My family will be making our first modification payment on this newly offered modification program – “Multistate Home Affordable Modification Agreement” on June 1, 2011. With this program my family will be paying 2% interest for the first 5-years, the 6th year it will increase to 3%, in the 7th year it will increase to 4%, and then in the 8th year throughout the term of the loan the interest will be 4.875% interest. The Modification Agreement If you were refused by one of the Big Banks with regards to a modification because you were told that you didn’t make ...
My Favorite ChaseSux Sites: Chase Home Finance Sucks - a daily blog that focuses on Chase Home Finance, Modifications, Govt. Agencies and an overall emphasis on Chase Bank in general. Chase Sucks - an overall emphasis on Chase Bank with regards to Home Financing, Modificaitons & Credit Cards. Loan Safe - an overall emphasis on Bank Loans in general with a lot of individual loan and modification horror stories. This particular link focuses on Chase Bank. Loan Safe - another loan safe link that focuses on class action lawsuits. You Walk Away - Focuses on walking away from a bad Bank Loan and Strategic Default. Walking Away Paper ...
LAWSUITS ACROSS THIS COUNTRY A site that will send your complaint to a lawyer for review. Send Your Complaint to a Lawyer for Review Lawsuit – Urban Justice Center - JP MORGAN CHASE ILLEGALLY DENYING HOMEOWNERS FORECLOSURE RELIEF. NYC Homeowners Sue Chase for Unexplained Delays & Denials of Permanent Modifications under Federal Program, Including after Months of ‘Trial Payments’ URBAN JUSTICE CENTER SITECase Documents UJC_Chase press release_FINAL Final Chase Complaint Case20100504132936429 The following case information brought to you by Justia Lawsuit - A North Carolina case where the plaintiff, a family, is suing the defendant, Chase Home Finance LLC. FULL STORY The ...
The following article is brought to you by JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG AND SUSANNE CRAIG at NYTimes.Com
Jamie Dimon and the 10 other directors of JPMorgan Chase take the stage in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, to face shareholders who can take comfort in a rising stock price and a prospering bank.
But those same shareholders may also deliver a humbling rebuff to Mr. Dimon and the bank’s board.
If shareholders vote to separate the jobs of chairman and chief executive — positions that Mr. Dimon has held since 2006 — it would signal a shift in the balance of power in corporate America, an inflection point in shareholders’ push for greater say in the boardroom.
Shareholder protests at large companies are usually successful only at those that are troubled or whose stock price has disappointed.
But JPMorgan, even after suffering a multibillion-dollar trading loss that exposed weak risk controls and spurred federal investigations, is minting profits quarter after quarter. And its stock price is up 19 percent this year.
A victory against a bank that prides itself on its “fortress balance sheet” would go a long way toward proving that shareholders can push for changes even at strong companies.
“It’s a fascinating moment in the arc of corporate governance, where shareholders are poised to get a lot of power,” said Charles M. Elson, director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware.
Raising the stakes, of course, is the presence of Mr. Dimon, the brash chief executive who successfully piloted JPMorgan through the tumultuous 2008 financial crisis. For better or for worse, Mr. Dimon, 57, has come to epitomize the American banker atop an institution that is too big to fail.
If JPMorgan shareholders reject the proposal — which would not require the bank to act in any case — it will be a powerful endorsement of Mr. Dimon and his leadership.
In addition, it will help JPMorgan, which has been aggressively working behind the scenes to avert defeat, to move beyond the fallout from the trading loss.
Regardless of the outcome of the fight, it is likely that the JPMorgan board will make some changes, possibly by shaking up its risk committee or giving its lead director greater power.
Last week, shareholder groups sponsoring the split were cut off from crucial preliminary vote tallies by the firm that provides them, causing the sponsors to cry foul.
New York State’s attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, late on Friday sent a letter to Stephen M. Cutler, JPMorgan’s general counsel, that raised serious concerns about why the tallies were cut off, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
After a series of conference calls on Saturday between lawyers for JPMorgan and the attorney general’s office, JPMorgan agreed to direct a firm that provides early tabulations to restart the tallies.
(CHASEHOMEFINANCESUX RESPONSE: How Many Criminal Activities Are These Big Banks Going To Be Allowed To Do Before Something Is Done!? This Has Become One Of The Most Ridiculous, Saddest Jokes In America, Our Big Banking System. If Dimon’s Position Is Not Split, America Is Doomed, And WE THE PEOPLE Truly Have No Say In The Current System! Then, WE THE PEOPLE Will Have To Change The System.)
For investors who argue that an independent chairman is a vital counterbalance to a chief executive, defeat of the resolution would be a significant setback.
After receiving the backing of 40 percent of shares for a similar proposal last year, a small group of JPMorgan shareholders was emboldened to introduce a new resolution in February.
Since then, support for splitting the positions has grown, stoked in part by revelations of JPMorgan’s continued regulatory missteps.
A Senate hearing and a 300-page report on the multibillion-dollar trading loss at the bank’s chief investment office in London last year accused the bank of misleading investors and regulators about the botched trades.
In addition to the investigations into the trading losses, there have been inquiries into whether JPMorgan failed to fully alert authorities to suspicions about Bernard L. Madoff and into the bank’s trading practices in two electricity markets.
In January, one of its primary regulators, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, took an enforcement action against the bank over weak controls against money laundering, faulting JPMorgan for failing to report suspicious flows of money.
Now, the agency is considering fresh enforcement actions against JPMorgan over the way the bank goes after customers for overdue credit card bills. All told, at least eight federal agencies are investigating the bank.
The regulatory tangle puts Mr. Dimon and JPMorgan, which used to hold special sway in Washington, in a tough position.
Even Mr. Dimon’s contrite tone — he apologized in a recent letter to shareholders for letting “our regulators down” and pledging to “do all the work necessary to complete the needed improvements” — hasn’t seemed to slow the effort by shareholders supporting the proposal for an independent chairman.
A steady stream of departures from JPMorgan’s upper ranks has also proved to be a boost for the shareholders pushing for a split. The most recent high-level departure came in April, when Frank J. Bisignano, JPMorgan’s co-chief operating officer and an executive hailed within the bank as an operational wizard, left to become chief executive of the First Data Corporation.
Some executives have been driven out by the trading loss, while others have simply departed. The outcome, though, is the same. Mr. Dimon’s inner circle, the group of lieutenants that helped him steer the bank through the financial crisis, has been significantly winnowed down: only three remain from the crisis era.
Even as Mr. Dimon has taken an apologetic tone with regulators, he continues to emphasize JPMorgan’s strength and the qualities of its upper management, according to investors who have met with him in recent weeks.
The board, however, may decide that changes are needed, and move to overhaul its risk policy committee. Led by Lee R. Raymond, a former chief executive of Exxon Mobil who acts as the lead director, the board has so far fended off calls from major investors for such a shake-up.
But those calls gained strength when an influential shareholder advisory firm, Institutional Shareholder Services, or I.S.S., urged shareholders to withhold support for three directors who serve on the risk policy committee — David M. Cote, James S. Crown and Ellen V. Futter.
The directors, I.S.S. said in a report released this month, “lack robust industry-specific experience” and the mishaps that have accumulated during the last year have only “demonstrated their unsuitability.”
JPMorgan and Mr. Raymond have vigorously defended the three directors, noting that they had served on the risk committee when the bank navigated through the financial crisis. In a previous statement about the losses in its chief investment office, JPMorgan said: “While the company has acknowledged a number of mistakes relating to its losses in C.I.O., an independent review committee of the board determined that those mistakes were not attributable to the risk committee.”
Still, the recommendation from I.S.S. held particular force, some investors say, because the advisory firm noted in its report that it opposed directors only in “extraordinary circumstances.”
It is also possible the board will move to bolster the powers of Mr. Raymond, as Goldman did with its lead director this year. This will assuage some shareholders seeking a stronger counterbalance to Mr. Dimon and could take some of the air out of any attempts next year to split the roles.
“You have to do something to appease shareholders,” said a person close to the board. “Otherwise there will be more trouble down the road.”
The following article is brought to you by Felix Salmon at Reuters.Com
Jamie Dimon is wagging his finger from newstands across America this week, above the kind of headline his PR team can only dream of: “DIMON IS FOREVER: Why Jamie Dimon is Wall Street’s Indispensable Man”.
The story itself, by Nick Summers and Max Abelson, consists mainly of rich corporate insider types talking about how wonderful Jamie Dimon is, and how ridiculous it is that anybody might consider stripping him of the chairmanship of JP Morgan. Here’s a doozy:
Admiring rivals have been known to call Dimon “the sun god.” That cosmic aura has real use, says Kathryn Wylde, who served on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s board with Dimon until his term ended last year. “There’s no doubt that it helped the bank, because so much of that business is built on confidence.” The intrusion of shareholders, in the form of a vote on Dimon’s dual roles, she adds, is “indefensible if the company is performing well.”
Wylde is one of those great-and-good people who turn up on boards all over the place: not only the New York Fed, but also everything from the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the Manhattan Institute to the Lutheran Medical Center and the US Trust Advisory Committee. Her day job is serving as the president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, a partnership made up exclusively of large companies and the rich people who lead them. JPMorgan is unshockingly among them. Her view of the role of shareholders in corporate governance is fascinating: it’s “indefensible” for them to care about such things so long as they’re getting paid.
But clearly shareholders do care about governance: both Institutional Investors Services and Glass Lewis, advisory firms paid to work out what is in the best interests of shareholders, have come to the entirely reasonable conclusion that Jamie Dimon should not keep his job as chairman of the board.
The battle line between principals and agents has never been more clearly delineated than it is here. The shareholders of JP Morgan — the owners of the company — want a board which represents their interests, and which can control what the CEO does. The managers and captured professional board members, on the other hand — the CEO class — have rallied around Dimon in an impressive display of high-wattage solidarity. Bloomberg Businessweek quotes Bill Daley, John Mack, Jimmy Cayne, Phil Gramm, Dick Kovacevich, and “two dozen of Dimon’s peers and colleagues” in his defense; Andrew Ross Sorkin, for good measure, adds Barry Diller and Hank Paulson.
Will shareholders see this awesome display of PR firepower and decide that Jamie’s right, he should stay on as chairman after all? If they’re narrowly focused on the short-term future of the JP Morgan share price, then probably they will. After all, Dimon has petulantly threatened to quit if the motion goes through, which would be bad for the share price — and as all of these articles are at pains to point out, there’s not much evidence that splitting the chairman and CEO roles is likely to do any particular good for JP Morgan’s share price over the medium term. (It can help underperforming companies, but that effect disappears with respect to relatively strong ones.)
The cult of the CEO is still going strong: just look at the way Bloomberg has appointed the ex CEO of IBM to try to help the company recover from its recent data scandal. So maybe if you get enough CEOs supporting Dimon, their collective weight will help tip the balance. (Although it’s hard to believe that any shareholders particularly value the opinion of Jimmy Cayne on this issue.)
But the fact is that Dimon should not be chairman of JP Morgan, and shareholders can see exactly why just by looking right there at the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek. No one man should ever be indispensable, and it’s the job of the chairman to ensure that the company is in good solid health no matter what happens to the CEO.
A fuller, and quite wonderful, explanation has also been offered up by the Epicurean Dealmaker, who makes a few more salient points. He explains:
The entire point of separating the roles of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer is that they have different responsibilities and duties. They are different jobs. Now, perhaps at smaller companies with simple business models and uncomplicated objectives (grow revenues fast enough to meet payroll and pay the bank on time), there is no practical need to separate them. But the bigger a company gets—and I think we can all agree J.P. Morgan is about as big as a firm can get—the breadth and scope of duties each role properly possesses expands dramatically.
Even if Dimon is a great CEO, there’s really no evidence at all that he’s a great chairman, and JP Morgan’s shareholders have the right to install the best possible officeholder in each of those roles.
How do we know that Dimon is a bad chairman? Well, there’s the fact that there’s no good succession planning, for starters. And then there’s the board itself, which is basically a bunch of supine muppets, who do as they’re told rather than actually representing shareholders and holding the CEO to account.
Most intractably, there’s the question of shifting goalposts. As the Epicurean Dealmaker points out, Jamie Dimon is the very last person on the planet who should be in charge of judging whether Jamie Dimon is doing a good job as CEO. For instance: it’s impossible for a bank with $2.4 trillion in assets and 256,000 employees to stay out of regulatory trouble entirely. But how many fines is too many? As Businessweek points out, “the litigation section of the bank’s quarterly filings now runs to almost 9,000 words, or 18 single-spaced pages.” At what point does the litany of legal and ethical lapses become so long that the CEO has to take responsibility, and/or break up the company into small-enough-to-manage chunks? This is an important question, and Jamie Dimon cannot answer it. You need an independent board to do that — to set the goalposts — and JP Morgan’s board is not independent.
In theory, shareholders elect directors, who hire the CEO to run the company. In practice, the CEO picks the directors he wants, pays them a handsome stipend for doing nothing, and they in turn make no attempt to listen to what the company’s shareholders might desire. In fact, they’re quite offended when it’s suggested that they might want to do that at all.
The debate about this vote often seems as though it’s two groups of people talking at cross purposes to each other: the Dimon defenders are making it all about him personally, and what a good job he’s done running the company, while the good-governance types generally say nothing personally about Dimon at all, and instead insist that all they’re doing is standing on principle.
But in fact this is about Dimon personally: it’s about how much power one man can or should be allowed to have. Dimon has too much. It’s time to give him a boss.
The following article is brought to you by Reuters found at BusinessInsider.Com
JPMorgan Chase & Co Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon said he may consider leaving the bank where he has held the top post since 2005, if shareholders vote to split his duties, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
Shareholders will vote later this month at an annual meeting in Tampa, Florida, on a non-binding proposal to separate the chairman and chief executive roles after a more than $6 billion trading loss last year raised questions about risk oversight.
At first, Dimon said he would not comment publicly on what he would do if the vote went against him, but when pressed he added that the worst-case scenario would be to leave the bank, the newspaper said, citing sources that attended a private meeting at the company’s New York headquarters.
Results of the vote will be announced on May 21, but it remains unclear what the board will do if the proposal passes.
Among the investors who attended Monday’s meeting, the Journal said, were top 10 shareholders Fidelity Investments and MFS Investment Management, as well as TIAA-CREF Asset Management and Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
Proxy advisory firms Institutional Investors Services and Glass Lewis & Co said that the losing “London Whale” derivatives trades that cost the bank $6.2 billion last year showed the board had failed in its oversight of JPMorgan executives. The firms also recommended that some board members not be re-elected.
Two ranking JPMorgan Chase directors issued a letter to shareholders on Friday, arguing against recommendations. The letter, signed by presiding director Lee Raymond and corporate governance and nominating committee chairman William Weldon, said the advisory firms focused too narrowly on the trading losses and that the changes would be disruptive and not in shareholders’ best interests.
A similar proposal to split the roles garnered the approval of 40 percent of shareholders last year.
(CHASEHOMEFINANCESUX RESPONSE: Jamie Won’t Play Unless He Is Always King Of The Mountain! This Man Should Not Be Just Losing His Job, He Needs To Be Put In Jail!)
The following article is brought to you by the Guardian.Co.UK
Second shareholder advisory group comes out against chief executive Dimon’s chairmanship ahead of annual meeting.
Influential investment adviser Glass Lewis has called for JP Morgan to appoint an independent chairman and for shareholders to vote out directors who oversaw the bank’s “London whale” losses.
The move will put further pressure on Jamie Dimon, the chairman and chief executive, ahead of the bank’s annual shareholder meeting later this month.
Shareholders have already been advised to vote for an independent chairman by Glass Lewis’s main rival, Institutional Shareholder Services. The two firms advise many of JP Morgan’s largest shareholders.
Glass Lewis and ISS have advised shareholders to vote against three members of the board’s risk committee – David Cote, Ellen Futter and chairman James Crown – for what they allege are failures of oversight. Glass Lewis also added three members of the firm’s audit committee to its hit list – James Bell, Crandall Bowles and chairman Laban Jackson Jr.
Calling for the directors to be ousted, Glass Lewis cited their alleged role in JP Morgan’s $6bn (£3.9bn) London trading losses: “Shareholders should be concerned that company management was allowed to build a massive exposure to credit derivatives, switch VaR [value at risk] models following a breach of risk limits, and value its positions so to minimize losses, and that it was able to do each of these things without triggering a board-level review or a mandatory containment of risk.”
The bank has been lobbying shareholders ahead of the meeting on 21 May. It has the support of another proxy adviser, Egan-Jones Proxy Services, and the backing of billionaire investor Warren Buffett. “I’m 100% for Jamie,” Buffett told Bloomberg Television last week. “I couldn’t think of a better chairman.”
Three of the bank’s largest shareholders – Blackrock, Vanguard and Fidelity – are reportedly still undecided about how they will vote. The three hold 12% of JP Morgan shares and last year backed Dimon in a similar vote over his chairmanship.
The following article is brought to you by Mark DeCambre at NYPost.Com
After a bravura performance testifying on Capitol Hill last year, Jamie Dimon was lauded as the “antithesis” of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who was blasted for his firm’s role in the financial crisis.
Now, little more than a year later, Dimon is feeling the heat, while Blankfein appears to be sitting pretty.
In the wake of a “London Whale” scandal, Dimon’s JPMorgan has received regulatory orders to improve everything from its risk management to its anti-money laundering procedures.
In the latest setback, the top bank regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, is investigating JPMorgan’s commodities business headed by executive Blythe Masters.
Dimon’s woes began in earnest last April when he dismissed the emerging “London Whale” trading scandal as a “tempest in a teapot.”
Months later, Dimon is still apologizing to shareholders for $6.2 billion in losses.
“I deeply apologize to you, our shareholders, and to others, including our regulators, who were affected by this mistake,” he wrote last month in a 30-page letter.
JPMorgan is expected to face more regulatory headaches in the coming months.
Meanwhile, Blankfein has rebounded to become a model Wall Street CEO. He has adopted a warmer, fuzzier image as an outspoken advocate for gay marriage and a cheerleader for the US economy.