Tags: JPMorgan | Loss | Rise | Billion

NYT: JPMorgan Loss Rises by at Least $1 Billion

Thursday, 17 May 2012 08:39 AM

The JPMorgan botched trade that cost the bank an estimated $2 billion will likely come to at least $3 billion loss, the New York Times reports, citing sources close to the matter.

The bank said the botched hedge would generate a $2 billion loss although that figure was an initial estimate.

The bank is still working to minimize the fallout of the hedge, which will take time to unwind.

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Still, there are no plans to cut dividend payments — for now.

In March, JPMorgan hiked its quarterly dividend by 5 cents to 30 cents, which will cost the bank about $190 million more this quarter, the New York Times adds.

Shareholders aren't so sure.

"That wasn't a very clear answer," says John Lackey, a shareholder from Richmond, Va., who attended a recent shareholder meeting to gauge whether dividend payments would change, the Times reports.

"I expect that shareholders are going to suffer because of this."

The bank is facing an array of probes, as regulators aim to find out how a risk management hedge could generate such losses.

"JPMorgan Chase has a big hedge fund inside a commercial bank," says Mark Williams, a professor of finance at Boston University, who also served as a Federal Reserve bank examiner, the Times adds.

"They should be taking in deposits and making loans, not taking large speculative bets."

One preliminary investigation in particular has raised eyebrows — the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"All I can say is that we have opened a preliminary investigation," FBI Director Robert Mueller said in response to questions at an FBI oversight hearing on Capitol Hill, CNNMoney reports.

While financial regulators have said they will look into what happened and with a congressional inquiry possibly to follow, the FBI is leading some to believe something more nefarious could have taken place.

"The FBI are not guys looking for violations of civil and securities law," says Erik Gordon, a law and business professor at the University of Michigan, CNNMoney adds.

"They look for one thing, and one thing only: criminality."

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Thursday, 17 May 2012 08:39 AM
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