We all know hedge fund manager Bill Ackman’s majority stake in J.C. Penney dropped hundreds of millions of dollars in value yesterday, and could result in huge losses for his firm Pershing Square—but apparently that’s no big deal.See, for Ackman, even JP Morgan losing $2 billion over a bad trade isn’t a big deal. The famed activist investor said his own fund, like JPM, gets hit with losses everyday (yeah, we know…) and people are just freaking out about JP Morgan because it’s a bank, he told Forbes in a recent interview—
I don’t see this JPMorgan loss as a big one. It’s unfortunate and it’s not good, but it’s not that big in the context of the bank. And it’s not going to break the economy. Here at Pershing Square, we have losses every day, mark to market. We make or lose lots of money every day. It’s the nature of this business. People are paying a lot of attention to this JPMorgan thing because it’s a bank and the banks are under a lot of scrutiny. I have enormous confidence in Jamie Dimon and his team, and even the best people occasionally make mistakes. The key is they’ve recognised the mistake, owned up to it and they’re working hard to rectify it. That’s confidence-inspiring to shareholders.
For the record, if we’re looking at JP Morgan’s bottom line, Ackman is technically right—the bank still stands to make a profit this quarter despite the trading loss. But shouldn’t people be making a big deal out of JP Morgan solely because of the fact that it’s a bank and depositor’s’ money may be at stake?