Smoking gun? Spreadsheet of high-profile hires found

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When it comes to the probe of JPMorgan's hiring of so-called "princelings" in China, the conventional wisdom has been that the charges were not likely to be forthcoming. All banks hire the sons and daughters of influential people, the argument went. This is bound to add up to little.

But can it be that a smoking gun exists?

Bloomberg reports that the investigation so far has uncovered a very intriguing spreadsheet, "which links some hiring decisions to specific transactions pursued by the bank." If prosecutors can somehow show that hiring a princelings was a quid pro quo for a specific deal, they may be in business. The spreadsheet, though little is known about it, may help them in that area.

It's fair to say that the investigations are heating up. The Justice Department has joined the SEC in this effort, which has now expanded beyond Hong Kong and China to other Asian countries and other banks.

The SEC will hunt for evidence showing "these weren't real jobs, that they were only there because their father or mother were important public officials," one expert was quoted. "If the public official requested the job for the child, that would be a strong indication to the company that the official was seeking and receiving something of value."

You get the feeling that this is still a prosecutorial longshot. But you never know.

For more:
- here's the article

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