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Jamie Dimon’s Biggest Follies

J.P. Morgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon wasn’t asked to testify before a Senate panel probing the $6 billion “London Whale” trading debacle, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t one of the stars of the show.

The panel, through both its 300-page report released Thursday and the remarks of its committee members issued Friday, suggested Dimon had at least some knowledge of the losses when he dismissed early media reports detailing the matter, calling the charges a “complete tempest in a teapot.”

“When he made that statement, Mr. Dimon was already in possession of information about the complex and sizeable portfolio, its sustained losses for three straight months, the exponential increase in those losses during March, and the difficulty of exiting [those] positions,” according to the report.

Dimon also told the Senate subcommittee last year that he did not recall the Chief Investment Office’s change to a different risk model, one that cut the portfolio’s purported risk profile in half, making it look safer. Dimon said he only recalled becoming aware of the issue after “things blew up.”

As it turned out, Dimon did in fact send an email approving the new risk model, according to the report. “Jamie Dimon himself approved a temporary increase and, voila, the [risk] breach was gone,” said Senate panel chair Carl Levin, who accused J.P. Morgan executives of turning a “blind eye to the breaches.”

Considering the focus of the panel was often on Dimon, whose name was mentioned more than 300 times in the report, it’s surprising he wasn't called before a Congress for a third time.

J.P. Morgan increased its dividend by 27% after having its capital requirement plan approved by the Federal Reserve. With 5.78 million J.P. Morgan shares, Dimon is set to receive a windfall of $1.85 million.

Confessions of a Recruiter (eFinancialCareers)

Confession: Before becoming a journalist and covering financial careers, I spent nearly four years as a recruiter. Here are a few tricks you should look out for.

Record Insider Trading Penalty (Bloomberg)

Two affiliates of SAC Capital – CR Intrinsic Investors and Sigma Capital Management – have agreed to pay $614 million to settle insider trading claims.

Barely Making Six Figures (MarketWatch)

Poor Warren Buffett hasn’t received a raise in over three decades. The chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, who’s estimated to be worth roughly $53.5 billion, earned a salary of $100,000 in 2012.

IT Pay Cuts (eFinancialCareers)

Barclays has cut its rates for IT contractors in the U.K. and U.S. working in the corporate, investment banking, wealth and investment management divisions by up to 10% in another squeeze on pay for temporary staff.

Who’s Lying? (WSJ)

More than 80% of office workers believe they’ve been lied to or treated dishonestly by a colleague. Just 10% admit to having done the same.

Whales Got Paid (Financial News)

Seven staffers who made up J.P. Morgan’s Chief Investment Office, the unit responsible for the firm’s $6.2 billion trading loss, took home a total of $105 million between 2010 and 2011.

C-Level Pay Edging Down (WSJ)

Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Jacobs and other top executives at Lazard had their compensation cut by roughly 5% for 2012. The M&A-advisory and asset-management firm, which has been cutting staff since late last year, also rolled out broader clawback policies.

Futuristic Wall Street (Business Insider)

Turkey is building a $2.6 billion financial center. Here is what it will look like.

Buzz Around the Office

One Key Word Missing (HuffPo)

A New York woman called the police last week to report an “abandoned baby” was left outside her home. Cops rushed to the scene, only to find the woman was talking about a baby pit bull, a fact she never mentioned over the phone.

List of the Day: Areas to Improve

Want a promotion? Identify skills that fit into these key areas and make them your strength.

  1. Characteristics your boss values.
  2. Knowledge gaps your team has.
  3. Top skills of well-rounded colleagues or clients.

(Source: The Daily Muse)

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

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