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January 18, 2013

JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon Offers Illusion of Transparency

The report that JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) released this week about its London Whale trading losses has some amazing omissions. It contains no mention of the Whale’s actual name, Bruno Iksil, or the names of almost anyone else who worked in the bank’s London-based chief investment office, which generated the $6 billion loss.

The report said the names were excluded “in order to comply with United Kingdom data privacy laws,” which was an awfully handy excuse. Reading the 129-page report at times seemed like watching a movie where the characters are screaming and throwing office supplies at each other, except they are wearing brown paper bags over their heads and their voices have been electronically altered so you can’t tell who anybody is.

There are several current and former executives who are named, including Jamie Dimon, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, and Ina Drew, the former head of JPMorgan’s chief investment office, who left last year. Much blame is cast, especially on Drew. Fall guys are delivered. Remedies are unveiled. And sufficient criticism is directed at Dimon (along with a 50 percent pay cut for 2012) so the report has the veneer of credibility. But as is usually the case with corporate investigations, the most interesting stuff is what the company chose to overlook.”

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Read full Bloomberg article here

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