JP Morgan: We are Riding Some PIIGS

JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) is facing a potential $5 billion loss from its exposure to the troubled euro zone countries of Portugal, Ireland, Italy (NYSE:EWI), Greece and Spain (NYSE:EWP). Referring to the countries as PIIGS, corporate Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said the bank has a $15 billion exposure to them.

Speaking in an interview with Class CNBC, Dimon said, “We fear we could lose up to $5 billion … We hope the worst won’t happen, but even if it did happen, I wouldn’t be pulling my hair out.” He noted that Europe is the banking sector’s worst problem but “the EU and euro are solid even if the states will have to be financially responsible and do all they can to develop common social policies.”

To date, Dimon said the liquidity actions taken by European Central Bank have been good and that “banks will have to have more capital and sell assets, but at least they have liquidity.”

Other parts of the interview included Dimon saying that he believes his bank would pass Federal Reserve’s bank stress tests, due in March, and that in response to his bank buying back $8 billion of shares, he hoped they would do about this same in 2012.

When asked if JPMorgan would buy assets to take advantage of European bank’s (NYSEARCA:KBE) problems, Dimon responded, “we have already bought some assets and would like to possess others.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Debbie Baratz at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com