Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Deja Vu All Over Again for JP Morgan

  Twitter is alight with MF Global customers asking for the boycotting of JP Morgan. The bank may have received "stolen goods" when MF Global settled a debt allegedly using $200m of customer money. Dealbook said:
One e-mail chain refers to the transfer of roughly $200 million that MF Global owed JPMorgan Chase on Oct. 28 — the firm’s last business day before it filed for bankruptcy. In that chain, a senior official in the firm’s Chicago office was told to make the transfer, said the people close to the investigation who requested anonymity because the inquiry was still open... The roughly $200 million that JPMorgan Chase received is said to be entirely customer money.
 This must seem like deja vu for JP Morgan, which also pulled a snatch-and-grab before Lehman Brothers hit the dust. JPM asked for two lots of $5bn each in collateral just days before Lehman collapsed, prompting speculation that it and Citi (which did a similar thing) may have caused the lack of liquidity that brought Lehman down. (The case is still in court.)
  I'm no fan of JP Morgan, it comes off as greedy and callous, but from where I sit it looks like it has some bloody good risk management people and processes. Maybe if Lehman and MF Global had had the same, they would still be around.

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