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Is JPMorgan Chase out of control?

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Neil Hall/Reuters/File

(Read caption) A sign is seen on the Canary Wharf offices of JPMorgan in London last week. The bank has been surprisingly unaffected by the litany of lawsuits, investigations, and fines that have come its way over the past four years, Brown says.

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Is the headline risk finally catching up with JPMorgan? The relentless barrage of legal problems hasn't hurt the company's business one whit so far from outward appearances, but might it be affecting the stock price?

Josh Rosner's latest investigative report at Graham Fisher suggests that the nation's most notorious Too Big To Fail bank is an absolute swamp.

Over the four years ending 2012, Rosner notes that JPMorgan has paid more than $8.5 billion in legal settlements, equal to roughly 12% of all company net income generated during that period. And with the investigations and actions continuing to pile up, it seems as though there's no end in sight.

How are they able to do this?

Simple - no high-ranking executives at the company are ever at any personal risk, it's just the company's profits at risk - and those profits have been fattened to such a huge extent, for so long, by the Federal Reserve and Treasury, that it almost doesn't matter. There's probably no amount of money that JPMorgan can be forced to settle for that can stop the company from rolling on. And if a handful of people have to lose their jobs every once in awhile, so what?


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