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Thursday, 14 June 2012

JP Morgan no longer distinguishes speculation from hedging

JP Morgan no longer recognises the difference between hedging and speculating.  Poor US taxpayers thus back JP Morgan's market speculation.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, finds it "very hard to make" a "distinction between proprietary trading and hedging" (see this recording from 5m:30s).  The US government has deemed JP Morgan to be "too big to be allowed to fail".  The US government therefore effectively provides an implicit unconditional guarantee over any losses JP Morgan might incur from their failed speculative investments.

A hedge is a position whose aim is to prevent or to minimise loss on investments.  If the purpose of a position is to make a profit, it is not a hedge.  If JP Morgan can not distinguish between hedging and speculation, the US taxpayer backs JP Morgan's speculative activities.

There are two types of banks:  retail banks which lend depositors' money to make profits;  and investment banks, also known as proprietary trading banks, which make speculative trades and investments to make profits.

The large financial institutions benefit from a failed education system.  The wider electorate and US federal representatives appear to accept that speculative (proprietary trading, or investment) banks deserve the electorate's support.  They appear to have confused the support needed for retail banks with support they give to speculative investment banks.

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