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March 19, 2015

Better Markets’ Statement on District Court’s Ruling in Lawsuit Challenging DOJ’s $13 Billion Settlement with JP Morgan Chase

Washington, D.C. – Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, issued this statement following the decision of the U.S. District Court to dismiss on procedural grounds Better Markets’ lawsuit challenging the $13 billion settlement between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and JP Morgan Chase:

“The court never considered or ruled on the merits of our lawsuit that DOJ did not have the unilateral authority to settle years of JP Morgan Chase’s egregious illegal conduct without independent judicial review. The decision sadly stands for the proposition that there are no checks and balances when it comes to Executive Branch action to settle any case on any terms without any meaningful transparency, public accountability or oversight by anyone.

This procedural ruling makes clear that the lawsuit is not deficient, the law is: no one has standing to challenge DOJ’s actions even when senior political appointees secretly negotiate legal immunity in exchange for a $13 billion payment from the country’s largest, most politically connected too-big-to-fail Wall Street bank for inflating the subprime housing bubble, which lead to the worst financial crash since 1929. Such backroom deals should not be allowed in a democracy worthy of its name. We will be carefully evaluating the court’s opinion before determining our next steps.”

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Better Markets is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes the public interest in financial reform in the domestic and global capital and commodity markets. Better Markets advocates for transparency, oversight and accountability with the goal of a stronger, safer financial system that is less prone to crisis and failure thereby eliminating or minimizing the need for more taxpayer funded bailouts. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.com.

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