Wall Street needs a lesson from the DMV
I know a rich guy who parks wherever he wants — bus stops, hydrants, no-parking zones of all kinds. He gets ticketed, of course, and by the end of the year must pay several thousands of dollars in fines. I could tell you his name, but I’d rather tell you what I prefer to call him: J.P. Morgan. They both operate the same way.
The financial giant JPMorgan Chase has paid out an estimated $70 billion in penalties since 2008. And although the amount is not inconsiderable, nobody has gone to jail, and the firm continues to thrive. In fact, its chief executive, Jamie Dimon, is one of the most respected names on Wall Street. He also makes a nice buck.
I choose JPMorgan Chase even though it is my bank and is paying something like 0.05 percent interest. (See, I can’t be bought.) I might have just as easily chosen any other big bank. Citigroup, for instance, joined JPMorgan Chase (and some foreign banks) in paying $4.25 billion in fines for conspiring to manipulate currency markets. The banks then went on their merry ways, their stocks doing just fine, thank you.