Bove: US Assault on JPMorgan Is 'Coordinated from Above'

Monday, 19 Aug 2013 05:04 PM

By David Nelson and Dan Weil

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The various government legal moves against JPMorgan Chase represent a coordinated assault on the nation's biggest bank, says star bank analyst Dick Bove, vice president of research at Rafferty Capital Markets.

Given that eight government agencies are now suing JPMorgan over various issues, apparently including four to six lawsuits from the Justice Department, you have to ask yourself why, he tells Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.

"What is it about this company which makes it unique relative to all other American companies, that all of these agencies come down on this company at the same point in time?" Bove said.

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"This has to be coordinated by someone, and it has to be coordinated by someone above each one of the individual agencies," Bove said.

The president, Congress and bank regulators all have stated clearly that they want to break up the big banks and get rid of the "too big to fail" doctrine, Bove says. "This is one visible way that they’re going to do it. They're going after the biggest bank in the country."

Editor’s Note: Put the World’s Top Financial Minds to Work for You

The latest development involving JPMorgan was a New York Times story Sunday saying the government has initiated a probe into whether the bank hired the children of powerful Chinese officials to help JPMorgan advance its business interests in China.

Hiring the children of powerful officials in a country where a company seeks to do business is no big deal, Bove says. "It's something which thousands of companies around the world do," he said.

"And they do it not just in China. They do it in the United States. I've been doing this job for about 47 years, and I can't tell you the number of people that I've trained who are the sons and daughters of very prominent executives."

So if the Securities and Exchange Commission frowns upon the practice, it shouldn't single out JPMorgan, Bove says.

"Picking on 10 banks, picking on 50 companies saying that they're launching an investigation on this type of activity, that makes sense if they believe that this is inappropriate," he said. "But just saying 'I want to get JPMorgan and forget everybody else who's doing this' is just totally inappropriate."

The fact that JPMorgan is being singled out "means that this is not a bribery-in-China issue, this is a JPMorgan issue," Bove said.

"This is 'We're going to keep going after this company as hard and as fast as we can do it, we're going to leak information to the press to develop the dialogue in a fashion which we like, but we're going to get this company.'"

That creates a problem for JPMorgan investors, Bove says. "If the United States government has targeted this company to be broken up, targeted this management team to be eliminated, then it's going to have an impact on the stock," Bove said.

Editor’s Note: Put the World’s Top Financial Minds to Work for You

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