Friday, May 18, 2012

Jamie Dimon: 'I want to see the positions'

Thank you Jamie Dimon for settling once and for all what banks need to disclose on a current on-going basis to all market participants.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal in its retelling of the story behind the $2 billion trading loss,

On April 30, associates who were gathered in a conference room handed Mr. Dimon summaries and analyses of the losses. But there were no details about the trades themselves. 
"I want to see the positions!" he barked, throwing down the papers, according to attendees. "Now! I want to see everything!" 
When Mr. Dimon saw the numbers, these people say, he couldn't breathe. 
Those trading positions have produced losses that could total as much as $5 billion...
Please re-read the highlight text as Jamie Dimon
  • ends reliance by market participants on summaries and analyses of bank exposures as they are a form of opacity and hide what is really going on; 
  • establishes looking at a bank's current actual exposure details as the gold standard for knowing what is going on with the bank; 
  • demonstrates that bank information systems have current data as nobody thinks that the attendees went off to get position data as of the end of last year or last quarter or even last week; and
  • confirms that the market, which is full of individuals with similar training to Mr. Dimon, can make sense of the exposure details and do their own independent analysis.
In short, Jamie Dimon says that the only way to know what is going on in a bank is to look at its current  actual positions.

The only way to do this is if banks provide ultra transparency and disclose on an on-going basis their current asset, liability and off-balance sheet exposure details.

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