Sources: Boss Tried to Hide London Whale Fiasco

JPMorgan trader was urged to boost valuations: WSJ
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2012 4:45 AM CDT
Sources: Boss Tried to Hide London Whale Fiasco
JPMorgan is down at least $5.8 billion because of the "Whale's" risky trades.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

A top exec at JPMorgan appears to have tried to cover up a colossal mistake, sources close to the "London Whale" probe tell the Wall Street Journal. Emails from earlier this year reveal that credit-trading chief Javier Martin-Artajo urged "whale" trader Bruno Iksil to inflate valuations on some trades as their risky strategy unraveled, the sources say. Both men have now left the bank, which has taken a $5.8 billion hit from the fiasco.

"We should not be showing" losses from the trades "until we see where the market is going," Martin-Artajo told Iksil in one of the emails. Bank investigators believe he was trying to give the trades time to recover by concealing losses that would have set off alarm bells, the sources say. A lawyer for Martin-Artajo says his client "unequivocally denies any wrongdoing on his part, and is confident that he will be completely exonerated." (More JPMorgan Chase stories.)

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