The following is an excerpt from Dawn Kopecki, Robert Schmidt and Cheyenne Hopkins | September 6, 2012 | Barrons.com |
JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s (JPM) wrong-way bets on derivatives are the focus of an escalating investigation by a U.S. Senate panel led by Carl Levin that has grilled executives from banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and HSBC Holdings Plc, three people briefed on the inquiry said.
Levin’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is seeking testimony from those who worked in or helped lead JPMorgan’s chief investment office, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the inquiry isn’t public. The unit’s London staff lost at least $5.8 billion this year on the botched wagers, which were large enough to shift markets.
Tara Andringa, a spokeswoman for Levin, didn’t respond to a message seeking comment, and Joe Evangelisti at JPMorgan declined to discuss the panel’s inquiry. “As always, the company has fully cooperated with all regulatory and governmental requests around this matter,” Evangelisti said.
The bank, led by Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, 56, faces a panel of lawmakers that in recent years brought executives from Goldman Sachs and London-based HSBC to Capitol Hill, barraging them with questions that challenged their version of events. JPMorgan said in July that its internal review found traders may have tried to obscure the full amount of losses they faced on their transactions.
The market value of JPMorgan, the nation’s largest bank by assets, has dropped more than $22 billion since Bloomberg News first reported on April 5 that the firm amassed a large and illiquid position in credit derivatives in the London office. The bank lost $5.8 billion on the trades during the first six months of this year and has said it could lose as much as $7.5 billion total while closing out the position.
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