Saturday, May 12, 2012

JP Morgan Chase Whale Fail and other big bank disasters

JPMorgan Chase

On May 10th, the U.S.'s largest bank JPMorgan Chase announced one of its London trading desks had lost $2 billion on bad bets on credit derivatives.


Kweku Adoboli, a trader for Swiss bank UBS, lost $2 billion on unauthorized trades in September 2011.

MF Global

Brokerage firm MF Global filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2011 after a failed $6 billion bet on European debt

Societe General

Hailed as "history's biggest rogue trading scandal" at the time, French trader Jerome Kerviel was convicted in October 2010 of losing French bank Societe General around $6 billion due to unauthorized trades.

Bear Stearns

After a run on investment bank Bear Sterns nearly caused its collapse in 2007, JPMorgan bought the firm for $2 a share the following March, Businessweek reports


Insurance company AIG became the recipient of the largest ever government bailout for a single corporation when a $182 billion rescue package saved it from a liquidity crisis following a downgrade of its credit rating in 2008.

Washington Mutual

One of the biggest players in retail banking and mortgages during the housing crisis, Washington Mutual filed for Chapter 11 in September 2008, after sustaining losses on billions of dollars worth of mortgage and home loans, CNBC reports.


Citigroup came to the brink of collapse after it reported losses around $10 billion in 2007, in part due to failed mortgage investments, CNNMoney reported. To keep the bank afloat the government issued a $20 billion bailout in November of that year.

Merrill Lynch

After projecting a $4.5 billion loss during the third quarter of 2007, Merrill Lynch shocked investors by reporting a $7.9 billion deficit from trading mortgage-backed securities and other structured products, according to CNNMoney.

Barings Bank

One time star trader Nick Leeson was responsible for sinking British bank Barings after losing $1 billion when an an earthquake struck Kobe, Japan in 1995, causing his investments in the Nikkei to fail as the Japanese stock exchange crashed, TIME reported.

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