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3 Ways JPMorgan Chase Needs to Come Clean: Analyst

Stocks in this article: JPM

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Morgan Stanley analyst Betsy Graseck says investors could see "an upside surprise" in the shares of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) as the company makes additional discloses about "the composition of the $2B loss in the first 6 weeks of 2Q12."

JPMorgan's shares closed at $33.68 Friday, declining 17% since they closed at $40.44 on May 10, just before CEO James Dimon disclosed an estimated $2 billion in second-quarter hedge trading losses.

Bank regulators, along with the U.S. Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission have announced investigations of the hedging activity JPMorgan's Chief Investment Office (CIO) and/or the company's disclosure of the losses, and even the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been reported to open an investigation into the matter.

Graseck says that the "key to getting investors back into JPM is answers to 3 questions," beginning on Wednesday, when Dimon will testify before the Senate Banking Committee.

Graseck's first question -- which she expects to see answered at Wednesday's hearing -- is "who knew what and when," saying it is "critical to understand who in the organization" knew of accounting changes related to the losses, along with "the extent of the positions in question and trading strategy employed," and "the size of the losses...and when they knew it." The analyst said that "if senior management outside the CIO office were aware of these 3 items," she "wouldn't be surprised to see senior management turnover which would be negative for the stock."

The analyst says her firm is "assuming senior management was not aware of such details at the time 1q12 earnings were reported," and gradually gained an understanding of the losses in late April, leading up to Dimon's May 10 conference call.

Graseck's second question -- which she expects JPMorgan to answer in its second-quarter earnings release -- is for "more specific details on the components of the trade, size of the trade, strategy employed and how that strategy was executed over time." At Wednesday's hearing, she expects "to hear some discussion around the types of trades engaged in by the CIO," along with a debate on what "risk" means, since a current yield for "5-year treasuries at 71 bp" represents "significant risk for bank portfolio if/when rates rise."

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