Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hose of Morgan: A Run by the Bank

In case any reader has illusions about the ethics of the large financial institutions that have received massive amounts of direct taxpayer money, comes this bombshell from the New York Times Business section:

JPMorgan Exited Madoff-Linked Funds Last Fall

This appears damning. Some excerpts:

JP Morgan Chase says that its potential losses related to Bernard L. Madoff, the man accused of engineering an immense global Ponzi scheme, are “pretty close to zero.” But what some angry European investors want to know is when the bank cut its exposure to Mr. Madoff — and why.

As early as 2006, the bank had started offering investors a way to leverage their bets on the future performance of two hedge funds that invested with Mr. Madoff. To protect itself from the resulting risk, the bank put $250 million of its own money into those funds.

But the bank suddenly began pulling its millions out of those funds in early autumn, months before Mr. Madoff was arrested, according to accounts from Europe and New York that were subsequently confirmed by the bank. The bank did not notify investors of its move, and several of them are furious that it protected itself but left them holding notes that the bank itself now says are probably worthless.

Hmmm . . .

If you read the entire article and are not a lawyer, you may wish to focus not on the technical issue of liability for JP Morgan Chase but on whether the company lived up to the phrase it uses on its website ("Our Culture" sub-section) to describe itself:

"at all times the idea of doing only first-class business, and that in a first-class way".

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