Three photographs of the Whale (that summarize the enormously complex $6 billion “London Whale” derivatives trade by JPMorgan)
Below is a photograph of the senior JPMorgan witnesses testifying before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee On Investigations on Friday, March 15. They oversaw the loss of more than $6 billion in depositor funds. This loss dramatized many issues, including the need to return banks to safe lending to the real economy as opposed to risky speculation on meaningless gambles. The loss also showed that some banks are too big to manage, as JPMorgan was considered well managed before this major loss. And the loss also showed that the bank is too big and complex to oversee.
These witnesses answered questions for about three hours from Sen. Carl Levin, (D-Mich), who chairs the subcommittee; Sen. John McCain (R-Az), the ranking Republican, and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc), among others. In the foreground is Peter Weiland, former JPMorgan risk manager. In the far back is Ina Drew, former chief investment officer.
And here are the three dozen attorneys helping them testify. Most are paid well. Many worked for the government, a few as recently as a few months ago.
After the JP Morgan executives testified, the subcommittee heard from the government officials from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency responsible for overseeing JP Morgan and several thousand other national banks.
Bartlett Naylor is the financial policy reform advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. Follow him on Twitter at @BartNaylor.