JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a global financial services firm with over $1.6 trillion in assets and a staff of more than 170,000 in over 60 countries. It serves millions of U.S. consumers, plus corporations, hedge funds, governments, high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors in 100 countries. J.P. Morgan was founded in the early 1800’s. Mergers between Chase Manhattan Bank and Chemical Bank in 1996, followed by a merger with J.P. Morgan in 2000, formed J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. In March 2008, in the midst of an industry-wide credit crisis, J.P. Morgan purchased Bear, Stearns & Co. for approximately $1 billion in stock, which was only about 15% of Bear Stearns’ market value just one week earlier. That acquisition was made possible after Bear Stearns’ clients withdrew approximately $17 billion in two days, sending what was already a shaky financial institution into deep financial trouble. JPMorgan Chase is now the 3rd largest financial institution in the United States, behind Bank of America and Citigroup.
J.P. Morgan Settles Auction Rate Securities Dispute for $Billions
J.P. Morgan was fined $25 million and agreed to buy back $3 billion in auction rate securities from investors as part of regulatory investigations into improper sales of auction rate securities. Securities regulators nationwide have been investigating most Wall Street brokerage firms based on allegations that the firms, including J.P. Morgan, misled investors by recommending and selling auction rate securities as liquid, cash-like investments without disclosing the risk that the securities could become illiquid.
J.P. Morgan Pays $135 Million Fine Related to Enron Fraud
J.P. Morgan agreed to a $135 million fine to settle SEC allegations that it helped Enron commit fraud. The SEC alleged that J.P. Morgan helped mislead investors by mischaracterizing loan proceeds as cash from operations on Enron’s financial statements.