Great NYT piece about all the lessons learned after our financial crisis. You could have had a blank article after that headline and the point would have come across but instead Jesse Eisinger has a great article about JPM, it’s major trading loss last year, and how it not only deceived shareholders but was not even bothered by regulators.
We have not learned our lesson and it is surely sewing the seeds of the next great financial crisis. Check it out.
A few of the money shots:
What we now know about the incident is that, as the cliché has it, the cover-up was worse than the crime. The losses out of the London office weren’t enough to take down the bank. But as they were building, JPMorgan traders fiddled with risk measures and valuations. The bank’s risk managers defended the traders and pooh-poohed the flashing red signals. The bank gave incorrect information to its regulator. Top executives then made misleading statements to shareholders and the public. All the while, the regulator served its typical role of house pet.
So let’s take a moment to celebrate a handful of American heroes, Mr. Levin and the staff members at the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Because of them, this corruption has come to light. Friday’s hearing served to emphasize how lonely Mr. Levin’s efforts are. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona and the new ranking minority member on the committee, did a yeoman’s job of asking a few questions. Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, made a few incoherent statements using the au courant phrase “too big to fail,” then scuttled out of the hearing. None of the other senators, Democrats and Republicans alike, bothered to show up.