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Inside Washington (06/20/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (6/21/12)--JP Morgan Chase's recent $2 billion loss fueled the political arguments of both Democrats and Republicans at a House Financial Services Committee hearing held this week. While Democrats argued that the loss demonstrated the need for stronger oversight, and the need for greater funding for regulators such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Republicans noted that the loss was merely an example of how financial markets operate (American Banker, June 20). Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said capital "is the ultimate buffer" against unforeseen business losses, and Republicans said JP Morgan's reserves provide a better defense against systemic issues than regulations could. However, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said the issue is not JP Morgan's one-time loss, but potentially bigger losses that could occur down the road. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle criticized regulatory responses to the JP Morgan crisis, however, noting that they did not hear about the trading issues, which originated at the firm's London office, until they were reported in the press. JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon was also questioned during the hearing, with legislators asking if his firm is too large and too complex to be effectively managed…
  • WASHINGTON (6/21/12)--The U.S. Treasury this week informed 200 banks that pools of their securities that are currently held in the agency's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) would soon be auctioned off (American Banker, June 21). The auctions are scheduled to begin this fall. The Treasury in a letter to the banks said the upcoming auctions would "help support the objectives of winding down TARP, recovering taxpayer dollars, and helping community banks attract private capital to replace temporary government support." The 200 banks that are scheduled to take part in the auction represent $2 billion of the $11 billion the Treasury has invested in TARP's Capital Purchase Program…

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