Yesterday JPMorgan was ordered to pay yet another fine to atone for its bad behavior, this time for its role as an enabler of Ponzi scheme master Bernie Madoff. Since 2009, JPMorgan has paid more than $30 billion in fines for various misdeeds. That kind of consistent misbehavior is no accident.
Let's address two tragedies today.
The first is how Jamie Dimon & Co. and all the guilty big banks get away with murder.
The second is something I want to share with you because 50 years ago today, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated. It isn't a conspiracy theory about who did it, but a likely theory about what happened and the conspiracy to cover that up.
JPMorgan has become the poster child for the excesses of Wall Street. So when the government managed to extract a $13 billion settlement from the Too Big to Fail bank over transgressions related to the kind of mortgage-backed securities that helped cause the 2008 financial crisis, it appeared that finally some justice had been done.
This week, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) agreed to a tentative $13 billion settlement over a government investigation into faulty mortgage loans the company sold to investors.
What most investors don't realize is that the company has been involved in 10 other settlements in the last two and a half years. Here's a rundown of JPMorgan's bad behavior since 2011.
Today's stock market news focuses on earnings and the release of a backlog of economic data that was delayed due to the federal government shutdown.
Two of the largest U.S. financial institutions kicked off third-quarter results for big bank earnings today, giving us a peek at how they fared amid tough times for both firms.
Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE: WFC) is in the midst of slashing headcount in its mortgage unit by some 1,800, and JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) is tangled up in settlement talks with the U.S. Justice Department.
The short story on the banks' earnings: WFC earnings had to use a lot of "accounting gimmickry" to beat earnings-per-share (EPS) expectations, and JPM earnings show the first quarterly loss since Jamie Dimon came on board (he started in 2004 as chief operating officer, then moved to chief executive officer in 2005).
Now that it looks like Janet Yellen will succeed Ben Bernanke as chief of the Federal Reserve, investors need to re-think how the Fed under her guidance will affect the markets.
JP MorganChase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) finds itself in front of regulators yet again for misdeeds.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) James Dimon was in Washington yesterday (Thursday) attempting to broker a settlement over the bank's sale of substandard mortgages.
Dimon met with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about a possible $11 billion settlement in attempts to end criminal and civil charges over JPM's questionable mortgage practices. The U.S. Justice Department said earlier in the week it could file a lawsuit over one of the bank's pending mortgage cases.
Chrysler LLC has filed for an initial public offering (IPO), returning to publicly traded status after 15 years in the wilderness of global business uncertainty - and the Chrysler IPO comes at a great time for the company and for the whole American auto industry.
You see, not even five years ago, the Big Three were teetering on the edge of destruction and irrelevance, with dismal sales and empty coffers, running losses in the hundreds of millions on products that nobody wanted. The global financial crisis was the last nail in a coffin more than 10 years in the crafting.
Thanks to that "party animal" Ben Bernanke, silver prices today are enjoying a nice bounce.
That's because the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman, along with the other members at the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting yesterday, decided to keep the quantitative easing (QE3) flowing steady with $85 billion of bond buying per month.
After the Fed announcement, silver prices rallied by 5.5% to more than $23 an ounce. That's the precious metal's biggest one-day gain since June 28.
Well before we reach the day when Twitter goes public, the Wall Street hype machine will be running at full tilt.That's going to make it hard for some to resist jumping on the Twitter bandwagon. But before things start to get too crazy, there''s something you need to know...
Wall Street's Big Banks are hardly known for their good deeds, but JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) may be the worst of the lot.
For a bank that used to be considered a model citizen among Wall Street institutions, the reversal of reputation has been stunning.
According to The New York Times, at least eight federal agencies are currently investigating JPM. And JPMorgan has more regulatory sanctions against it than any other major U.S. bank.
The damage to JPMorgan's reputation has gotten so bad that it has started to negatively affect the nation's largest bank by assets.
Increased regulatory scrutiny brought on by the scandals has slowed or halted about 60 new projects in JPMorgan's consumer unit, for example. The turmoil also has touched off a series of high-profile departures from the bank.
In afternoon trading Tuesday all three major index were sharply higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared some 90 points by 2:30 p.m., the Standard & Poor's 500 Index climbed 11, and the Nasdaq jumped 33. That followed Monday's gains of 100.38 points, 16.78 points and 39.27 points, respectively.
With few economic releases scheduled for Tuesday, investors' focus was pinned on Washington. House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, and U.S. President Barack Obama continued to haggle over a fiscal cliff deal, with the president making a counter offer late Monday.
First, about those polls leading up to the presidential contest.
How come they were so wrong? How come the candidates were inches apart right up to the finish line, and then it's like a "tortoise and the hare" kind of ending?
Did Romney even finish? Is he finished? Is the Republican Party finished?
Maybe the problem is the questions they ask, the pollsters, that is, or the way they ask them. Maybe they ask questions like a lawyer leading a witness would.
You have to wonder who pays for those polls, too. Survey says: the Super PACs - or is that the stupid hacks? Don't you wish they'd post the questions they asked along with the "Survey Says" results?
And, how stupid are the markets, make that investors, you know who you are. The day of the election, the market was anticipating a Romney victory, after all the polls said it was more than possible, so we got a smart little rally.
Then reality set in. Four more years. And you think it's going to get better?
Here's something else to chew on. If you think the Republicans are going to roll over and play dead, now that they are dead, think again.
The only way to fight back when you're dead is to kill the other guy, so you're both dead. Then, of course, you say, I was dead first, I couldn't have killed the economy, I couldn't have driven us over the fiscal cliff, they did it!
It looks like the market is saying, OMG (that's Oh My God, for you non-texters), we're going over the cliff and there's no stopping us.
Trust me on this one, that cliff everyone's been talking about - it ain't the only cliff.
JPM, the largest U.S. bank by assets, earned a record $5.7 billion in the quarter, 34% higher than the $4.3 billion or $1.02 reported for the same period a year ago. The strong revenue results also easily topped forecasts.
The impressive numbers were thanks to the bank's robust and growing mortgage and credit business. Mortgage volume was up 29%, and core loan growth grew 10%.
The notable uptick in both segments bodes well for the housing market and U.S. economy, suggesting the real estate market is staging a recovery and consumers are getting more comfortable spending.
"Importantly, we believe the housing market has turned the corner," CEO Jamie Dimon said in a statement.
As a result of improved mortgage and credit conditions, JPM reduced its reserves (cushion) for loan losses by $900 million.
"All in, we think it's a good quarter for JP Morgan Chase, and other banks should see some of the same benefits," Glenn Schoor, an analyst at Nomura Securities told the Financial Times.
Here's a closer look into the third quarter.
JPM Earnings: London Whale Trade Still a Big Deal
Still under scrutiny from the dicey derivative bets made in the bank's London Chief Investment Office, the bank's losses from the failed hedge strategy grew in the third quarter by $449 million.
Since the trade, dubbed the London Whale, was uncovered in the second quarter, losses have cost JPM some $6 billion. Under the worst case scenario, the bank said the losses could widen by $1.7 billion.
CEO Dimon said in a conference call that the bank doesn't anticipate further losses of that enormity and added that the bank has appreciatively reduced the scope of risks in the underlying portfolio.
Anxious to put the matter to rest and behind him, Dimon called renewed focus on the losses a "sideshow" in an otherwise stellar quarter.
"Hopefully we're not going to be talking about it anymore," he said in a statement.