London Mayor Opposes U.k. Press Regulation Plans
JPMorgan pays $100 million, admits fault in London trades
Press Regulation Plans 8:51 AM PDT 10/14/2013 by Georg Szalai 0 Getty Images London mayor Boris Johnson “You either have a free press or you dont,” says Boris Johnson and shares how he and his family once imitated Eddie Murphy in “Beverly Hills Cop” to play a trick on a reporter. LONDON London mayor Boris Johnson in a newspaper editorial on Monday spoke out against planned U.K. press regulation following the Leveson Inquiry report late last year. our editor recommends “We are on the verge of eroding the freedom of the press,” Johnson wrote in the Daily Telegraph . “It’s a vigorous, voracious press that keeps our country honest. Regulating the media would undermine its ferocious ability to highlight wrongdoing.” He called a planned royal charter outlining the new regulation a “monstrous folly.” Johnson also suggested that a political expenses scandal led British politicians to call for the Leveson Inquiry, not the phone hacking scandal surrounding Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. “It was the hacking cases that gave them their pretext,” he wrote. Johnson also argued Monday that Britain’s current laws sufficiently protect people from media abuse. “We already have abundant law against obscenity or breach of official secrets. We have laws against libel and defamation, against bugging, hacking, theft, bribery of public officials,” he wrote. “We have a growing tort of breach of privacy. We have no need of some new body backed by statute…and it is wrong in principle.” Concluded the London mayor: “You either have a free press or you dont. You cant sell the pass, and admit the principle of regulation because it is in the nature of regulation that it swells and grows. You cant be a little bit pregnant.” Johnson also had a suggestion for those “bothered by those nasty people from the media.” If they “wont go away, and they continue to sit outside your house asking questions to which you have already told them the answer, may I recommend that you do as my children and I once did years ago,” he wrote. “We imitated Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop, and we stuffed bananas secretly up the reporters tailpipe, and I remember us laughing helplessly at her air of puzzlement as she kaboing-ed up the road.”
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JPMorgan was betting that the price of the index would drop. When the traders sold their derivatives, the price of the index plunged. That was a “staggering volume” and the most ever traded by the bank in one day, according to the CFTC. The traders realized that the huge volume of the derivatives they had amassed could affect the market, and they decided to do so, the agency said. The agreement marks the first time the CFTC used a new legal authority from the 2010 financial overhaul law that is designed to prohibit reckless market conduct. Enforcement Director David Meister said the agency now is “better armed than ever to protect the market.” New York-based JPMorgan, in a statement, said “We are pleased to be able to put behind us another aspect of the … trading matter by the resolution of the CFTC investigation.” In addition to paying the $100 million, JPMorgan agreed in the settlement to continue to take steps to tighten its oversight of derivatives trading with an eye to reducing risk. The Justice Department has been investigating JPMorgan for possible criminal violations in connection with the London trades. One of the traders involved, Bruno Iksil, was known as the “London Whale” for the outsize bets he made that could roil markets. JPMorgan was one of the few financial institutions to come through the 2008 financial crisis without suffering major losses. The trading loss raised concern about continued risk-taking by Wall Street banks five years after the financial crisis plunged the country into the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The fallout ensnared JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who initially dismissed news reports of the huge bets by the London operation as a “tempest in a teapot.” He later acknowledged the magnitude of the losses, admitted to Congress that the bank failed in its oversight and took a multi-million-dollar pay cut. Federal prosecutors in New York filed criminal charges in August against JPMorgan traders Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout.