Remember how JP Morgan admitted that it lost at least $2 billion in some "grievous" trading mistakes? Now it turns out the investment bank thinks its losses could be up to $9 billion.
According to the NY Times, while JPMorgan chairman Jamie Dimon has said the losses could be twice the $2 billion amount, "internal models at the bank have recently projected losses of as much as $9 billion. In April, the bank generated an internal report that showed that the losses, assuming worst-case conditions, could reach $8 billion to $9 billion, according to a person who reviewed the report." However, it's believed the losses could just be in the $6-7 billion range. The company's first quarter profit was $5.4 billion. The news of the possible $9 billion loss hasn't affected what the stock market thinks... yet.
There have been numerous explanations for what happened/went wrong (here's a graphic) when a trader, based in its London office, started to bet big on U.S. corporate bonds. The Explainer broke it down last month, "[Bruno Iksil] used derivatives to do it, and he messed up the bet and lost $2 billion for the bank. He could end up losing $1 billion more if the market doesn't cooperate... Iksil worked for JP Morgan and had the full support of the bank and did all his trades with the full knowledge of these four Very Important People at the top."
The trading mess has already claimed the job of its Chief Investment Officer Ina Drew, and the Times points out, "More than profits are at stake. The growing fallout from the bank’s bad bet threatens to undercut the credibility of Mr. Dimon, who has been fighting major regulatory changes that could curtail the kind of risk-taking that led to the trading losses. The bank chief was considered a deft manager of risk after steering JPMorgan through the financial crisis in far better shape than its rivals." Boston University finance professor Mark Williams said, "Essentially, JPMorgan has been operating a hedge fund with federal insured deposits within a bank."