Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) will be heading to Washington DC this Wednesday to testify before the Senate Banking Committee on his firm’s $2 billion loss. Dimon has a great reputation and is an icon in the investment banking industry. Unfortunately, this trading debacle has some questioning Dimon’s leadership capabilities.
During the testimony, Dimon is expected to give much anticipated details on JP Morgan’s hedging loss. Since the incident has happened, JP Morgan has been very quiet as to the specific details of the trade, whether they have gotten out or not and the total losses of the trade.
During the 2008 financial crisis, JP Morgan was the government’s go-to bank as the investment bank took over Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual. Now, it appears that Washington may introduce new regulations on the banking industry to help protect from similar circumstances in the future.
As of right now, all we know about this JP Morgan loss is that the investment bank took a $2 billion loss on May 10th from a trade made from the investment bank’s London location. We also know that the trade that placed the trade was named Bruno Iksil, aka the “London Whale”. Sometime after May 10th, Jamie Dimon said that the loss could grow to as much as $5 billion.
While this is a lot of money, it is a relatively small amount when you look at the numbers the bank is earning.
Regardless of how this testimony turns out or how much the loss ends up being, Jamie Dimon has not lost his touch. This trade came from an area that had minimal supervision which explains the loss. However, all the blame simply can not be put on Dimon simply because he is the CEO. As we have seen as part of the aftermath, some directors and employees (particularly in the London branch) were laid off. People did not do their jobs correctly and it cost JP Morgan dearly but there is not a lot you can do other than fire the people who messed up.
The bottom line is that Wednesday is the day that we will finally (and hopefully) learn everything that needs to be known about this trade. The Senate Banking Committee is preparing to grill Dimon on the issue but the real question is: will the government introduce new banking regulations to help prevent a similar event from happening again?