Why JP Morgan’s losses are a win for the business press

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Ryan Chittum of the Columbia Journalism Review writes about how J.P. Morgan’s estimated $2 billion in losses from a bad derivative bet is good for business journalism, which knew about the issue before CEO Jamie Dimon.

Chittum writes, “And it’s a nice win for the business press, which uncovered the story (before Dimon understood its import, at least according to him), explained why it mattered, and kept on it. Dimon himself, when asked what he would have done differently, said that he should have paid more attention to the press reports.

“Those reports kicked off when Bloomberg News broke the story with a brief piece on April 5 and The Wall Street Journal posted its already-in-the-works page-one story shortly thereafter.

“I noted on April 6, Bloomberg was miffed then that the Journal didn’t credit it with the scoop. I don’t like scoop squabbles, much less adjudicating them, but the market-moving nature of this one makes it something of a different beast, and the fact that Bloomberg and the Journal are still tussling over credit shows just how big the story is.

“The Journal implied in the second paragraph of a page-one story on Friday that the scoop was its own. The Journal didn’t find out about the London Whale from Bloomberg—its story was already reported, I’m told.”

Read more here.