As you may have heard, recently some JP Morgan shareholders have been making a lot of noise about their desire to strip Jamie Dimon of his gig as JP Morgan Chairman. Their argument centers largely on last summer’s incident in which one of the bank’s employees lost $6+ billion on a trade. So far the board has rallied behind JD, but until today, we hadn’t what veterans of the business community thought of the matter.
What, for instance, is Ken Langone’s reaction to the idea that Jamie can’t hold down two jobs at the same time? It’s horse shit, is what! Read more »
We believe Tier I IBs are un-investable at the moment and the right time to make a switch into Tier I IBs would be if we get more clarity on regulations providing us comfort around the ROE potential of Tier I IBs or we see IBs having to spin-off their businesses leading to capital return to shareholders. We believe Tier I IBs will continue to remain more exposed to the IB regulatory changes as they try to “defend their turf” while Tier II IBs have the option to step back more aggressively.
Jamie Dimon, meanwhile, responded to analyst questions this morning by more or less begging the analysts themselves to call their congresspeople and defend JPMorgan’s turf, arguing that banks are safer than ever, that JPMorgan’s size and scale and universality provides services that clients want and is good for the world, and that “I hope at one point we declare victory and stop eating our young.”1
The analyst report is a fascinating bit of business. The claim is that global investment banking – by which they mean of course FICC trading – will see market share move toward top-tier banks, driven mainly by the commoditization of the FICC business with clearing and greater price transparency around derivatives, as well as higher capital requirements and more complex and Balkanized regulation around trading activities. The result: Read more »
JP Morgan & Co.’s chairman and chief executive officer, James Dimon, renewed his apologies to shareholders for last year’s multibillion-dollar trading fiasco, and an investor that has pushed for corporate-governance changes at large financial firms said it would focus this proxy season on changing the bank’s board…The 57-year-old Mr. Dimon called the “London Whale” trading losses, which cost the company more than $6 billion and led to the departure of a top aide to the CEO, “a real kick in the teeth” and “the stupidest and most embarrassing situation I have ever been a part of.” Five pages of Mr. Dimon’s 30-page annual letter to shareholders, released Wednesday, outlined “lessons learned” from the incident, which damaged Mr. Dimon’s standing as the best risk manager on Wall Street. [WSJ]
Executives and directors of J.P. Morgan Chase are rallying large investors against a nonbinding shareholder proposal to strip Chief Executive James Dimon of his chairmanship, the latest attempt to restore calm following a multibillion-dollar trading loss. The largest U.S. bank is arranging conversations with big fund managers in the coming weeks. J.P. Morgan is scheduling calls and offering meetings with directors for some of its biggest shareholders, including BlackRock Inc. and State Street Global Advisors, a unit of State Street Corp. Other large holders include Vanguard Group Inc., Fidelity Investments and T. Rowe Price Group Inc. Votes on the proposal will be counted at the company’s annual meeting next month in Tampa, Fla. Mr. Dimon has held the chairman and chief executive posts since 2006. Proponents of separating the two also plan extensive shareholder lobbying during coming weeks, including a meeting in Washington, D.C., with funds that hold large blocks of the company. [WSJ]
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 for the Senate to investigate a basically legitimate trade that, though it lost some money, did nothing to destabilize JPMorgan or the financial system as a whole. And we’ve heard all the important Whale stuff before, including in JPMorgan’s own Whale autopsy, and even then it was old news.
But then I started skimming the executive summary and after underlining every sentence in the first ten pages I figured I’d have to give it a closer look. It’s an amazing, horrifying read.
What was the Whale up to? I don’t think you’ll get a better explanation than this, from a January 2012 presentation by the Whale himself, Bruno Iksil (page 74):
Mr. Iksil’s presentation then proposed executing “the trades that make sense.” Specifically, it proposed: