Ed's Blog

The silver lining in the fallout over the JP Morgan Chase gambling (they call it "hedging") losses now predicted to reach $3-5 billion, not just $2 billion, is that Congress has slowed misguided efforts to slow or repeal important reforms to derivatives trading (NY Times). The trades that JP Morgan made involved complex derivatives and Morgan's risk models didn't work. More on the rollback bills.

Also, you can "like" or comment on my recent debate position  over at US News and World Report urging the Federal Reserve to use this latest big bank mess to implement a strong Volcker rule against risky bank betting with other people's money. The sponsors of the Volcker amendment, consumer champions Sens. Jeff Merkley (OR) and Carl Levin (MI) have also urged regulators to "close the JP Morgan loophole" that Wall Street banks want to inject into the Volcker rule intended to limit risky bets on the backs of the taxpayer and depositor. The banks, their phalanxes of lobbyists and their sycophants  claim that all the bank did was hedge, not bet. Excerpt from their letter to regulators:

“We again urge you to remove ill-advised loopholes and implement a strong Volcker Rule without further delay,” wrote the Senators. “In recent days, we’ve seen exactly what ‘portfolio hedging’ might mean. This ‘JPMorgan Loophole’ is big enough to drive a ‘London Whale’ through.” 

“So long as banks have the incentives to make these types of bets and are permitted to do so, they will. As we have learned time and time again, establishing clear, strong rules of the road is critical for the healthy functioning of markets and our economy.”

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