When Wall Street giant JPMorgan Chase announced this week that it had lost an estimated $2 billion (now upped to $3 billion) on risky trades, Republican and Democratic members of Congress rushed to make their political cases: Either this was something that more regulation couldn’t have prevented, or this was exactly what stronger government rules could have thwarted.
None of them, however, mentioned whether they had a financial stake in JPMorgan Chase.
Usually, the money-in-politics conversation is about how much money a company has invested in a politician via campaign donations. In this case, while JPMorgan Chase has plenty invested, it also goes the other way: at least 38 members of Congress owned shares in the bank.
According to OpenSecrets.org data, which is based on personal financial disclosure forms filed by all members of Congress for the year 2010 (disclosure forms for 2011 were due this week, but aren’t yet publicly available), 15 Democrats and 23 Republicans owned shares in JPMorgan Chase worth a total of between $2.1 million and $3.8 million.
The single biggest congressional shareholder in the company at that point was Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who reported owning at least $1,000,001 in JPMorgan Chase stock. Of course, for Lautenberg, who is listed as the fifth-richest senator with an estimated personal net worth of between $55 million and $116 million, the bank was just one of 190 assets he listed.
Below is a list of all senators with a stake in the bank as of 2010: