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The JPMorgan Incident, in Real Talk

By    |   Friday, 25 May 2012 08:42 AM

The Senate banking Committee and many politicians are trying to politicize the recent revelation that JPMorgan lost $2 billion on a trade that the CEO considered "stupid".

Three people lost their jobs, and many politicians and regulators have attacked JPMorgan and its flamboyant CEO, Jamie Dimon.

However, like most things in the news today these attacks are political in nature and are meant to obscure the facts. Most in the media are not informed or honest enough to be able to report on this.

As a professional investor I can attempt to give you a dose of reality.

Editor's Note: Inside the World’s Greatest Retirement Lie
Find Out the Truth, See the Details.

First of all, there is this lie that taxpayers’ money was at risk here. JPMorgan and this particular trading department have made large profits in the past three years hedging the bank’s massive loan portfolio.

The $2 billion loss represents less than 1% of its total portfolio of $250 billion.

Have these senators forgotten about the Obama administration, which unwisely guaranteed a $535 million loan to Solyndra, then lost all of the taxpayers’ money when the solar-energy company went bankrupt in September 2011?

Or how what about the auto-industry bailout? According to the TARP inspector general's April 25 report, U.S. taxpayers have received cash and securities worth $50.9 billion on the $79.7 billion extended to General Motors, General Motors Acceptance Corp. (now Ally Financial) and Chrysler. That is a $28.8 billion loss.

On the other hand JPMorgan did not need TARP and was forced to take $25 billion. JP Morgan not only paid it back as soon as it was allowed to, but paid interest and warrants back to the government.

In fact, TARP for the large financial institutions was the most profitable endeavor the U.S. government has ever done—netting the government billions of dollars.

Editor's Note: Inside the World’s Greatest Retirement Lie
Find Out the Truth, See the Details.

Let's examine JPMorgan’s and the senators’ and public officials’ own track records for just a minute.

Since the financial crisis started, JPMorgan made a profit every quarter and will still make a profit this quarter despite the loss.

The Democratic Senate has not produced a budget in three years, and more than $6 trillion of losses have built up under their watch.

They only need 51 votes to pass a budget.

The U.S. government is losing $4 billion per day due the senators who are unwilling and unable to deal with this massive growing deficit.

Yet the Obama administration and its advocates are touting the success of the auto bailout that cost the taxpayer almost $29 billion while decrying a $2 billion loss at JPMorgan, which is part of an overall gain by that same department over the past three years.

Now who sounds more trustworthy about financial matters and is a better steward of their constituents’ money: Jamie Dimon or Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and President Obama?

I'll let you be the judge of that.

Welcome to the world of election-year politics, where our elected officials and the willing media who enable them have a very simple motto: Don't let the facts interfere with a good story.

Please email me with your opinions on this story.

About the Author: Bill Spetrino

Bill Spetrino is a member of the Moneynews Financial Brain Trust. Click Here to read more of his articles. He is also the editor of the Dividend Machine. Discover more by Clicking Here Now.

 

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Friday, 25 May 2012 08:42 AM
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