JPMorgan Chase is not on trial for spoofing the precious metals market. It paid about $1 billion to make sure of that. Still, it might just feel to Jamie Dimon & co. that they are, in fact, the ones in the dock in the case against three of their former colleagues, as much of the time and attention paid during their trial has been on revealing some of JPMC’s deepest, darkest secrets.
The court was shown internal figures detailing the bank’s annual profits from precious metals, the first time such detailed information has ever been made public…. In summary: the business is a consistent moneymaker for JPMorgan, notching up annual profits between $109 million and $234 million a year between 2008 and 2018…. JPMorgan’s top precious metals employees on the desk were remunerated handsomely, and some jurors audibly gasped when the court was told how much the defendants had earned.
In short, former precious metals chief Michael Nowak took home $23.7 million between 2008 and 2016, top gold trader Gregg Smith $9.9 million and hedge fund sales chief Jeff Ruffo $10.5 million. We guess these particular Chicagoans haven’t heard about how much their former neighbor Ken Griffin is used to taking home. Still, it’s the sort of information JPMorgan and its ilk don’t particularly like to have highlighted. But it gets worse: Client lists were also bandied about in court.
In 2010, for example, 40% of all transactions in the gold market were cleared by JPMorgan…. Hedge funds like Moore Capital, Tudor Investment Corp and George Soros’s eponymous firm were some of the desk’s most important clients…. At least ten central banks held their metal in vaults run by JPMorgan in 2010, according to documents disclosed in court.
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