JPMorgan probe gives SEC chance to bare teeth
The US Senate probe into JPMorgan Chase did more than conclude the bank hid the full damage of last year's trading losses from investors and regulators.
Former SEC chairman Mary Schapiro said last year that her agency was investigating whether JPMorgan adequately disclosed the losses on a derivatives portfolio that eventually swelled to more than $US6.2 billion.
The case may become an early test for SEC chairwoman nominee Mary Jo White, a former prosecutor picked to help the agency shed a reputation for failing to prosecute Wall Street wrongdoing. Ms White may have to avoid personal involvement in the case because her law firm has represented JPMorgan.
SEC officials weighing charges of improper disclosures will be able to draw on the 300-page report by the Senate's permanent subcommittee on investigations released on March 14, as well as more than 90,000 emails and other documents, 200 transcribed telephone calls and 25 interviews with bank officials compiled by the committee.
"The report puts tremendous pressure on the SEC to address the responsibilities of JPMorgan and its top officers for what is happening in the trenches," Robert Hillman, a securities law professor at the University of California, said.