Fox News financial reporter Charlie Gasparino called the latest massive settlement between the Justice Department and JPMorgan Chase — this one a cool $2 billion for failing to detect Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme — “an interesting sort of coincidence,” hinting the settlement is the latest example of an Obama administration vendetta against the megabank.
Gasparino spoke with Fox’s Neil Cavuto Monday about the settlement, which brings the total amount grabbed by the government up to $20 billion — a deal that would’ve been unthinkably harsh even a year ago.
Many analysts and pundits believe the snowstorm of settlements — which have not been levied against other similarly-accused banks — is payback for CEO Jamie Dimon’s criticism of the Obama administration’s economic policies. (RELATED: Are the Feds targeting JPMorgan for criticizing Obama?)
“You gotta ask why JPMorgan is just handing them the money now after paying $13 billion and many more,” Gasparino began. He claimed that he had spoken to numerous sources tied to the megabank’s board of directors, who apparently were seriously concerned “the Feds were going to break them up. Not break up all the banks, just them, based off all this regulatory stuff.”
Gasparino questioned whether the Obama administration actually targeted JPMorgan to enforce the law. “It’s an interesting sort of coincidence that after Jamie Dimon started attacking the Obama administration, particularly on economic and regulatory policy, then all of these investigations start popping up.”
The reporter admitted that JPMorgan isn’t squeaky clean, but that the company’s mistakes aren’t much different from those made by other banks. “They’re a big bank, stuff goes wrong there,” he noted. “Are they a criminal institution as some people on the left suggest? I don’t think so. I can tell you a lot of bad stuff goes on at other places.”
“But it is an interesting coincidence that when Jamie Dimon starting opening his mouth they went after him” he continued. “And here’s the thing. In this highly regulated environment, the Feds can put you out of business.”
Gasaparino claimed that the JPMorgan board is eager to put all legal issues behind it after this last, final settlement, and is hoping for smooth sailing by the end of this quarter. “I think it’s only smooth sailing when there’s a different administration in place for these guys,” the reporter countered.
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