On more than one occasion in the past year, sparks flew within JPMorgan's trading floor when the
egos opinions of the bank's (countless) strategists clashed with each other, most recently at the end of September when as we reported "A Storm Erupts At JPMorgan" when quant disagree with quant over the impact of month-end rebalancing. Those storms however pass quickly because, after all, it's just opinions, not political views or ideological bias that is at stake.
That changed this morning when one of the most iconic JPMorgan strategists, the man who this website first thrust into the public eye (as Bloomberg admitted in 2015), stunned his co-workers when i) he accused them of political bias and ii) slammed Biden's policies - an unheard of event at the traditionally democratic bank.
According to Bloomberg, during a broad internal chat with more than 250 sales, trading and research workers, Marko Kolanovic, perhaps the bank's most famous quant and strategist, "accused his colleagues of allowing political bias to influence their market research."
"Wait so our commodity guys base their forecast based on our FX guys’ forecast, which based forecast based on our economist forecast, who bases his forecast of party preference," Kolanovic quipped, and incidentally he was absolutely right, because the kind of narrative "goalseeking" that finally caused Marko to snap is the same bullshit that banks have subjected their clients to for the past 6 months, first claiming Trump is good for stocks, then Biden, the a Blue Wave, then a Red Wave, flip-flopping daily to make each and every outcome bullish, just to prevent clients from selling stocks.
Marko reportedly erupted when one of the bank’s derivatives sales traders had just posted a summary of the commodities strategists' views on how a win by former Vice President Joe Biden would affect the market, saying there would be "very little impact" on U.S. oil production...
... which of course is utter garbage, and the Croatian strategist promptly made it clear:
"Lol. Its a joke -- with Biden you remove Iran sanctions" Kolanovic responded, but it was his slam of Biden next that may have cost Kolanovic his job under the very pro-Biden Jamie Dimon. According to Marko, under Biden the "economy slows down under pressure of massive taxes, and Covid is treated with lockdowns." adding that "Its a joke. Should be the opposite of that."
One worker told Bloomberg that "the bank’s trading floor fell silent after Kolanovic’s remarks in the chat."
Why? Because by telling the truth, Kolanovic may have just "canceled" his job courtesy of the tolerant left which is always willing to listen to constructive criticism but only as long said criticism doesn't actually touch on any of the left's fanatical beliefs.
As Bloomberg adds, the chat group which is intended for sharing insight on the derivatives market, "has been a flashpoint for workers in the past when participants made comments about race and politics. One individual making inappropriate remarks was chided by a more senior participant in the chat, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified."
As a reminder, this is not the first time Kolanovic - a quant- has waded into U.S. politics and election controversies. Back on Aug. 31, we reported that after he told investors to position themselves for rising odds that President Donald Trump would win re-election...
... he took to Twitter to ridicule polling analyst Nate Silver, who disagreed with him.
Both of these propositions are almost entirely lacking in evidence, to the point where they're more superstitious than empirical, but are an interesting window into the mindset of techbros and financebros who are buying up Trump shares on prediction markets. https://t.co/HmNKxSG1ob— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) August 31, 2020
The JPMorgan quant then retweeted posts by people claiming Kolanovic was smarter than Silver.
And so it goes on.