JPM Admits CIO Group Consistently Mismarked Hundreds Of Billions In CDS In Effort To Artificially Boost Profits [Zerohedge]
July 15, 2012 Leave a comment
Back on May 30 we wrote “The Second Act Of The JPM CIO Fiasco Has Arrived – Mismarking Hundreds Of Billions In Credit Default Swaps” in which we made it abundantly clear that due to the Over The Counter nature of CDS one can easily make up whatever marks one wants in order to boost the P&L impact of a given position, this is precisely what JPM was doing in order to boost its P&L? As of moments ago this too has been proven to be the case. From a just filed very shocking 8K which takes the “Whale” saga to a whole new level. To wit: ‘the recently discovered information raises questions about the integrity of the trader marks, and suggests that certain individuals may have been seeking to avoid showing the full amount of the losses being incurred in the portfolio during the first quarter. As a result, the Firm is no longer confident that the trader marks used to prepare the Firm’s reported first quarter results (although within the established thresholds) reflect good faith estimates of fair value at quarter end.”
As a result of this, regulators who now are only 3 years behind the curve, are most likely snooping to inquire not only how JPM did it (call us: we can brief you in 2 minutes), but who else has been doing this? Hint: everyone.
Because in other words, we have just discovered that the two key components of the entire CDS market: the LIBOR base and market “marks” have been bogus at best, and realistically, fraud. And one wonders why no bank ever will let CDS trade on an exchange…
On July 13, 2012, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reported that it will restate its previously-filed interim financial statements for the first quarter of 2012. The restatement will have the effect of reducing the Firm’s reported net income for the 2012 first quarter by $459 million. The restatement relates to valuations of certain positions in the synthetic credit portfolio of the Firm’s Chief Investment Office. The Firm’s year-to-date principal transactions revenue, total net revenue and net income and the year-to-date principal transaction revenue, total net revenue and net income of the Firm’s Chief Investment Office (“CIO”) will remain unchanged as a result of the restatement. The Firm reached the determination to restate on July 12, 2012, following management review of the matter with the Audit Committee of the Firm’s Board of Directors on the same day.
The restatement results from information that has recently come to the Firm’s attention in connection with management’s internal review of activities related to CIO’s synthetic credit portfolio. Under Firm policy, the positions in the portfolio are to be marked at fair value, based on the traders’ reasonable judgment as to the prices at which transactions could occur. As an independent check on those marks, the CIO’s valuation control group (“VCG”), a finance function within CIO, verifies that the traders’ marks are within pre-established price testing thresholds around external “mid-market” benchmarks and, if not, adjusts trader marks outside the relevant threshold. The thresholds consider market bid/offer spreads and are intended to establish a range of reasonable fair value estimates for each relevant position. At March 31, 2012, the trader marks, subject to the VCG verification process, formed the basis for preparing the Firm’s reported first quarter results.