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Stock Exposure Has Exploded at JPMorgan’s Federally-Insured Bank to $2.4 Trillion

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Dow Jones Industrial Average Versus Stock Price of JPMorgan Chase from January 2, 2007 to January 6, 2020

Dow Jones Industrial Average Versus Stock Price of JPMorgan Chase from January 2, 2007 to January 6, 2020

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Federally-insured banks are not supposed to be making large speculations in the stock market. They are supposed to be using bank deposits to make loans to worthy businesses and consumers to help grow the U.S. economy and keep the United States competitive on the global stage.

But according to the official reports from the federal regulator of national banks, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), since December 31, 2010 the federally-insured bank owned by the monster trading house of JPMorgan Chase (JPMorgan Chase Bank NA) has increased its equity (stock) derivative bets from $337 billion to $2.4 trillion as of its latest report for the quarter ending September 30, 2019. (The data is found in a graph titled “Table 10” in the appendix of each of the quarterly reports published by the OCC.) 

During the period that JPMorgan Chase’s positions in stock derivatives have exploded, both its own stock price and the Dow Jones Industrial Average have been on a sharp upward trajectory. (See chart above.)

The $2.4 trillion notional (face amount) of stock derivative exposure that JPMorgan Chase has at its federally-insured bank is a very big revenue producer for the bank. According to the OCC’s report for the quarter ending September 30, 2019, all federally-insured banks in the U.S. which traded equity derivatives made $1.8 billion in revenues, of which JPMorgan accounted for $1.15 billion or 64 percent of all revenues of all banks trading stock derivatives.


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