So, this is creepy.
JPMorgan Chase & Co., which has racked up more than $36 billion in legal bills since the financial crisis, is rolling out a program to identify rogue employees before they go astray, according to Sally Dewar, head of regulatory affairs for Europe, who’s overseeing the effort. Dozens of inputs, including whether workers skip compliance classes, violate personal trading rules or breach market-risk limits, will be fed into the software.
It appears that Jamie and his team are so dead-set on not finding another London Whale beached on their shores that they're going the full Philip K. Dick. JPM is essentially building an algorithmic system that will sift through emails, transcripts of phone calls, and even chats to suss out the behavioral tendencies of its own employees.
For now, the bank is only testing the algorithm out on traders, but will reportedly be rolling out across other divisions as it gains confidence that it is getting a solid read on whether or not it is getting a clear read on the secret plans for mischeif just forming in the minds of Jamie's minions.
Another nugget of interest in the story is that JPM is not the first Wall Street giant to use this piece of sci-(non)fi paranoia against its own people.
One expert voice quoted in the piece is a Tim Estes, CEO at something called Digital Reasoning Systems Inc., which apparently does something very similar to JPM's behavioral prediction algorithm and has a pretty sweet little client roster.
“We’re taking technology that was built for counter-terrorism and using it against human language, because that’s where intentions are shown,” said Estes, whose company counts Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG as clients and investors, but not JPMorgan. “If you want to be proactive, you have to get people before they act.”
Kind of makes you wonder what Lazard could have uncovered if it had this ability to detect naughty thoughts and career choices from inside its own office.