NEW YORK (
) -- An internal
(JPM - Get Report)
e-mail message describing a meeting involving CEO
boss Emilio Botin offers a fascinating glimpse into the banking industry, and may also be worthy of scrutiny for antitrust reasons.
, sent on June 5, 2008, came to light recently in connection to litigation stemming from that company's acquisition of
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
in September of that year in the biggest bank failure in the history of the American financial system.
>>>>>Click here to see the JPMorgan e-mail
Written by Jose Cerezo, an investment banker at JPMorgan, the e-mail describes the two bank bosses and a Santander executive board member, Juan Inciarte, talking about several possible acquisitions of interest to both banks at the time, including WaMu,
(STI - Get Report)
(which was eventually acquired by
(WFC - Get Report)
"It is important to have an open dialogue with them, as Santander would not pursue any of these opportunities if JPMorgan were to do the same (can't compete on price with JPMorgan for an acquisition in the USA). But Santander would probably hire JPMorgan as advisor if we are not going after them," Cerezo writes.
The suggestion in the e-mail that the banks may be divvying up the market, or that Santander might reward JPMorgan with an advisory fee if it chose not to pursue a target of interest to both banks, is troubling, according to Ian Ayres, an economics and law professor at
"The email is very problematic. If I were in the
I'd immediately open an investigation to pursue this further," Ayres said.