When is a loss a loss? That is the question. Read more »
Advanced Accounting Philosophy: Americans, Europeans Differ on the Existential Question of Bank LossesBy Jon Shazar
The past couple of weeks, some might argue, have been the worst of Jamie Dimon’s professional career. Although being fired by Sandy Weill in 1998 was obviously a distressing time in Dimon’s life, a JPMorgan trader’s multi-billion dollar (and counting) loss appears to be even more painful for the CEO, who now has a reputation (and a title: “America’s Least Hated Banker”) to defend. While it’s unlikely that the blunder will cost him his job, every article written questioning Dimon’s judgment, suggesting that he is in fact fallible, and wondering aloud if he is simply a pretty face (that is about to get the regulation it has vociferously argued against rammed down its throat) clearly hurts. So far, Dimon has chosen to frame the situation, at least publicly, as a group fuck-up, one for which the responsibility is shared among himself, The Whale, The Whale’s bosses, and The Whale’s bosses’ bosses. Over the weekend, though, a heretofore unmentioned character, whose actions set in motion the events that served to tarnish JD’s halo, was added to story. And now, Dimon has a place to channel his anger: on a bloodsucking vermin whose days are numbered. Read more »
Don’t worry, investors, returns are still a’ poppin’. But I cannot in good conscience not let you know that while your money is safe, for now, it’s very likely that your next letter from Chicago is going to be a tear stained one. He’s putting on a brave face, but Ken Griffin is hurting. We’ve just received word that after paying $11.38 million for two lots at the Four Seasons’ Hualalai resort, for the express purpose of being neighbors with Cher, the singer has up and decided to auction off her property next door.
The Royal Bank of Scotland reported losses of 761 million pounds today, due to a 5.9 billion pound writedown on risky assets. Chief executive officer Fred Goodwin described the bad news as “a chastening experience” that every bank should go through at least once. Soon to be laid off employees? Shareholders? What’s your take on the sitch?
RBS suffers first-ever loss after $11 bln writedown [Reuters]
“I think that the use of the word loss in this case is pejorative and actually not at all accurate,” sniffed [Fortress CEO Wes] Edens to Rashad Fonti, analyst from Citigroup, when the matter of FIG’s public portfolio holdings falling from $7.18 billion to $765 million was brought up in passing.
Fortress CEO to analysts: We don’t call them “losses” [Reuters]
Which hedge fund lost a “metric fuckton” (not to be confused with the somewhat larger “Imperial fuckton”) on their energy desk over the last several days?
Our eyes were already glazed over when we finally turned our attention to the the report released by Société Générale on the Jerome Kerviel scandal. The ocular varnish hardened to opaque as we skimmed through blather about how almost everything had gone right, everyone had done things well, and it was just a few bad eggs. It confirms much of what we had already concluded—that the back office lacked the knowledge and spine to really control the risk of the traders. “In some cases, according to the report, controllers who asked Mr. Kerviel about irregularities in his trades didn’t understand his explanations, but they dropped their inquiries,” the Wall Street Journal writes.
We woke up a bit when we read the Journal’s summary of the report: “The findings are likely to prompt widespread soul-searching within the banking sector.” Cue laughter.
But what really got our attention and tore the scales from our eyes was the chart attached to the report. Kerviel, according to SocGen, hid his real profit and loss by displaying an “official” P&L that was very small by comparison. After the jump, we bring you the chart.