Fates of gold, silver, and the dollar are sealed, analyst says



NEW YORK, Dec. 23 (Reuters) -- A group of insurers won a small
victory against J.P. Morgan Chase on Monday when a judge ruled
that internal e-mails written by a senior member of the bank's
staff referring to "disguised loans" could be used as evidence
in an ongoing trial.

The ruling restates Judge Jed Rakoff's decision at the beginning
of the 3-week-old trial in New York federal court in which J.P.
Morgan is trying to reclaim more than $1 billion from a group of
insurers that guaranteed complex deals between J.P. Morgan
and Enron Corp.

The group, including Chubb Corp., CNA Financial, and Travelers
Property Casualty Corp., says the guarantees -- issued in the form
of surety bonds -- are invalid, as the insurers were deceived
about the true nature of the deals.J.P. Morgan contends that the
insurers knew all relevant details, and payment on the surety
bonds is due.

In e-mails written by senior J.P. Morgan officer Donald Layton,
the Enron deals are frequently referred to as "disguised loans"
and Layton suggests that the deals are accounted for internally
as loans, even though externally they are presented as prepaid
forward sales contracts of gas.

This could be seen to bolster the insurers' argument that J.P.
Morgan knew the deals were loans but presented them to
outsiders -- including insurers -- as something different.

J.P. Morgan asked the judge to exclude the e-mails from
permissible evidence on the grounds they were irrelevant and
might prejudice the jury.

The trial, originally set to last three weeks, is now expected
to finish by the end of January.


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