J.P. Morgan and the crime nobody committed

The Wall Street Journal on Monday reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission “doesn’t intend to charge any individuals in its planned enforcement action against J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. for the allegedly fraudulent sale of mortgage bonds, according to people close to the investigation.”

So America’s largest bank will “pay a significant financial penalty” to settle the SEC’s charges, which stem from an investigation into the 2008 crisis that nearly crashed the financial system of the entire planet, but no one will be asked to admit any wrongdoing.  SEC officials say they still reserve the right to “take enforcement action against individuals whenever the law and the evidence justify doing so,” but evidently at the moment they do not.  The penalties for J.P. Morgan will reportedly be much less than the half-billion dollars paid by Goldman Sachs.

Since none of the political figures involved in creating the subprime mortgage crisis faced any criminal charges, or even much in the way of electoral consequences, that makes it a clean sweep: it was the “crime” of the century, but nobody committed it.



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