90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Future Of The Volcker Rule

Two billion dollars lost in a flash by JP Morgan. Is this an argument for the Volcker rule – cracking down on speculative bets by the banks?

People arrive at JPMorgan Chase headquarters in New York Monday, May 14, 2012. JPMorgan, the largest bank in the United States, is seeking to minimize the damage caused by a $2 billion trading loss, disclosed Thursday by CEO Jamie Dimon. (AP)

People arrive at JPMorgan Chase headquarters in New York Monday, May 14, 2012. JPMorgan, the largest bank in the United States, is seeking to minimize the damage caused by a $2 billion trading loss, disclosed Thursday by CEO Jamie Dimon. (AP)

Wall Street blew up in 2008, and it was clear to just about everybody that we needed a change.  Some boundaries.  A lot more transparency.  No more taxpayer bailouts for zillionaire bankers.  And what happened?  A whole lot of nothing.  A big bill, Dodd-Frank, was passed. 

And an army of Wall Street lobbyists went to work to strangle it in its cradle.  Last week, news that – whaddaya know! – JP Morgan Chase has lost billions with “egregious” bad bets.  The system’s still at risk. 

This hour, On Point:  Voldemort, the “London Whale”, JP Morgan Chase, and when will the U.S. fix its banking?

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Matt Taibbi, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone. His latest book is Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History. His article on the JP Morgan loss is here.

Gregory Zuckerman, financial columnist and reporter at the Wall Street Journal. He’s the author of The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History. His take on the JP Morgan case is here.

C-Segment: Obama at Barnard

Check out President Obama at Barnard College. And the transcript here.

From Tom’s Reading List

Click here for an explanation of the Volcker Rule..

Rolling Stone “Activity like this is exactly what the Volcker rule, which effectively banned risky proprietary trading by federally insured institutions, was designed to prevent. It will be argued that this trade was a technically a hedge, and therefore exempt from the Volcker rule.”

Reuters “This time around, the basis-trade disaster has happened at JP Morgan, where the famous London Whale seems to have contrived to lose $2 billion on what was meant to be a hedging operation. And once again, although the details are still very murky, the culprit seems to be the CDS-cash basis.”

Wall Street Journal “Even though the blunder won’t come close to breaking J.P. Morgan, Mr. Dimon deserves thanks for unwittingly reminding regulators of the need for clear playbooks to wind down failing financial behemoths without bringing the system down.”

New York Times “So there’s a large heap of poetic justice — and a major policy lesson — in JPMorgan’s shock announcement that it somehow managed to lose $2 billion in a failed bit of financial wheeling-dealing. “

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 20, 2014
In this file photo, Hillsborough Sheriff deputy patrols outside the gate of JP Morgan Chase annual stockholders meeting held Tuesday, May 15, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. JP Morgan is one of several large financial institutions currently under investigation for alleged violation of Federal bankruptcy laws. (AP)

You’re supposed to have a clean slate after bankruptcy. But that’s not always true. We’ll ask what’s going on.

Nov 20, 2014
A shot from the AMC reality series, "Freakshow." (Jessica Brooks / AMC)

From TV to Broadway, circus sideshows — freak shows — are having a big cultural moment. What’s the history behind the comeback?

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 19, 2014
In a Friday, March 2, 2012 file photo, Donnie Dawson, 20, left, attends a youth advocacy group meeting at the Ruth Ellis Center, a drop-in shelter for LGBT - lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender youth in Detroit. (AP)

Up to 40 percent of homeless young people are LGBTQ. We’ll hear their stories.

 
Nov 19, 2014
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of Mosheh Twersky, in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. Two Palestinian cousins armed with meat cleavers and a gun stormed a Jerusalem synagogue during morning prayers Tuesday, killing Twersky and three others in the city's bloodiest attack in years. (AP)

New violence in Jerusalem. The building battle for the Holy City.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Five: What Is Net Neutrality?
Friday, Nov 14, 2014

The Explicast dives into tech policy territory with a quick look at the real meaning of a complicated bit of tech policy known as ‘Net Neutrality.’

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: November 14, 2014
Friday, Nov 14, 2014

On why we tweet, what we like and a Miley Cyrus and “Serial” theme song mashup you never knew you needed.

More »
Comment
 
Guest Post: U.S.-China Climate Deal is an Important Step In Long Road Ahead
Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014

After a landmark agreement between the US and China on climate change policy and clean energy development, a recent On Point guest reflects on what’s important in this new deal.

More »
Comment