Posts Tagged: Basel III

Jan 14

The Tale of a Whale

The precariousness of JP Morgan Chase

The New York tourist sitting next to me with the map of London spread out on his lap asked where he could find the London Whale. Seriously. Unlike the London Eye, I told him, the London Whale was a human being, albeit a metaphorical landmark.

The London-based JP Morgan Chase trader’s nickname derived from his large positions in the credit market, which in the summer of 2012 resulted in the bank declaring a $5.8bn loss. It subsequently faced major fines from both the UK and US regulators for, among other things, its lax supervision and for not “adequately updating” its audit committee on the findings of an internal review, in the words of the Securities and Investment Board (SEC). The bank agreed to around $20 billion in legal settlements in 2013, almost equal to a typical year’s profit, for a range of misdemeanours.


Sep 11

Chinese banks vs UK banks

Base instincts kept at bay

As I jostled the respectable blonde next to me in order to move forward in the EasyJet queue at Rhodes Airport, the equivalent in August of a circle of Hell in Dante’s Inferno, I could quite see myself throwing bricks at a store front in the midst of the London riots in order to walk off with some loot. It would have been the Etro store on Bond street rather than Footlocker and its Nike trainers. Still, the veneer of civilisation in all of us is barely skin deep.