From Whale Tails to Unicorn Fairytales, this week has ended with a bigger splash then anyone could have expected. The London Whale has officially capsized JP Morgan’s balance sheet with a reportedly 2 billion dollar trading loss. Jamie Dimon, the firm’s CEO, admitted “egregious mistakes” were made and that he and his colleagues were “stupid.” Fair enough, but why were these mistakes made, and was this trade a legitimate hedge as Jamie Dimon claims, or more of a “unicorn hedge” as our guest Heidi N. Moore called it?
Why was this trade put on through the company’s CIO, and why was it done so on a portfolio level? That’s an awfully broad way to hedge risk on the titanic. What happens with this ship finally tries to make it back to port? JP Morgan now has tremendous exposure on its balance sheet that, if it were to try and unwind, may not find too many friendly buyers.