Business

Nation’s largest bank will pay its largest fines

The New York Times | Posted on

Seven federal Justice Department investigations and a possible $11 billion in fines are quickly becoming the average costs of business for the nation’s largest bank.

The effort by JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, to resolve a host of Justice Department cases will most likely result in a multibillion-dollar fine and the usual promises not to violate the law again. Simply paying money to get rid of investigations raises questions about whether JPMorgan should be viewed as a recidivist, and if so how the law should treat the bank.

In just the last two months, JPMorgan agreed to pay $410 million in penalties and forfeited profits to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for manipulation of energy markets by one of its subsidiaries. To settle inquiries into the “London Whale” trading debacle that caused the bank to lose more than $6 billion, it paid regulators a total of $920 million even without resolving investigations by the Justice Department and Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

DealBook reported that Mr. Dimon met with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Thursday for nearly an hour to try to settle investigations into the bank’s sales of residential mortgage-backed securities and shoddy mortgages, some of which involve conduct by Bear Stearns before its acquisition in 2008.

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