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JPMorgan Testimony Will Offer No Surprises

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Timing is everything in life, especially when it comes to big news leaks about JPMorgan (JPM) in the run-up to their high profile congressional testimony on Wednesday, for which the Senate Banking Committee is already sharpening knives.

The Wall Street Journal ran a big story titled: "J.P. Morgan Knew of Risks." The Journal gained access to "more than a dozen current and former members of the bank's Chief Investment Office, the unit responsible for the losses." That's a lot of access -- and implies cooperation at a high level. The flock of sources revealed systemic and longstanding lack of oversight, which could cost the bank, the Journal said, "as much as $5 billion," when until now much lower figures have been used. $2 billion has been the favorite.

The Journal waits until nearly halfway down to mention CEO Jamie Dimon's testimony, during which he will, as the article puts it, give "a detailed review of what went wrong." Moreover, they make no connection between this unloading of bad news on Monday and Wednesday's testimony.

Look: JP Morgan has a challenge on its hands. They did wrong and will, in the wake of their sordid and careless trades and management, have to deal on live television with preening politicians in an anti-Wall Street environment that will applaud a pile-on. In reaction, they leaked out every last morsel of bad news. At the very least, then, there should be no surprises on Wednesday.

The Wall Street Journal had a good scoop on JPMorgan. But part of fully understanding the scoop is deciphering why the information fell into the hands of the media when it did.

At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.

Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.

For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Fuchs appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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