Document Type

Case Study

Case Series

JPMorgan Chase London Whale

JEL Codes

G01, G28


JPMorgan Chase (JPM) prided itself on having the best risk-management practices in the financial industry, having survived the 2007-09 financial crisis in better shape than many competitors. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon often spoke of the bank’s “fortress balance sheet.” A keen focus on risk management is vital to JPM’s longevity, as is the case with all highly leveraged financial institutions. However, the JPM Task Force that investigated the $6 billion 2012 London Whale trading loss concluded that risk-management practices at the bank’s Chief Investment Office (CIO), the unit in which the loss occurred, were given less scrutiny by senior management than those of the bank’s client-facing businesses, despite the fact that the Chief Investment Office managed $350 billion in assets, an amount almost double JPM’s total stockholders’ equity at December 31, 2011.

Date Revised