JP Morgan Chase and the Justice Department have just reached a settlement deal for $13 billion, meaning the government will stop investigating the bank for allegedly knowingly misleading investors by selling securities backed by risky mortgages. "Of course, the Justice Department will still have to pay JP Morgan's eight dollar settlement processing fee," Jon Stewart said. "Damn you bank fees!"
Not everyone's happy about the deal, of course. What Stewart saw as "a mutually negotiated compensatory agreement for outstanding liabilities on some shady business dealings," the financial journalism world saw as, in his words, "a shakedown-witch hunt-scalping-jihad." Or, put another way, "I say tomato, you say 'it's like if the holocaust had sex with slavery while the last ten minutes of Human Centipede watched.'"
The great injustice here is that JP Morgan is being punished for mortgage backed securities owned by Bear Stearns. The fact that JP Morgan bought Bear Stearns in 2008 is kind of irrelevant, apparently. "If that's the way you guys want to run things now, then how about this? I owe JP Morgan $500,000 on my house. But I decide, fuck this place, I'm just going to sell this place for $50,000 and walk away," Stewart said. "And under this new system, the guy who buys it doesn't owe you guys shit."
The only person who's probably not too upset about this whole thing is Jamie Dimon, the president and chairman of JP Morgan Chase. In 2008, Stewart notes, Dimon put $28 billion in a rainy day legal fund. "Well guess what? It's raining, motherfuckers," Stewart said. If anything, Dimon's getting a deal. The settlement is $15 billion less than he expected, and it's even tax deductible.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.