You had to see this coming. After lying to regulators, manipulating the market, and putting out fraudulent documents JPMorgan will pay a relatively small fine and move on. Because when the powerful repeatedly break the law the consequences are never very severe. If we stopped these Wall Street banksters from making criminal profits they might stop making criminal profits – then where would our economy be?
More than a year after a group of traders at JPMorgan Chase caused a multibillion-dollar loss, government authorities on Thursday imposed a $920 million fine on the bank and shifted scrutiny to its senior management.
Extracting the fines and a rare admission of wrongdoing from JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank, regulators in Washington and London took aim at a pervasive breakdown in controls and leadership at the bank. The deal resolves investigations from four regulators: the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve and the Financial Conduct Authority in London.
Well, as long as they learned their lesson. Never mind that JPMorgan reported $6.5 billion in profits last quarter. So of course a fine significantly less than 3 months profit will really make them shudder. It’s all about incentives people.
The one regulator that hasn’t taken a dive so far is the CFTC which has refused to settle unless JPMorgan admits market manipulation. Lets hope they don’t cave. Though it seems their regulatory colleagues just left them alone in the desert.
Then again, why were the regulators even upset.
“While grappling with how to fix its internal control breakdowns, JPMorgan’s senior management broke a cardinal rule of corporate governance and deprived its board of critical information,” George S. Canellos, co-director of the S.E.C.’s enforcement division, said in a statement.
Regulators were also kept in the dark, authorities said. The bank “failed” to turn over “significant” information to regulatory examiners inspecting the trades.
Interesting. And what is the penalty for that crime for 99% of Americans? Someone audits you or your business and you “fail to turn over significant information” to an auditor? I’ll give you a hint, it wouldn’t be a relatively small fine. Actually it would be a very large fine and possibly a government mandated visit to a correctional facility. But that’s what you get for not being rich enough to bribe Congress.
So we just had a look at law enforcement in the post-DoddFrank era. How do you like it?