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Friday, October 28, 2016

JPMorgan’s London Whale Could Use A New Nickname

Late last week, a little-known trader at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in London, Bruno Iksil, awoke to find his life changed forever.

In an instant, Iksil had become famous as the guy who infuriated some of his bank’s counterparts so much that they complained to Bloomberg News journalists he was skewing the credit-derivatives markets with his outsized bets, one of which they said may be as large as $100 billion. Worse yet, the world learned Iksil had earned two unforgettable nicknames: (1) The London Whale, and (2) Voldemort, after the Harry Potter villain.

One sobriquet would be bad enough. But two? For a single swaps trader? This is cause for serious concern.

History has often been unkind to famous Wall Street figures with colorful nicknames. Dick Fuld, the former head of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., was “The Gorilla.” There was Yasuo Hamanaka at Japan’s Sumitomo Corp., known as “Mr. 5 Percent” for the share of the world’s copper market he was said to control in 1996, before his trades wound up costing his bank $2.6 billion.

More than a century ago, the financier Hetty Green, one of history’s greatest misers, was dubbed “The Witch of Wall Street.” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is the “Vampire Squid,” while its young salesman Fabrice Tourre of Abacus fame fancied himself as “Fabulous Fab” in an e-mail. One foul-mouthed bond salesman, Tom Bernard, got tagged “The Human Piranha” in Michael Lewis’s book “Liar’s Poker,” about Salomon Brothers in the 1980s.

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Copyright 2012 The National Memo
  • washbag

    This behavior absolutely MUST stay in the forefront of peoples minds and should be displayed on the front pages of newspapers across the country. What these people are saying to America is , sure it’s the same kind of behavior that got us into the mess of 2008 but we’re going to KEEP DOING IT until the country runs out of money or won’t bail us out , and we don’t think that’s going to happen !! Have a nice day CHUMP !!

  • CrankyToo

    You can’t fault worker bees like Iksil for fulfilling the wishes of their employers. That said, Iksil is still a dirtbag by virtue of the fact that he puts his talent to work for one of the true icons of greed and avarice in the world of capitalism. He’s guilty by association.

    Dodd-Frank is a joke – a parting shot from (in my view) one of the true icons of corruption in the US Congress over the past several decades, Christopher Dodd. What a scumsucker! He and Barney Frank, both. Shame on both of them for hanging their names on that turd they call legislation. That bill should have held Wall Street’s feet to the fire, and it should have put in place prohibitions against the kind of irresponsible behavior that brought the world economy to its knees. But yet again, our “leaders” feed us gooseshit and tell us it’s tapioca.

    We’re screwed…

  • the unfortunate side with these crapshoots is they now own so much of our governments the taxpayer pays when these parasites fail . it is a game with the fix in, no way the top hog ever looses.

  • washbag

    The Dodd Frank bill had considerably more “punch” until the weasels in congress let the air out of it. After all , you can’t bite the hand that feeds you. Until we can figure out how to not make money the motivating factor , the entire thing is for sale. Do you ever wonder where the end of this crap is ??? What the government might look like when you were elected on your merit instead of how much money you raised to get elected ??