JPMorgan’s Dimon may have a whale of a problem, again

JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon is out on his annual bus tour to meet with employees and business and political leaders that have relationships with the bank. The poster boy for banking since 2008 crises is talking about making America great again.

Dimon says he is a patriot first and a banker second. His point is if we do right by America, then his bank and the stock price will do just fine, thank you. Yet there seems to be a dark cloud following Dimon and it looks like a whale.

While Dimon moves across the country, a ghost of banking’s past is rearing its head again. The London Whale trade, which hit JPMorgan in 2012 and cost the bank more than $6B ultimately in trading losses. Congress used it as prima facie evidence for the Volcker Rule’s banning of banks with deposits running their own trading operations called proprietary trading desks.

Bruno Iskil, the JPMorgan European trader who was working with authorities on the case has come out publicly to state he was doing Dimon’s work. While the feds have their charges against two other European traders for lack of evidence of wrongdoing and allege difficulty in expediting them.

At first Iskil and the team were deemed “rogue traders” going out on their own to capture huge profits using the bank’s money. As time went by and the bank’s CIO Ina Drew stepped down, word began leaking out that this was a C-Suite authorized trading program, which before it blew up, brought in huge profits for the bank.

Drew was essentially running a hedge fund within the bank, using other trading desks data to take winning positions in outsized bets, according to Iskil’s newest writings. When news of these losses began to emerge, Dimon called them a”tempest in a teapot”.

Well that leak has now become a chorus as others JPMorgan traders have backed up Iskil’s assertions that Dimon & Co. created the teapot and put it on the boil.

So as Dimon’s latest tour is said to include visits with Congressional leaders over these next weeks, it’s unclear whether his push to scale back the Volcker Rule will have any merit.


EDITOR’S NOTE: The subreddit r/google has barred me from posting after I put this story on the Reddit. While getting over a 1,000 hits from Reddit, the moderator labeled this post spam.

This only confirms what Damore says about the echo chamber. Certainly it’s not spam, but it is not in keeping with the “truth” as Silicon Valley sees it.

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