The New York Times’ spin of the tentative settlement of JPMorgan’s latest myriad felonies begins early and runs throughout the article. JPMorgan and Attorney General Eric Holder have reached a common meme on their settlement: the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Holder are stalwarts who have demonstrated their toughness and JPMorgan is a model corporate citizen. The inconvenient facts that the senior officers of JPMorgan, Bear Stearns (Bear), and Washington Mutual’s (WaMu) grew wealthy through the frauds that drove the financial crisis and that JPMorgan’s senior officers will not be prosecuted and will not even have to repay the proceeds of their crimes never appear in the article.
A word of caution is in order: I am discussing an article that is the product of leaks from DOJ and JPMorgan’s press flacks about a tentative deal, so reality is certain to differ from the spin. This article is a longer discussion of the settlement than my October 22, 2013 CNN op ed.