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When Is a “Hedge” Not a Hedge | Ritholtz

The claim is being made that JP Morgan’s $2 billion trading loss was in a trade that was a “a hedge.” It doesn’t take much review to easily disprove that position.

We first learned of this particular trade when they began to distort credit indices. Any trade so huge that it impacts its markets – that becomes the market – cannot be credibly thought of as a hedge. Simply stated, once you are the market, you are no longer a hedge. Sheer size of this trade makes it far more accurate to describe this as speculation than hedge.

Of course, the loss was the tell. A true hedge would have been offset by the underlying position that was being hedged — so any loss should have been insignificant. Even a minor correlation error should not lead to a $2 billion dollar hit.

via “Everything is a Hedge” | The Big Picture.

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