Jamie Dimon, chief executive of J P Morgan, provided one of the soundbites of the week when he described events that wiped billions of dollars off the value of his bank thus:
These were grievous mistakes, they were self inflicted, we were accountable and we happened to violate our own standards and principles by how we want to operate the company
It marked a major change of heart from Dimon who had dismissed earlier suggestions that something was badly wrong at the company he runs as “a complete tempest in a teapot”.
And when you look at the numbers involved, it’s not difficult to see why he changed his view:
$2bn – the amount the investment bank reported it had lost as a result of trades originally designed to protect it against the volatility of the financial markets. The trader at the heart of the affair is reported to be Bruno Iksil, based in London and owner of two nicknames: “London Whale” and Harry Potter’s nemesis Voldemort.
$1bn – Dimon conceded that the overall losses could end up being even higher, possibly another $1bn.
$14.4bn – wiped off J P Morgan’s share value on Friday following the announcement.
$350bn – vaule of assets held by J P Morgan’s chief investment office in which Iksil worked.
$100m – the amount Iksil is thought to have generated for the investment bank before this latest turn of events.
$14m – while it is not clear how much Iksil gets paid this is how much the boss of the CIO division, Ina Drew, received last year.