Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, testified about the bank's recent losses. He should be familiar with the committee. Lots of his employees worked for it
This morning, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, faced a Senate hearing over more than $2 billion in bank losses caused by risky hedges that blew up. Dimon said that the hedges—investments meant to protect the bank—had grown into “complex and hard-to manage risks.” The losses “let a lot of people down, and we are sorry for it.”
Many lawmakers are holding up the losses as evidence of the need for stronger financial regulation. The chairman of the Senate banking committee, Tim Johnson, D-S.D., in his opening remarks, asked for “a full accounting” of JP Morgan’s losses.
But through campaign contributions and well-connected staff, JP Morgan appears to have already taken its own accounting of the Banking committee. Here’s a picture of connections between the company and the committee:
One current staffer on the Senate banking committee, Dwight Fettig, is a former lobbyist for JP Morgan. In 2009, the bank hired him to work on “financial services regulatory reform.” Meanwhile, JP Morgan is stacked thick with former committee staff.
• Naomi Camper – Currently a lobbyist for JP Morgan. Prior to that, from 2001-2004, she was an aide to Senator Johnson.
• Kate Childress –A JP Morgan lobbyist since 2008, she is also a former aide to Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who sits on both the Senate Banking and Finance committees.
• Steven Patterson –A JP Morgan lobbyist and formerly a staff director for economic policy for the Banking committee.
• Nate Gatten— A JP Morgan lobbyist based in London who was reportedly called back to Washington recently to help with the company’s damage control. He is a former lobbyist for Fannie Mae, and, in the 1990s, was a banking aide to former Senator Robert Bennett, R-Utah, who also sat on the committee.
• P. Michael Nielsen – A lobbyist with a firm run by former Senator Bennett, he has been retained by JP Morgan for help with federal probes, according to Bloomberg. He was also a senior policy adviser to the committee from 2007 to 2010.
American Banker also reported that three other outside lobbyists currently working for JP Morgan were once affiliated with the committee:
• Jason Rosenberg – A lobbyist at The Glover Park Group and formerly an aide to Jon Tester, D-Mont., who sits on the committee.
• Jenn Fogel-Bublick – A lobbyist at McBee Strategic Consulting and formerly a Democratic counsel on the committee.
• Mike Chappell – A lobbyist for Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock and a former press assistant to Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., another committee member.
A former senator on the committee, Mel Martinez, R-Fl., is also now the JP Morgan exec in charge of Florida, Central America, and the Caribbean. Martinez was elected to the Senate in 2004 and went to the bank in 2010. Bloomberg reported that he was called to Washington after the losses were reported.
Lobbyists for JP Morgan appear to be keeping busy. The bank spent $7.6 million on lobbying last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
JP Morgan has also been a generous donor to banking committee members, both Republican and Democratic.
• JP Morgan is the second largest campaign contributor to Johnson, the committee chair, and to the top Republican on the committee, Richard Shelby of Alabama, over the past twenty years, according to a tally from American Banker.
• JP Morgan employees have donated more than $80,000 to Johnson since 1998 and more than $136,000 to Shelby since 1990.
• So far in 2012, Dimon has personally donated to committee members Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Mark Warner, D-Va. In 2008, he gave $2,000 each to Johnson and Shelby.
• Six of the 22 members of the banking committee have not received any money from JP Morgan PACs or employees in recent election cycles. Two of those members are retiring and aren’t collecting campaign funds.
It’s not clear what the committee will do beyond the hearings. Numerous federal agencies are investigating JP Morgan’s losses, including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Department of Justice, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Next Tuesday, Dimon will testify in front of the House Committee on Financial Services.
Nifty has to hold above the previous day’s low for further gains to accrue. It seems to be stalling at around 5,120
The market, which was choppy throughout the session, closed flat on pressures from the auto sector and nervousness ahead of the release of inflation data for May. Yesterday we had mentioned that if the Nifty manages to close above 5,140 we may still see the upward trend continuing. Today the index managed to cross this level and end in the positive. The benchmark now should manage to make a higher low to keep the upmove intact. However, we see the upmove to be stalling at around 5,120. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a volume of 60.55 crore shares.
The market opened flat with a positive bias as investors remained on the sidelines after yesterday's 1% upmove on speculations that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would cut key rates following dismal IIP numbers for April. On the global front, markets in the US closed higher overnight as reports suggested the central banks would draw up a stimulus package for slowing economies. Taking cues from their US counterparts, the Asian pack was in the positive in morning trade, but Spanish bonds hitting record highs capped the gains.
Back home, the Nifty gained two points to open trade at 5,118 and the Sensex resumed trade at 16,866, up three points over its previous close. Profit taking soon led the indices into the negative but select buying pushed them into the green at around 10.20am.
Meanwhile, the rupee failed to maintain initial gains against the dollar and was down 10 paise at 55.90 on fresh demand for the greenbacks from banks and its firming in the overseas market. Earlier, the Indian unit had resumed higher at 55.75 per dollar as against its previous close of 55.80.
The gains wee short-lived as selling pressure once again led the market lower. The benchmarks touched their intraday lows in the late morning session with the Nifty falling to 5,095 and the Sensex going back to 16,793.
The auto sector was the worst sectoral performer today following reports that the Centre is considering additional levies on diesel cars. In a letter to the finance minister, petroleum minister S Jaipal Reddy, has mooted that an excise duty of Rs1,70,000 be imposed on small cars and Rs2,55,000 on medium and larger diesel-run vehicles.
The positive opening of the key European markets gave the domestic indices a much-needed boost, pushing them into the positive in noon trade. The gains enabled the benchmarks hit their day's high with the Nifty 5,145 and the Sensex rising to 16,944.
However, volatility, which was evident from the beginning of today's trade, saw the indices hovering near their previous close quite a few times near the close of trade.
The benchmarks reported a flat close on nervousness ahead of the release of inflation data for May. The Nifty closed six points up at 5,121 and the Sensex settled at 16,881, a gain of 18 points over its previous close.
The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was tilted towards the losers at 678:717.
The broader indices closed on a mixed note as the BSE Mid-cap index lost 0.21% and the BSE Small-cap index rose 0.13%.
The top sectoral gainers were BSE Capital Goods (up 1.58%); BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 1.06%); BSE Healthcare, BSE IT (up 0.45% each) and BSE PSU (up 0.25%). The key losers were BSE Realty, BSE Auto (down 1.47% each); BSE Consumer Durables (down 0.92%); BSE Power (down 0.81%) and BSE Metal (down 0.34%).
The Sensex was led by Hindustan Unilever (up 3.03%); ONGC (up 2.83%); Larsen & Toubro (up 2.60%); Sun Pharma (up 2.37%) and Jindal Steel (up 1.71%). The main losers were Maruti Suzuki (down 3.38%); NTPC (down 2.51%); Sterlite Industries (down 2.21%); Tata Motors (down 2.10%) and Tata Power (down 1.77%).
HUL (up 3.36%); Ambuja Cements (up3.15%); Sun Pharma, L&T (up 2.45% each) and ONGC (up 2.29%) were the top performers on the Nifty. The main laggards were Maruti Suzuki (down 3.31%); Sterlite Ind (down 2.87%); NTPC (down 2.32%); Tata Motors (down 2.31%) and Tata Power (down 2.08%).
Markets in Asia settled higher on the back of overnight gains in Europe and the US and a 5.7% rise in Japanese core machinery orders in April, beating analysts' expectations.
The Shanghai Composite surged 1.27%; the Hang Seng climbed 0.82%; the Jakarta Composite rose 0.20%; the KLSE Composite added 0.01%; the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.60%; the KOSPI Composite gained 0.25% and the Taiwan Weighted was up 0.24%. Bucking the trend, the Straits Times lost 0.36%.
At the time of writing, two of the three key European indices were in the red and the US stock futures were trading lower.
Back home, institutional investors-both foreign and domestic-were net sellers of stocks on Tuesday. While foreign institutional investors pulled out Rs56.60 crore, domestic institutional investors withdrew 54.21 crore from the equities segment.
Consolidated Construction Consortium has bagged an order worth Rs124.17 crore from IL&FS Urban Infrastructure for design and construction of a greenfield stadium at Karyavattom in Kerala for the National Games to be held in the state. The contract is scheduled to be completed within 21 months. The stock jumped 4.98% to close at Rs13.70 on the NSE.
Ashok Leyland plans to mop-up around Rs750 crore to finance the capital requirements of the company. The funds would be raised through a qualified institutional placement to eligible buyers. The stock closed at Rs27.20 on the NSE, up 0.37% over its previous close.
Tata Communications has launched a low latency network which is expected to connect major financial capitals in Asia, the UK and the US. The company said that its network is the first low latency service that offers a pure multipoint Ethernet platform to the financial services sector. The stock lost 0.40% to close at Rs221.65 on the NSE.