Negative ethics behavior
Posted: Mar 14, 2019
JP Morgan Chase & Co. is one the largest global bank. It is the largest American bank in terms of assets and the second largest bank globally. The large size of the company can be attributed to the 2000 merger with Chase Manhattan Corporation. The merger raised JPMorgan Chase asset base to $2.5 trillion making the company the second-largest bank globally (Forbes, 2012). JPMorgan offers a wide array of services from credit card services for private banking and asset management. Its major competitors include the Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup. Over the four years, JPMorgan has paid $16 billion in terms of fines, settlements, and other litigation expenses. More than half of the amount has been paid in fines and settlement due to illegal actions taken by the company’s executives. JP Morgan Chase & Co. is built on the foundation of over 1,000 predecessor institutions that have emerged over years. Some of the heritage banks include Chase Manhattan, Bank One, and the Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co.
JP Morgan code of ethics
JPMorgan has an elaborate code of conduct for its employees. According to the code of conducts, the code of conduct establishes the expectations that the company has for all employees. It also provides the information and resources essential to conduct the business ethically. It helps ensure that employees take actions that preserve the future legacy of the firm. The company has a decision tree that helps employees make a decision. The decision tree helps decide the legality of the action and whether the action complies with company’s codes and principles.
The aim of the code of ethics is to promote honest and ethical conduct and compliance with the law, especially as related to the maintenance of a financial report. The codes of ethics help employees to engage in and promote ethical conduct including the ethical handling of conflict of interest. It enables employees conduct their responsibilities honestly and with integrity. Employees use the code to produce full, fair, accurate and understandable disclosure in reports and financial reports. Additionally, the code of ethics complies with applicable government laws, rules and regulations.
JP Morgan works in a highly regulated industry. As such, being aware of and complying with law and regulations is critical to its business processes. The company is cognizant that the violation of law or engaging in deceptive practices may weaken customer confidence and the reputation of the firm. Trust is essential to JP Morgan business success. Customers, suppliers and vendors who do business with the company value the confidentiality of their information.
In a settlement that occurred in 2005, JP Morgan agreed to pay Enron and Enron shareholders over $2 billion dollars for the company’s involvement in the implosion of Eron. A year later, the company was involved in another multibillion-dollar settlement with WorldCom. In years prior to this, JPMorgan was involved with seven other prepay arrangements. These are some of the major ethical infractions that hurt JPMorgan financial performance and reputation.
In 2009, JP Morgan paid $700 million to end a probe into the bank’s bribing of government officials in Jefferson County, Alabama; the probe was initiated after Jefferson County, Alabama’s most populous county, was forced to look into bankruptcy proceeding to salvage its finances. Complex derivatives trading was also implicated in the scandal. Under the deal to settle the bankruptcy of Jefferson County, firms that invested in its distressed debt gained while JP Morgan faced immense loss.
In 2009, JP Morgan engaged in a historical dishonest, deceptive and outrageous assessment and collection of overdraft fees. Consequently, thousands of customers sued the bank for fraudulent practices. The scandal began after customers began noticing that their credit card debts were being submitted to the collector monthly on their behalf by JP Morgan were not in inflated. JPMorgan achieved these by creating false overdraft charges to the accounts of these customers giving them an impression that they owed more money than they did. Consequently, a JPMorgan subsidiary was able to make revenue of over $ 1 billion from the false overdraft fees in 2009. According to the Friedman’s economic theory of individualism, the sole goal of a business is to make a profit. As such, the main obligation of a business is to maximize profit for the stockholders. According to this theory, JPMorgan acted consistently with this theory because its employees cared only for maximizing profits for the company regardless of impacts of the actions to other stakeholders. According to the utilitarian theory, happiness or pleasure are the key things of intrinsic value. As such, JPMorgan did not act according to these values when it committed the acts of financial theft for their selfish interest. Additionally, JPMorgan violated the Kantianism theory of ethics. The Kantianism theory holds that one must act rationally and consistently to his or her actions. It postulates that one must not consider herself or he exempt from rules, one most allow and help people make rational decisions, respect people and respect their autonomy. Additionally, the Kantianism theory holds that one must be motivated by good will and always seek to do what is right. JPMorgan’s act does not comply with any of these Kantianism postulates. The bank lied to its employees, fabricating stories and commanding the employees to take orders without questions. The fourth theory is the virtues theory that postulates that individuals should act with "good virtues" or best characteristics. Such virtues include honesty, temperance, fairness, and courage. As such, it is unfair and dishonest for the company to falsify customer charges. JP Morgan acts do not exemplify temperance, and the executives did not pay attention to regulations. By practically gambling on long-shot bets using clients’ money, lksil was not acting to reflect justice for all stakeholders.
In 2012, one of its key traders, Bruno Lksil was reported for have been practicing assertive and risky trading for a long time. Traders in one of JP Morgan had even made bets against Lksil, who later came to be known as the "London Whale." The report began with the emergence on April (2012) about the magnitude of a loss. According to initial estimates, showed that customers had lost approximately $ 2 billion. Further investigation indicated loss due to the scandalize dealing amounted to $ 7 billion. It is essential to understand JP Morgan key stakeholders. In this case, the stakeholders include the executive officers of the bank including Lksil, employees, JP Morgan competitors, and account holders. The aim of the executives is to maximize bank’s profit for stockholders’ sake. During the pre-crisis period, the bank had sustained revenue. As such, the executives felt obliged to continue with the high performance. The need to retain the high performance forced some executives including Lsksil to make ill-advised investment decisions. Employees not in the managed position had a key interest in working in an environment that offers job security. The employees focus on rewarding duties while providing the comfort of knowing they have steady. As the scandal unfolded, employees were uncertain of their future. In fact, the company offsets off 19,000 employees. The most affected stakeholders are the investors. The objective of investors was to find safe and protected savings to their investments. The scandal affected interest rates, investments, and return on investment. From an individualistic view of business ethics, JP would have acted ethically if the trading tactic were successful. The normative ethics theory does not focus on the public and its happiness or good will. Instead, the individualistic perspective views decision-making as based on maximizing benefits for the firm and its stakeholders. If Lksil had succeeded, the risky actions would have benefited all the stakeholders thus not violating the individualistic perspective of ethics. The company failed to maximize profit and lost billions. According to the utilitarian theory, actions should maximize utility. The utility aims at extreme happiness and low levels of suffering. As such, business decisions should ensure happiness for the public and the company. However, the risky trading did not yield the expected result but led to heavy losses leaving both the company and investors unhappy. Additionally, the scandal left very many people discontented. On the contrary, if the deals had succeeded, the company would have acted ethically. According to the Kantianism, formulates four principles that include acting consistently and rationally, assisting others to make rational choices and respecting the needs of others. The last principle "acting in good will" implies that "the end does not justify the means." As such, doing good does not mean doing what is convenient or easier. Customers who trust a bank to handle their money should be treated honestly. As such, the company needs to admit mistakes. Concealing information or truth from these customers is inexcusable from an ethical viewpoint. Overall, JP’s response to the plan was relatively successful, and the bank was able to regain support and trust of its shareholders.
JP Morgan’s act violated all the four Kant's principles. The London Whale was not acting rationally. Additionally, the company did not respect the needs of others but chose to focus on the needs of a few traders. There is no evidence that JP Morgan was acting in good will. The scandal also violated the virtue theory of ethics. The four main principles of the theory include courage, honesty, justice, and temperance. Although it took courage to make the risky trades, the collapse of the deal violates the other three principles. The employees ignore honesty and commit deals without informing investors. The company is accused of being complicit to assisting and abetting the Madoff Ponzi scheme by ignoring signs of potential fraud. However, Morgan’s lawyer noted that the company did not have an active partner in the scheme to be found guilty of a civil liability. The company’s omission made the company ignore some red flags, and a failed to invest the accuracy of some of the information. It failed to investigate Madoff effectively and could be found to be the complaint in the scam. In 2011, JP Morgan lost $2 billion as a result of unauthorized trading with derivative swaps. The practice begets the 2008 financial crisis. While the magnitude of the loss is staggering, some perspective is essential. JP Morgan Chase’s initially dismissed the losses as a "tempest in a teapot." However, he later acknowledged the magnitude of the loss.
In 2008, JP Morgan was among the banks complicit in the practices that led to the 2008 global financial crisis. JP Morgan is currently the largest U.S. holder of credit default swap and derivative assets. Morgan lost approximately $ 9 billion on credit default (28% of net equity) and was forced to sell $ 5 billion stake to the state-controlled China Investment Corporation.
Currently, JP Morgan receives approximately 77% of its annual income from the U.S. government through implicit subsidization. The U.S. government support of the bank in the event of its financial collapse "Too Big Too Fail" ensure the bank sees a high degree of faith in its stability as an investment vehicle. The company has already received financial benefits worth $ 14 billion annually through borrowing rates, and increased investor investment. The government support is what allows the bank to ignore a permanent loss of "credit" as spoken by JP Morgan.
On 19th November (2013), JP agreed to pay $ 13 billion settlement with the federal government over selling faulty mortgage investments. The company admitted selling toxic securities that helped lead to the housing crisis and the worst financial crisis. The payment market of the settlement is the largest made by a single company in the American history. The payment ends a period during which the Justice Department has pursued Morgan for a prolonged period. However, Morgan has contended the government’s case from investment bank Bear Stearns and the institution Washington Mutual. Morgan had purchased the crippled institutions at the depth of the financial crisis The amount of campaign contributions received by senators on the Senate Banking Committee correlates directly to the amount of power they hold on the committee. JP Morgan and its subsidiaries have a long history of questionable practices directed at the U.S government.
In recent years, J Morgan has come under hot criticism about its hiring practices in China. It is acceptable. Evident that the company has a profound track record of unethical and illegal practices. It is essential to note that these standard practices may have direct ethical benefits such charity donations. However, these benefits do not "off-set" unethical practices in a way that would be ethically acceptable. JP Morgan also stands as a leader of the controversy among industry contemporaries.
The JP Morgan case reinforces that JP Morgan is an example of violations that have a deep organization cause. JP Morgan Chase & Co. is one the largest global bank. It is the largest American bank in terms of assets and the second largest bank globally. Although the company has a strong code of ethics, it has a history of violation of the attacks. JPMorgan has an elaborate code of conduct for its employees. According to the code of conducts, the code of conduct establishes the expectations that the company has for all employees. It also provides the information and resources essential to conduct the business ethically. It helps ensure that actions employees take preserve the future legacy of the firm. However, it has had a several violation of ethical practices. The cases began as early as 2001. In 2005, JP Morgan agreed to pay Enron and Enron shareholders over $2 billion dollars for the company’s involvement in the implosion of Eron. In 2009, JP Morgan paid $700 million to end a probe into the bank’s bribing of government officials in Jefferson County, Alabama; the probe was initiated after Jefferson County, Alabama’s most populous county, was forced to look into bankruptcy proceeding to salvage its finances. In 2011, JP Morgan lost $2 billion as a result of unauthorized trading with derivative swaps. The practice begets the 2008 financial crisis. In 2012, one of its key traders, Bruno Lksil was reported for have been practicing assertive and risky trading for a long time. Traders in one of JP Morgan had even made bets against Lksil, who later came to be known as the "London Whale." The U.S. government support of the bank in the event of its financial collapse "Too Big Too Fail" ensure the bank sees a high degree of faith in stability as an investment vehicle. The company has already received financial benefits worth $ 14 billion annually through borrowing rates, and increased investor investment. The government support is what allows the bank to ignore a permanent loss of "credit" as spoken by JP Morgan. These ethical violations violate all the main ethical theories.
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