JP Morgan may be looking at an $11 Billion fine
The list of their crimes is absurdly thorough. It makes you think maybe they should just be nuked from orbit rather than hit with a fine.
Residential mortgage-backed securities. The big kahuna at the heart of the recently reported settlement talks: The Department of Justice, the New York State Attorney General, and the Federal Housing Finance Administration are investigating JPM for allegedly misrepresenting the quality of the underlying home loans in mortgage bonds it sold. US taxpayers took losses on $33 billion of those loans when the government bailed out housing lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2008.
Obstructing regulatory probes. The Manhattan US Attorney is looking into whether JPM employees criminally obstructed an investigation (see below) into alleged electricity market manipulation by the bank.
Hiring the children of powerful Chinese politicians. Is this bribery, or just a good old-fashioned nepotism? A spreadsheet connecting recently-hired princelings to specific deals may be the difference.
Maybe they knew about the Madoff Ponzi scheme and didn’t tell anyone. According to an internal e-mail from a JPM employee more than a year before financier Bernie Madoff was arrested for defrauding investors, an executive “just told me that there is a well-known cloud over the head of Madoff and that his returns are speculated to be part of a Ponzi scheme.”
Libor manipulation. The bank is being investigated for its alleged part in efforts to manipulate Libor, a self-reported benchmark interest rate used as a reference for financial instruments around the world. In its most recent quarterly report, it noted inquiries, including subpoenas, from:
…the [Department of Justice], [Commodity Futures Trading Commission], [Securities and Exchange Commission], and various state attorneys general, as well as the European Commission, UK Financial Services Authority (now known as the Financial Conduct Authority), Canadian Competition Bureau, Swiss Competition Commission and other regulatory authorities and banking associations around the world
Today, the National Credit Union Administration filed suit against JP Morgan and twelve other financial institutions for manipulating Libor.
London Whale criminal investigation. While the bank itself has settled institutional allegations (see below), two former JP Morgan executives have been indicted for fraud charges related to the bank’s $6.2 billion loss on credit derivatives last year.
Manipulating a corporate bond index. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is preparing an enforcement action against the bank for manipulating markets in connection with the London Whale trade.