By Bill Maher
The Department of Justice recently reached a record $13 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase to make all the civil suits against them go away. Four billion of those dollars will go to consumers hurt by the mortgage-backed securities meltdown. JP Morgan took a huge hit, and didn't even get what they wanted -- immunity from criminal prosecution. Ouch.
The negotiations were harsh. According to Bloomberg, a former SEC attorney said JPMorgan started with offers around the $3 and $4 billion mark, and "It almost sounds like a negotiation where the government just kept saying, 'No. No. No,' until JPMorgan met their number."
JPMorgan is the fourth bank to reach a deal with the feds. Switzerland's UBS recently agreed to pay nearly a billion for misrepresenting the quality of its mortgage-based policies. Citigroup and GE have already paid undisclosed amounts.
President Obama continues to be a guy who steadily and doggedly does the shit he promised to do, whether it's finding bin Laden or holding banks responsible for the Great Clusterfuck of 2008.
It's not something he'll spend too much energy bragging about, though, because lashing out at our banks and big businesses is counterproductive when you're trying to maintain an economic turnaround. And Obama doesn't do counterproductive things just because they feel good. That's a Republican thing.