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August 15, 2013

JPMorgan’s ‘Whale’ problems may not be over

The DOJ and SEC on Wednesday signaled that they are continuing to look for wrongdoing involving JPMorgan Chase after charging a pair of mid-level ex-employees with trying to cover up hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of losses stemming from the bank’s now infamous “London Whale” trades.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara hinted at “pressure” from above on the two employees charged Wednesday, while the SEC appears to be preparing to take actions against JPMorgan as a whole.

“’Generally speaking, our investigations deal with people, so if the investigation is open, I think it’s fair to say there are other people who may be under investigation, yes,’ Bharara said at a news conference.

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Advocates of bringing more cases against Wall Street firms and executives praised officials for bringing the charges Wednesday but argued more needed to be done.

“’All eyes are on the next moves by DOJ and the SEC,’ Better Markets President Dennis Kelleher said in a statement. ‘Are they going to just arrest minnows or are they also going after the law-breaking whales that made the key decisions, disclosures and public statements?’”

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