JPMorgan, en la boca de la ballena

CAMBRIDGE – Las últimas semanas no han sido buenas para JPMorgan Chase (JPM), la firma multinacional de servicios financieros que, según ciertas estimaciones, es el banco más grande de Estados Unidos. A dos de sus operadores les formularon cargos, y el banco aceptó pagar una multa de mil millones de dólares por no haber informado con la rapidez y la precisión suficientes sobre la dimensión de sus pérdidas generadas por el escándalo conocido como "London Whale" (la ballena de Londres). Ahora el banco enfrenta sanciones aún mayores -que tal vez superen los 10.000 millones de dólares- por actividades hipotecarias, principalmente realizadas por dos de sus firmas financieras, Bear Stearns y Washington Mutual, que compró durante la crisis financiera.

En general se cree que el gobierno de Estados Unidos no habría ido tras JPM si estos reveses y errores se hubieran conocido durante la crisis financiera. Las operaciones de London Whale, por ejemplo, comenzaron en 2012; si hubiesen ocurrido en 2008, cuando el sistema financiero estaba frágil, se dice que JPM habría obtenido una absolución legal.

Esta opinión parece bien fundamentada, porque el gobierno por aquel entonces estaba respaldando a los grandes bancos en un esfuerzo concertado por superar la crisis financiera. Se creía que debilitar aún más a los bancos iba a profundizar y prolongar la crisis. De modo que JPM, desde este punto de vista, no ha tenido suerte: gran parte de sus problemas legales son posteriores a la crisis financiera y salieron a la luz mucho después de que ésta estallara.

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