JPMorgan losses now estimated at $3 billion

Gregory Warner May 17, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: Now to that $2 billion loss at JPMorgan Chase that came from risky bets. According to the New York Times, you can go ahead and make it $3 billion.

Marketplace’s Gregory Warner reports.


Gregory Warner: Jamie Dimon did warn us Sunday on Meet the Press.

Meet the Press clip: We took a $2 billion loss, and we made it clear it could get worse before it gets better. You know it could be volatile by a billion dollars possibly.

And volatile it is — those losses from JP Morgan’s bad bets are now estimated at $3 billion.

Ruth Bender is a corporate governance expert at the Cranfield School of Management in the U.K. She says the irony is that the bank’s position gets worse the more it tries to extricate itself.

Ruth Bender: So everybody knows JP Morgan has got to untangle itself. And so everybody else on Wall Street says well if they’re going to do this, we’re going to do that, so every day the market trades the situation can get a little bit worse for them.

Even if the losses increase, Bender thinks this won’t affect the bank or its stockholders financially. She expects a healthy dividend at the end of this quarter.

Bender: I think it’s more an aspect of confidence than any lasting damage. It shows that things can go very wrong in a very large institution.

And that could strengthen the political push for a rule that would make it harder for big banks to make similar bets.

I’m Gregory Warner for Marketplace.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.