiquid is […]

    / Mar 28, 2013 at 5:58 PM
  • I will poke you!

    News

    Senate Subcommittee Feasting On Whale Today

    When I got the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report on the London Whale last night, I did what any sensible human would do: I ctrl-F’ed for my name and the names of my friends and enemies, gloated briefly, and then set to work rationalizing not reading the rest of it. After all, it’s ridiculous […]

    / Mar 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM
  • inadrewnewyorktimes

    News

    Ina Drew Headed To Washington For A Little Chat Re: Marine Mammals

    The executive who led the J.P. Morgan Chase Co. cash-management unit at the center of the “London Whale” debacle is scheduled to testify Friday before a Senate panel probing the $6 billion trading loss at the nation’s largest bank by assets. Former Chief Investment Officer Ina Drew, who resigned as head of the unit last […]

    / Mar 13, 2013 at 4:15 PM
  • shamu

    News

    London Whale Also Not Responsible For Those Last 10 Pounds You Haven’t Lost

    There are a lot of things that, if you wanted to, you could legitimately blame on former JP Morgan employee London P. Whale. The $6.2 billion trading loss the bank incurred over the summer. Ina Drew getting fired. This awkward phone call. Some stuff you can’t pin on him, though many have tried: male pattern baldness, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Apple Maps, Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy, tempting as it may be.

    / Feb 28, 2013 at 1:32 PM
  • whale diagram

    Banks

    JPMorgan Dissects A Whale Carcass

    How should one read JPMorgan’s Whale Report? I suppose “not” is an acceptable answer; the Whale’s credit derivatives losses at JPMorgan’s Chief Investment Office are old news by now, though perhaps his bones point us to the future. One way to read it is as a depressing story about measurement. There were some people and […]

    / Jan 16, 2013 at 1:41 PM
  • Okay let's make that ... rock wall ... thing ... taller.

    News

    Regulators Close Aquarium Door Behind Escaped Whale

    Once upon a time there was a whale, and he had a synthetic credit portfolio, and one day he did terrible terrible things with that synthetic credit portfolio, and the next day he woke up and realized he had lost $5.8 billion, and he was sad. The question for you is: was that a disaster? […]

    / Jan 14, 2013 at 6:33 PM
  • News

    US Authorities Are Investigating A Smaller, Sous Chef Of A Whale In JPMorgan’s CIO Office

    A fourth London-based JPMorgan Chase trader is under scrutiny in the investigation by U.S. authorities into the bank’s nearly $6 billion trading loss, according to sources familiar with the situation. Julien Grout, a trader who joined JPMorgan Chase in 2009, is drawing attention because he worked in the bank’s Chief Investment Office and reported to […]

    / Sep 6, 2012 at 1:51 PM
  • News

    If You Work At JPMorgan And Are Thinking About Losing A Few Billion, Take Note

    “And I want you to know the London Whale issue is dead,” Jamie Dimon recently told a bunch of school children. “The Whale has been harpooned. Dessicated. Cremated…I am going to bury its ashes all over.” [NYM]

    / Aug 13, 2012 at 3:39 PM
  • News

    JPMorgan Still Reaping What Whale Boy Hath Sown

    JPMorgan can’t outrun the ripples from its multibillion-dollar “London Whale” trading blunder. The largest U.S. bank admitted Thursday in a federal filing that it pushed back a plan to resume share buybacks, scaled back several key measures of capital at the request of regulators and lost money on 28 trading days in the second quarter. […]

    / Aug 9, 2012 at 6:25 PM
  • it's not over 'til it's over

    JPMorgan Whale Isn’t Finished Here

    JPMorgan’s chief investment office has lost $5.8 billion on the trades so far, and that figure may grow by $1.7 billion in a worst-case scenario, Dimon, the bank’s chairman and chief executive officer, said today. [Bloomberg, related]

    / Jul 13, 2012 at 1:12 PM
  • News

    Call The JPMorgan (Whale Loss) Close (Updated)

    Did Bruno Iksil make the bank -$2 billion? -$9 billion? -$20 billion? Was this all just a hoax and he actually didn’t lose any money at all? JPMorgan will let us know tomorrow at 7AM.

    Standard Price Is Right rules, closest without going over. Guesses in by 4PM today. Winner will receive his or her choice of a visit from the sandwich fairy, a highly coveted whale bath toy, or an I heart Dealbreaker button.

    / Jul 12, 2012 at 1:21 PM
  • News

    Analysts Attempt To Call The JPMorgan (Second Quarter) Close

    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?

    Start considering your predictions now, as come July 13, there will be a visit from the Sandwich Fairy and a coveted bath toy for whoever comes closest without going over.

    Will The Whale Swallow JPMorgan’s Second-Quarter Earnings [Dealbook]

    / Jun 29, 2012 at 3:26 PM
  • News

    Bruno Iksil: Genius

    Mr. Iksil [who sometimes wore the same clothing several days in a row] once confided to the colleague that when he wanted to avoid questions from supervisors about his trades, he sometimes would start discussing a mathematical term, equation or other technical jargon, to confuse and end the conversation. “He wasn’t trying to evade, he sometimes […]

    / Jun 19, 2012 at 10:06 AM
  • JPMorgan Flogging

    Jamie Dimon: Don’t Blame The Risk Committee!

    They took JPMorgan through the financial crisis “with flying colors.” The Whale stuff was a blip. [Related]

    / Jun 13, 2012 at 10:44 AM
  • News

    Paying Bankers In Derivatives Worked Out So Well For Credit Suisse, Let’s All Do It

    BreakingViews has a couple of posts up about one of my favorite things in the financial universe, Credit Suisse’s habit of paying its bankers in structured credit instruments that take pages to describe. How’s that going? Great: Three years ago, around 2,000 employees were forced to take some $5 billion of the riskiest assets from […]

    / Jun 12, 2012 at 3:53 PM
  • News

    Volcker Rule Would Have Required JPMorgan Whale To Look Himself In The Mirror And Ask “Is This Really What I Want To Do With My Life?”

    It looks like London Whale Bruno Iksil is currently vacationing in a quantum state between fired and not-fired, which I suspect is relatively pleasant compared to, like, trading credit indices, and his immediate supervisors have all moved on to bluer oceans. But layers and layers of people above them continue to have to tug at […]

    / Jun 6, 2012 at 6:45 PM
  • News

    JPMorgan Isn’t Ready To Let Bruno Iksil Go

    You can take your said to be leavings and stick them where the sun don’t shine for all Jamie Dimon cares!

    Bruno Iksil, the London-based JPMorgan Chase & Co trader known as the “whale” believed to have been involved in the company’s $2 billion loss in derivatives, is still employed by JPMorgan, a spokeswoman for the bank said on Wednesday. Kristin Lemkau responded to a report on the New York Times website saying that Iksil is leaving the company. “He is still employed,” Lemkau said.

    JPMorgan still employs “whale” trader [Reuters]
    ‘London Whale’ Said to Be Leaving JPMorgan [Dealbook]

    / May 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM
  • News

    Jamie Dimon Might Clawback Whale Team’s Bonuses Or He Might Not

    Dimon was approached by reporters after the [shareholder] meeting and was asked about whether executive pay would be taken back under the bank’s clawback provisions. “We will do the right thing…And that may well include clawbacks,” Dimon said. “The buck always stops with me.” [WSJ, earlier]

    / May 15, 2012 at 12:26 PM
  • News

    JPMorgan Chief Risk Officer: “I want to reiterate the critical role that we play at J.P. Morgan Chase”

    In case that was unclear. Also, no more “surprises” like you know what again, please.

    / May 11, 2012 at 2:59 PM
  • News

    The Tale Of A Whale Of A Fail

    Hi! Would you like to talk about the London Whale? Sure you would. The amount of misunderstanding of our poor beleaguered beluga is staggering, so I figured we could try to embark on a voyage of discovery together. Maybe we’ll figure it out. Along the way we’ll talk a tiny bit about the Volcker Rule. […]

    / May 11, 2012 at 2:36 PM
  • News

    Senator From Vermont Finally Weighs In On JPMorgan Situation

    BURLINGTON, Vt., May 11 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today after J.P. Morgan Chase revealed a $2 billion loss: “The debacle at J.P. Morgan Chase reaffirms my view that the largest six banks in this country, including J.P. Morgan Chase, which have assets equivalent to two-thirds of our GDP, must […]

    / May 11, 2012 at 12:45 PM
  • News

    Whale Sushi On The Menu At JPMorgan Executive Lunchroom For Next Few Months

    Jamie Dimon just did a conference call in which he mentioned something called the “Dimon Principle,” but he did not define it, so I will propose a definition, which is: If you are going to have a Slytherin alumnus running a $375bn book full of snakes and CDX and TIPS (??) and things, and someone […]

    / May 10, 2012 at 6:21 PM
  • News

    More Voldemort v. Volcker

    I for one am pleased that the London Whale cannot stay out of the news despite all of JPMorgan’s best efforts to say that he’s NBD. His travels through the world’s oceans are delightful and instructive, and Mr. Whale, if you’re reading this and ever come to these shores, I’d love to buy you a […]

    / Apr 18, 2012 at 3:27 PM
  • News

    JPMorgan’s Voldemort Probably Isn’t That Magical

    John Carney has hilariously convinced a bunch of people that JPMorgan whale-wizard Bruno Iksil could actually be running a synthetic bank on top of JPMorgan’s actual bank. The theory, propounded to him by a mysterious trader and sort of supported by an old PIMCO client note, is that Iksil was tasked with hedging JPMorgan’s inflation risk and did so by putting on a trade that was (1) long TIPS (for the inflation) + (2) long [write protection on] CDX (for the yield). Now I will tell you a thing, which is that I hedge my inflation risk by being (1) long TIPS (for the inflation) + (2) long MegaMillions tickets (for the yield),* but nobody calls me Voldemort.

    Here is Doug Braunstein’s theory about Iksil:

    On a conference call with analysts, Braunstein said the positions are meant to hedge investments the bank makes in “very high grade” securities with excess deposits. (J.P. Morgan has some $1.1 trillion in worldwide deposits.) Braunstein said the CIO positions are meant to offset the risk of a “stress-loss” in that credit portfolio. He added the CIO position is made in line with the bank’s overall risk strategy.

    What can that mean? Presumably the sensible view to take from this is that this is actually part of a “stress-loss” hedge; the CIO is short (bought protection on) a lot of shorter-dated corporate credit and funds it by being long (selling protection on) a lot of longer-dated (5-year) corporate credit, so as to be relatively DV01-neutral but long jump risk. This has the advantage of (1) actually hedging a stress loss in high-grade short-term corporate securities, (2) fitting in with the relative lack of noise in the CIO portfolio,** (3) being what people have told Bloomberg he was doing, and (4) being what JPMorgan has actually said it’s actually done in the CIO during the crisis. So it’s probably true no?

    But it’s fun to pretend! If you pretend Carney is right you can have one of two views.*** One is Izabella Kaminska’s, which is “sure, I guess this is a hedge, but boy is it a mysterious one.” You can buy this if you have – as she does – a pretty postmodernist view of what a hedge is. I do too, mostly.

    / Apr 17, 2012 at 5:32 PM
  • News

    You Say “Voldemort” Like That’s A Bad Thing

    Do you think that Bruno Iksil, when he woke up in Paris on Friday looking forward to trading from home in his black jeans, expected to become an international celebrity? The evidence suggests not. You may remember Iksil – possibly under other names like “Voldemort” or “the London Whale™” as the JPMorgan chief investment office trader who has sold protection on $100bn of notional of a CDX investment grade index to … hedge … JPMorgan’s massive short position in credit … or … something?* Anyway a lot of people are mad at him because that’s just too much protection to sell on that index and so they are complaining to Bloomberg and the Journal about how he is manipulating the market and also taking huge proprietary risks with JPMorgan capital that should obvs be regulated out of existence.

    This is weird in a lot of ways but one of them is that you can distill a lot of the Volcker-Rule complaints into “my God, you’re telling me that JPMorgan is exposed to $100bn of credit risk on investment-grade debt issued by a diverse mix of 121 U.S. companies!?” No! JPMorgan is exposed to something like $750bn of credit risk on debt issued by a diverse mix of companies. Some of it’s non-US. Some of it’s not even investment grade. And that’s just in its loan book.** Is writing $100bn of protection on the CDX.IG.NA.9 a terrible risk to take with investor and depositor and government-backstop money? Well, define “terrible risk.” It’s certainly less risky than operating the rest of JPMorgan.***

    / Apr 9, 2012 at 4:58 PM

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