JPMorgan $2 billion loss hits shares, credit, image

Sat May 12, 2012 4:49pm EDT
 
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By David Henry and Douwe Miedema

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co lost $15 billion in market value and a notch in its credit ratings on Friday while a chorus of regulators and politicians reacted to its surprise $2 billion trading loss by demanding stiffer oversight for the banking industry.

The loss by one of Wall Street's most respected banks embarrassed chief executive Jamie Dimon, a leader lauded for steering his bank through the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis without reporting a loss.

"We know we were sloppy. We know we were stupid. We know there was bad judgment," Dimon said in an interview with NBC television to be broadcast on "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

He said it wasn't clear whether the bank had broken any laws or violated any rules. "We've had audit, legal, risk, compliance, some of our best people looking at all of that."

The loss also invited regulatory scrutiny for a man who had all but led the charge to limit it, criticizing the so-called Volcker rule to ban proprietary trading by big banks.

The New York Times reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a preliminary investigation into JPMorgan's accounting practices and public disclosures about the trading loss.

On Friday, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro told reporters: "It's safe to say that all the regulators are focused on this."

The debacle sparked new fears about big banks and prompted Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher, who has called for the breakup of the top five U.S. banks, to say he is worried the biggest banks do not have adequate risk management.   Continued...

 
A man walks into the JP Morgan headquarters at Canary Wharf in London May 11, 2012. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez