News reports that prosecutors have dropped their case against Bruno Iksil, the former JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) trader many know as the “London Whale,” comes as no surprise to readers of The IRA. Iksil, who resurfaced earlier this year, has been living in relative seclusion in France for the past few years.
In previous comments posted on Zero Hedge, we dispensed with the notion that the investment activities of Iksil and the office of the JPM Chief Investment Officer were either illegal or concealed from the bank’s senior management. The fact is that Iksil and his colleagues at JPM were doing their jobs, namely generating investment gains for the bank.
The outsized bets made by the “whale” in credit derivatives contracts resulted in a loss in 2012, but the operation generated significant profits for JPM in earlier years. As veteran risk manager Nom de Plumber told us in Zero Hedge in 2012:
“This JPM loss, whether $2BLN or even $5BLN, is modest in both absolute and relative terms, versus its overall profitability and capital base, and especially against the far greater losses at other institutions. In practical current terms, the hit resembles a rounding error, not a stomach punch. As either taxpayers or long-term JPM investors, we should be more grateful than sorry about the JPM CIO Ina Drew. If only other institutions could also do so ‘poorly’………”
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