The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

National News

June 13, 2012

JPMorgan CEO says execs may have pay taken back

WASHINGTON — JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told Congress on Wednesday that senior bank executives responsible for a $2 billion trading loss will probably have some of their pay taken back by the company.

“It’s likely that there will be clawbacks,” Dimon told the Senate Banking Committee.

Under bank policy, Dimon said, stock and bonuses can be recovered from executives, even for exercising bad judgment. The policy has never been invoked, he said.

The start of the hearing was delayed by demonstrators in the room who shouted about stopping foreclosures. Another demonstrator shouted, “Jamie Dimon’s a crook.” At least a dozen people were escorted from the hearing room.

Dimon appeared serene during the outbursts, which lasted several minutes. At another point before the questioning began, he gave a broad smile.

Dimon contended that the trading loss, disclosed May 10 in a surprise conference call with reporters and banking analysts, were meant to hedge risk to the company and to protect in case “things got really bad.”

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., told Dimon that “the question that bothers most people” is whether the trading loss could happen at a weaker bank with less of a cash cushion to protect itself.

JPMorgan’s trading loss has heightened concerns that the biggest banks still pose risks to the U.S. financial system, less than four years after the financial crisis in the fall of 2008.

The so-called Volcker rule, which goes into effect in July, will prevent banks from making certain trades for their own profit. Banks won an exemption to trade to protect their broad portfolios, as Dimon has said JPMorgan was doing in this case.

Dimon told the committee, however, that “I have a hard time distinguishing it.”

The CEO said that JPMorgan adopted a strategy late last year to reduce risk, but it backfired in its investment operation by heightening risk instead. The bank has named a new leader for the investment operation that was responsible for the loss.

A key regulator of JPMorgan, Thomas Curry, the U.S. comptroller of the currency, suggested last week that the bank lacked strong controls to contain risk in its investment operations.

And The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that some senior JPMorgan executives, including the chief financial officer and chief risk officer, were told about risky trading in London two years before the losses came to light.

Dimon himself knew of some of the trades and sometimes spoke with the traders involved, the Journal reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

The banking committee’s chairman, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., cited “an out-of-control trading strategy with little to no risk controls” at JPMorgan, according to portions of his opening statement for the hearing released Tuesday.

“So what went wrong?” Johnson was to ask.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing what JPMorgan told investors about its finances and the risks it took before the loss.

In April, in a conference call with analysts, Dimon had dismissed concerns about the bank’s trading, calling them a “tempest in a teapot.” Later, adopting a more conciliatory stance, he conceded that he’d been “dead wrong” to minimize those concerns.

Dimon has called the losses “a black mark” for the bank. He confessed to a “flawed, complex, poorly reviewed, poorly executed and poorly monitored” trading strategy that allowed the losses to occur.

Senators will want to know what Dimon knew at the time he dismissed the issue in April.

Dimon, the grandson of a Greek immigrant and son of a stockbroker, is no stranger to Washington. His reputation for cost-cutting and his perceived mastery of risk have given him an audience at the Treasury Department, White House and Congress, particularly during the crisis. More than other major Wall Street banks, JPMorgan weathered the 2008 financial crisis with few scars.

This time, Dimon will be under a harsher spotlight.

Since the crisis, Dimon has been an outspoken voice against stricter financial regulation. He has complained that lawmakers and regulators have gone too far in an overhaul of the financial system and might be slowing the economic recovery.

In particular, Dimon has criticized the so-called Volcker rule, which would bar banks from making certain trades for their own profit.

Thanks to lobbying by Dimon and other Wall Street bankers, the banks won an exemption in the rule: It would let them make such trades to hedge not only the risks of individual investments but also the risks of a broader investment portfolio.

Dimon has said the rule would not have prevented the trading that led to JPMorgan’s losses. He says the trading in credit derivatives was designed to hedge against financial risks, not to make a profit for the bank.

The Volcker rule goes into effect next month, but banks don’t have to fully meet its requirements for two more years.

 

1
Text Only
National News
  • Salmonella decline seen in food poisoning report

    The government’s latest report card on food poisoning shows a dip in salmonella cases but an increase in illnesses from bacteria in raw shellfish.

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge in gay marriage case asks pointed questions

    A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions.

    April 17, 2014

  • Obama shows skepticism on Russia in Ukraine

    President Barack Obama conveyed skepticism Thursday about Russian promises to de-escalate a volatile situation in Ukraine, and said the United State and its allies are ready to impose fresh sanctions if Moscow doesn’t make good on its commitments.

    April 17, 2014

  • Cyber cops: Target hackers may take years to find

    Secret Service investigators say they are close to gaining a full understanding of the methods hackers used to breach Target’s computer systems last December.

    April 17, 2014

  • Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies

    As political campaigns begin to heat up, the Supreme Court is deciding whether false accusations and mudslinging made during an election can be punished as a crime.

    April 16, 2014

  • Auto Show Nissan Hot _Cast.jpg Hot models at this year’s New York Auto Show

    With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the U.S. auto industry.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Transportation Blues 2.jpg Congress is giving states the transportation blues

    On the road in a tour bus this week, the U.S. transportation secretary is spreading some bad news: the government’s Highway Trust Fund is nearly broke.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Report: Russia withheld intel before Boston attack

    A yearlong review of information the U.S. intelligence community had prior to the Boston Marathon bombing found that the investigation could have been more thorough.

    April 11, 2014

  • Obama Health Secretary.jpg Obama announces Sebelius resignation, successor

    President Barack Obama praised outgoing Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for helping to steer his health care law’s comeback after a rocky rollout, even as he nominated a successor aimed at helping the White House move past the political damage.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police seek driver in deadly Florida day care crash

    As mourners trickled by Thursday to honor the 4-year-old girl who was killed and 14 others injured in a crash at a Florida day care, authorities scoured the state for the driver they said fled in the vehicle that caused the fatal wreck.

    April 10, 2014

Facebook
Poll

Missouri Republicans are considering a new approach to prevent federal agents from enforcing laws the state considers to be infringements on gun rights: barring them from future careers in state law enforcement agencies. Do you think this proposal has merit?

Yes
No
     View Results
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest