Guest Post: Does Jamie Dimon Even Know What Heging Risk Is?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by John Azis of Azizonomics

Does Jamie Dimon Even Know What Heging Risk Is?

From Bloomberg:

J.P Morgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said the firm suffered a $2 billion trading loss after an “egregious” failure in a unit managing risks, jeopardizing Wall Street banks’ efforts to loosen a federal ban on bets with their own money.

The firm’s chief investment office, run by Ina Drew, 55, took flawed positions on synthetic credit securities that remain volatile and may cost an additional $1 billion this quarter or next, Dimon told analysts yesterday. Losses mounted as JPMorgan tried to mitigate transactions designed to hedge credit exposure.

Having listened to the conference call (I was roaring with laughter), Jamie Dimon sounded very defensive especially about one detail: that the CIO’s activities were solely in risk management, and that its bets were designed to hedge risk. Now, we all know very well that banks have been capable of turning “risk management” into a hugely risky business — that was the whole problem with the mid-00s securitisation bubble, which made a sport out of packaging up bad debt and spreading it around balance sheets via shadow banking intermediation, thus turning a small localised risk (of mortgage default) into a huge systemic risk (of a default cascade).

But wait a minute? If you’re hedging risk then the bets you make will be cancelled against your existing balance sheetIn other words, if your hedges turn out to be worthless then your initial portfolio should have gained, and if your initial portfolio falls, then your hedges will activate, limiting your losses. That is how hedging risk works. If the loss on your hedges is not being cancelled-out by gains in your initial portfolio then by definition you are not hedging riskYou are speculating.

Dimon then stuck his foot in his mouth even more by claiming that the CIO was “managing fat tails.” But you don’t manage fat tails by making bets with tails so fat that a change in momentum produces a $2 billion loss. You manage tail risk by making lots and lots of small cheap high-payoff bets, which appears to be precisely the opposite of what the CIO and Bruno Iksil was doing:

The larger point, though, is I think we all know damn well what Jamie Dimon and Bruno Iksil were doing — as Zero Hedge explained last month, they were using the CIO’s risk management business as a cover to reopen the firm’s proprietary trading activities in contravention of the current ban.

Personally, I have no idea why the authorities insist on this rule — if J.P. Morgan want to persist with a hyper-fragile prop trading strategy that rather than hedging against tail risk actually magnifies risk, then there should be nothing to stop them from losing their money. After all, these goons would quickly learn to stop acting so incompetent without a government safety net there to coddle them.

The fact that Dimon is trying to cover the tracks and mislead regulators is egregious, but that’s what we have come to expect from this den of vipers and thieves.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
bdc63's picture

Joe Kernan is really upset about this ... no, not Jamie's company's "egregious" actions ... he's upset that the stupid public won't understand what really happened here, will make a bigger deal out of it than it is, and will start demanding the government to push through regulation -- which clearly to Joe is NOT needed.

He's becoming more fucking predictable than Kudlow.

theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

How predictable for Zero Hedge to jump all over this. All I see is a bunch of sad little boys acting as though Christmas had come early - and this when one of our best institutions is in need of our help. Sure, they made a mistake, but JPM profits and contributions to society are and will continue to be enormous. And i suppose all the gold and silver bugs here buying gold at $1900 and silver at $48 think they could have done better. No, these are the pros, this is the big league; but now they need our help. I suppose the very thought of social responsibility towards our great institutions will be met with opposition on this site; many here advocate a return to the dark ages. Well I personally, in my regulatory government job will be lobbying for these losses to be fully backstopped.

You guys want to mess with the big boys with your pessimism porn?

The fight back starts here

earnyermoney's picture

I'm "scared shitless". Tough talkin JPM shoe shine boy.

When you arseholes going to ask for another bailout form the taxpayers?

strannick's picture

dimon knows what hedging risk is. his risk is buying shitty treasuries cds and interest rate swaps. his hedge is his federal reserve put

Harlequin001's picture

That will be MillionDollarBonus back then...

ebworthen's picture

Good satire; you may need to tag it as such though.

Killtruck's picture

It appears to be necessary to inform you that you should indeed go fuck yourself. - I, Taxpayer.

LongSoupLine's picture

Fuck you MAXIPAD, you fucking bank troll. We don't fight with "full retard" because it's not even a fight.

Oh, and pass on to your boss, Jamie, he's fucking done you asshat.

HoofHearted's picture

So does the "psycho" part give away that you are being satirical, or does it mean that you are actually serious and, well, psychotic?

Let JP Morgan burn to the ground. Give me a thousand George Baileys in his place. Microfinance can do a lot for this world, says he who is ot a regulator, studies the stuff, and knows how easy it is for the JPMs and GSs of the world to get around the regulators. Wait, regulator...that means you really like to watch porn on the taxpayer we get it.

ndotken's picture

JPM and GS have no reason to fear regulators when they own them.

Freewheelin Franklin's picture

It is impossible to regulate moral hazard. Eliminate the moral hazard, and the need for most regulations will disappear.


And if they just prosecuted people for basic fraud, there wouldn't be half of the problems that there are now.

agent default's picture

Zero Hedge Bitchez!

Zero Govt's picture

Yes, excellent coverage by ZH

Sauk Leader's picture

This is how I imaging the ZH outfit looks like when a good one comes along 

postafoa02's picture

Jamie is best i <3 jamie

Aziz's picture

Psssst big typo in headline Tyler!!

Zero Govt's picture

took the 'd' out coz they're D-leveraging risk you see

EclecticParrot's picture

It's a new word, actually a combo of 'hedging" and "hegemony", or the risk to Jamie's power from improper hedging.

Sauk Leader's picture

"MonkeyWhale Heging". You know there is a lot of great info when Tyler is typing so fast he doesnt have time to proofread. Its all about breaking down the facts and numbers, not the grammmar!

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

fiat money cannot not have risk as every single FRN is backed by nothing! risk nothing= no risk.. the secret of high finance in Fiat Fed world. debt in FRN's does not exist, look behind the curtain.

global insanity is required to keep this secret" Secret" from those that trade FRN and debt based on nothing ..we are all insane and do not know it..FRN's help keep score but no one would then say the score board itself has any value.

Debtless's picture

It's okay Jamie. We'll cover them there losses for you.

- the taxpayers

Dr. Engali's picture

Thank you Tyler for being so far ahead of the curve. I hope that you don't end up with a target on your back exposing these fuckers.

earnyermoney's picture

The taxpayers of this country are his hedge. Sociopathic arsehole.

ebworthen's picture

The FED hedges his risk.

Sudden Debt's picture

It's just 2 billion + what profits they made on their other scams.


max2205's picture

Synthetic Prop Desk. SPD. Like STD but hurts more

Smokey1's picture

Jamie Dimon and JPM eat shit.

Kat's picture

This is the dumbest post I've seen at Zero Hedge in a long time - and that's saying something. 

If your hedge did not work out, it doesn't mean you were speculatiing, it means your hedge didn't work.  And for a blog that purports to understand something about hedging, this post proves you are more ignorant on this subject than the average auto mechanic.  Hedging risk is exceedingly difficult, as it it happens.  The miriad of fixed income risks is even more complicated to hedge and shit like this is going to happen sometimes.

I love the "mislead the regulators" line best.  Clearly written by someone who has never had to deal with the idiots in regulation in his entire life.  Which regulators would those be, Tyler?  The ones that made a statement this morning that individual asset risk should be hedged instead of portfolio risk? you know what would be less stupid and less risky idea?  Sticking a bomb up your asshole and lighting the fuse.

What's misleading is that the enormous cost of regulation is producing anything but inefficiency and enormous drag.

fuu's picture

 "Submitted by John Azis of Azizonomics"

Reading the first line of the post helps.

ebworthen's picture

So are you a sociopathic psychopath bankster or a psychopathic sociopath bankster?

Aziz's picture

No you're absolutely wrong.

In the technical sense, a hedge is not some abstract fuzzy extra bet on your position — which is EXACTLY what J.P.M was engaging in, (i.e. speculation), it is a damage limitation mechanism explicitly and specifically attached to your position, like a put option on an equity: the equity falls, the put option triggers limiting the damage. If it's not covering your position, it's not a hedge.

Oh and by the way I fucking wish the regulators (and bailout-mongers) would leave you alone so you can gladly go about hedging "portfolio risk" (i.e. making high-probability low-payoff speculative bets, as the chart shows) and go bankrupt.

shovelhead's picture


That's an ass-kicking worthy of fight club.

Toolshed's picture


You seem to indicate that you have been reading ZH for some time now. My question to you is this:

How can you STILL be so ignorant?

Just askin'.

alchemist23's picture

The ‘Dumbest Person Of The Week Award (awarded by Zerohedge) should go to Kat here,

Your dumb comment : If your hedge did not work out, it doesn't mean you were speculatiing, it means your hedge didn't work. 

Meaning of Hedge as a finance term is essentially to reduce PnL fluctuations. A 2+ Billion loss incurred by JPM is well over their VaR limits, not to mention PnL/DV01 limits, for the desk, (if you've had a slight chance to work on the trading floor even as a risk manager, you should know what this means). IF JPM's risk desk let CIO built enormous positions ignoring all risk parameters limits, I'm sure the limit monitoring escalation system was void/approved by people high up, including Jamie. That PROVES JPM didn't use this IG CDX to HEDGE, they used it to SPECULATE. I agree that perfect hedges are VERY rare, mainly due to basis risk. That's why institutions also implement a basis risk hedge. If you're telling me +2Billion dollar loss is due to a basis risk, you're out of your mind. SHIT like this should NEVER happen UNLESS dumb people like you're hired as a trader/risk manager. Get your SHIT together before talking SHIT, dumbass.

Aziz's picture

excellent, alchemist, i'm glad you appreciate my point.

Kat's picture

Yep, thanks for the award.  It's very meaningful from this cesspool of idiocy.

It's pretty obvious that if you've ever worked in risk management it was in coffee delivery, but I doubt you were entrusted with even that.  If you'd done anything substantive, you'd know how mind-bogglingly difficult it is to get a good VaR calculation in the first place.  Thus, it's shockingly easy  to go over your VaR limits because the probability you've miscalculated VaR is relatively high.

It's highly probable that JPM fucked up its hedge.  It wouldn't be the first desk.  When you're moving the index, this should be a red flag.  When your new VaR calculations calculate VaR at half of what your previous method calculated, then that should also raise red flags.  But, fucking up a hedge doesn't translate into "willful speculation".  It's fucking up a hedge, sparky. I'm 100% certain most of you guys can't brush your teeth without fucking something up.

And allow me to bring you monkeys back to earth. JPM lost $2B hedging a $360 Billion portfolio.  That's a 0.56% loss you collection of moronic burger-flipprs are apoplectic about. 


alchemist23's picture

You're dumber than I thought. I wasn't talking about VaR limits and how COMPLEX it is to calculate VaR. Unlike you dumb monkey, I know how useless VaR is in their credit-derivatives desks. If you can't even do what 7yr kid can do, (i.e. simple division/summation) just shut your mouth and deliver coffee to your fellow monkeys. Jamie confirmed that he has $1.1 trillion of deposits and $720 billion of loans, and JPM invest/speculate/hedge the differential, which is what you, empty head mention as their portfolio size, approximately $360 billion. Unless you have no idea how banking works, they wouldn't build their synthetic credit portfolios entirely on $360 billion. The majority of it will be comfortably sitting in highly liquid securities, some MBS/ABS, and this "portfolio of synthetic credit derivatives" The 0.56% loss you calculated doesn't mean anything, you dumb fk. IF YOU EVER come closer to trading desk, get to know how "trading desk/booking point/unit" is defined, I SPECIFICALLY mentioned that VaR limits FOR THE DESK, instead of JPM’s entire group treasury/CIO portfolio you dumb fk.

malek's picture

You are really desperately searching for excuses here!

JPM lost $2B hedging a $360 Billion portfolio

Maybe you should have read what Jonathan Weil on Bloomberg put down, and was quoted on ZH:

It’s not often that a huge company calls an emergency teleconference on short notice to discuss an intra-quarter trading loss that’s equivalent to only 1 percent of shareholder equity. So when a Deutsche Bank AG stock analyst named Matt O’Connor asked Dimon why the company had disclosed it at all, the answer was bound to be revealing.

“It could get worse, and it’s going to go on for a little bit unfortunately,” Dimon replied. The meaning was clear. Worse could mean disastrous.


alchemist23's picture

you also won the award along with your fellow monkey, Kat, above.

JPM lost $2B speculating a $40~50B synthetic credit derivatives portfolio you dubm fk. Get yourself a nice and warm coffee and banana, you linear-thinking dumb monkey. Of course, Jamie wouldn't come out and say, 'we lost $2B on $40~50B desk' read between lines, you dumb fk.

Any fairly large financial institutions will engage in "speculative trading," even you dumb fk hopefully have some money saved up for speculation. But, the point is Jamie wouldn't admit that he runs the Prop trading desk engaging in "speculative trading" when it's SO obvious. Only ppl like you, or should I address you as a monkey, don't know the difference btn speculating with your own money and with client's money. Oh wait, you wouldn't even have clients to begin with other than your fellow monkeys.

malek's picture

For quoting J. Weil?

You might want to take a few deep breaths, before reading again what I actually wrote, asshole.

alchemist23's picture

Obviously, you can't even read. The majority of JPM's $360 billion 'Client's money' don't require hedge using the "synthetic credit derivatives." If you can't read between lines, just wipe your ass first and try figuring out why you're so stupid. Then, try finding out what Banking book means. 

malek's picture

I don't really give a shit if JPM lost it on $40B or $360B, as the loss seems to have the potential to go up 10-fold before all is said and done.

And that's the most important number.

alchemist23's picture



To you and your fellow Monkey, Malek.  

Fitch and S&P just lowered ratings outlook on JPM. Even normally clueless rating agencies mentioned a "specific credit portfolio" of JPM's $360billion of differential. The stock is down (approx.) 9.30% dod.  JPM makes roughly $4billion each quarter, this "synthetic trading desk unit" just costs the firm $2billion (it will only grow as all HF guys know JPM's weakness). You're telling me your laughable calculation of 0.56% (oh shit,, I'm LMFAOing) loss is not significant from Risk Management perspective?  Listen you dumb fk! Go back to high school and learn how to think dynamically. The reported VaR of JPM is sitting at 170million, and you're saying 2Billion PnL loss for the desk/even for the firm is not significant? Go to your own island, the Monkey Island. Don't forget to bring malek with you as you and him will need to give each others nice hug and kiss.  





rufusbird's picture

When I worked as a commodities futures broker almost all of our cash commodity customers speculated in futures. That is where all the money is. Don't be fooled by the talk above. Not you Aziz, the guy further up...

Downtoolong's picture

I can hardly wait for Wall Street to distill systemic risk down to a single index. Then they can start a new futures market based on that index, sell every muppet on the planet on the idea that they should diversify some of their retirement investments in this new market, then write $20 trillion in OTC derivatives hedged in that market to eliminate most of the problem. Finally, if they can only resurrect AIG to take the rest of it off their hands, they will be gods again.

Shizzmoney's picture

The fact that Dimon is trying to cover the tracks and mislead regulators is egregious, but that’s what we have come to expect from this den of vipers and thieves.

Really, there are two things that will trigger the US end of the crsh, after the Euro breaks up: the fall of either BAC or JPM. 

And from the looks of it, JPM is catching up to Bank of America in terms of fail, and now, epic risk.

Thing is, what happens when the taxpayers this time, dig their heels in and tell their pols to not bail these assholes out?  Will Congress ignore their constituientcy despite the risk of civil upheaval?

BTW, it's pretty sad when I read about the constant fil of a CEO like Jaime Dimon and go, "Wow, I'd love to play poker with that guy!  I could use the rent money!".

BobPaulson's picture

You were a bit ambigious in the use of the word "their". You almost imply that the polticians are the servants of the taxpayer by placing the words in the same sentence. Since that is patently false and I know you wouldn't say something that silly on purpose, I'm guessing it's a minor error of grammar.