Here’s more fodder for people that believe bankers control the world.
TheStreet.com has an email from June 2008 that raises anti-trust questions for regulators. In the email, JPMorgan appears to collude with Santander not to compete with each other to purchase for troubled banks during the financial crisis in 2008.
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, Suntrust, PNC Financial, and Wachovia (which was eventually acquired by Wells Fargo).
“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.
Of course, this might not be a violation of antitrust laws if no actual agreement was reached. But it certainly implies an anti-competitive spirit at work in the banking M&A market.
Representatives from JPMorgan, Santander, and the Department of Justice declined comment for the story, written by Dan Freed.
Here’s the full email, also via TheStreet.com: