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JPMorgan reveals shock losses

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NEW YORK — US banking giant JPMorgan Chase on Thursday revealed that it would incur losses that could run into the billions as a result of bad bets on derivatives.

In a unscheduled conference call, chief executive Jamie Dimon reported the trades cost the company around $2 billion in recent weeks, half of which was clawed back.

It “could cost us as much as one billion dollars,” Dimon said, admitting that how markets react in the coming days and weeks could put the final price tag much higher.

“It could get worse.”

The losses were linked to JPMorgan’s Chief Investment Office, which hedged the firm’s assets and liabilities against synthetic credit derivatives.

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“These were egregious mistakes,” Dimon said. “They were self-inflicted and this is not how we want to run a business.”

JPMorgan shares fell 5.5 percent in after-hours trade.

The losses are a humiliation for Dimon — one of Wall Street’s best known titans — and for the bank, coming hot on the heels of the 2008 financial crisis.

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Then, the collapse of the market in mortgage derivatives punched a giant hole in banks’ balance sheets and plunged the world’s largest economy into the worst recession in a generation, costing millions of jobs.

As recently as last month, JPMorgan executives told investors they were “very comfortable” with positions held by the bank, raising questions about how much was known by senior management and when.

The revelations are also likely to fuel debate about President Barack Obama’s sweeping reforms of Wall Street.

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Under rules still being finalized, banks would see limits on how much they can trade for their own benefit using deposits, the so-called Volcker rule.

Wall Street has fiercely opposed curbs on this sometimes lucrative trade.


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Gun ownership increases homicides — but only a very specific kind of them: study

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Does the frequency of gun ownership impact the homicide rate? In the broad sense, many studies have shown it does. But how does it do so exactly?

A new study, conducted at the University of Indianapolis and published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, offers a profound hint. The study, which examined homicide rates by state from 1990 to 2016, suggests that most forms of homicide — those committed against friends, acquaintances, and strangers — are negligibly affected by firearm ownership rates. But one particular category of homicide is sharply correlated with the presence of guns: domestic violence.

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DOJ censors Mueller ahead of highly-anticipated congressional testimony

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President Donald Trump's Dept. of Justice is censoring former Special Counsel Robert Mueller ahead of his highly-anticipated congressional testimony Wednesday.

According to Politico the Trump DOJ is claiming anything outside of what is already published in the special counsel's 448-page report falls under "presidential privilege" and cannot be used during his testimony.

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Conservatives are furious over Trump’s budget deal with Democrats — president brags about ‘real compromise’

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House conservatives are livid after President Donald Trump struck a budget deal with Democrats.

"You should veto this bill because it is fiscally irresponsible," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Trump. "It blows well beyond what was intended with the 2011 [Budget Control Act] caps. Furthermore, it continues spending hundreds of billions more than what we take in a year and does not put our nation on a path towards a balanced budget."

The effort is being driven by first-term Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX).

"As the greatest nation in the history of the world, the least we can do is cut a deal that does not sabotage the fiscal future of our nation while endangering millions of American and migrants because of our porous border," the lawmakers wrote. "We can do better."

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