Man Without Qualities

Monday, March 18, 2002

Did J. P. Morgan Chase Know What Its National Advisory Board Knew?

The New York Times today runs an article headlined Chase's Early Dalliances With Global Crossing by Geraldine Fabrikant with Simon Romero which describes the relationship of Gary Winnick, the founder of now-bankrupt Global Crossing, and Chase Manhattan Bank (now J. P. Morgan Chase).

Separately, Mr. Winnick appears to have been something called the “Neil H. Jacoby Award Dinner 2001 Honoree” from the Dashew International Center for Students and Scholars. A brief statement describing Mr. Winnick that was posted in connection with his award of that honor states: “Gary Winnick serves on the National Advisory Board to Chase Manhattan Bank.”

The New York Times article makes no mention of Mr. Winnick’s position on any such “National Advisory Board.” The capsule Dashew International Center statement does not otherwise describe the function of that “National Advisory Board.”

One might ask whether J. P. Morgan Chase knew more than others regarding Global Crossing prior to that company’s bankruptcy, since Mr. Winnick seems to have held a position whose name specifically suggests that he was to advise the bank. And, if the bank had no special knowledge, one might ask what obligation Mr. Winnick had as a result of his position on its “National Advisory Board” to have provided pertinent information. Either way, it appears Mr. Winnick and J. P. Morgan Chase have more questions to answer about their relationship than occurred to Geraldine Fabrikant with Simon Romero to investigate. Did the bank pay Mr. Winnick to be on this advisory board? Service on Enron's advisory boards seems to have resulted in quite a few questions being asked of those serving.

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