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June 1, 2012

JP Morgan reveals shock $US2bn loss on 'London Whale' trades

JP MORGAN took $US2 billion in trading losses in the past six weeks and could face an additional $US1bn in second-quarter losses due to market volatility, chief executive James Dimon said overnight in a hastily arranged conference call after US markets closed.

The losses stemmed from derivatives bets gone wrong in the bank’s Chief Investment Office, which manages risk for the New York company. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that large bets – by a London-based trader named Bruno Michel Iksil – being made in that office had roiled a sector of the debt markets.

“This is yet another example of the need for the more than $US700 trillion derivatives market to brought into the light of financial regulation,” said Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, a liberal non-profit group focused on financial reform.

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