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JPMorgan Chase loss draws crowd outside annual shareholders meeting in Tampa

TAMPA — Dozens of people gathered outside JPMorgan Chase's annual shareholders meeting Tuesday morning in anticipation of a protest of the massive bank's staggering $2.3 billion trading loss revealed last week.

Most of those outside the bank offices near Interstate 75 and Martin Luther King Boulevard were members of the media, though Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies also were on the scene. Shortly before 10 a.m., around 10 protesters had started to organize nearby.

Shareholders were checking in for a meeting in which CEO Jamie Dimon has the unenviable task of explaining the loss to upset investors.

Dimon has called the loss terrible and egregious.

The details of the loss are reminiscent of what nearly took down the financial system four years ago — trades so complicated and so large that they go unnoticed until they come smashing down.

It's the kind of loss that helped breathe life into the Occupy Wall Street movement and the local contingency.

The huge loss was expected to complicate banks' efforts to fight certain regulatory changes and has led lawmakers and critics of the banking industry to call for stricter regulation of Wall Street

Dimon made $23 million last year and until this point had fared better than his counterparts at Bank of America and Citibank.

The surprise loss was a black eye for the country's largest bank and Dimon, who is known in the industry both as a master of risk management and as an outspoken opponent of some proposed regulation since the financial crisis.

The loss came in the past six weeks. Dimon has said it came from trading in so-called credit derivatives and was designed to hedge against financial risk, not to make a profit for the bank.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Danny Valentine can be reached at dvalentine@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3386.

JPMorgan Chase loss draws crowd outside annual shareholders meeting in Tampa 05/15/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 2:25pm]
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