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September 23, 2013

A Lack of Full Accountability

Having agreed this week to pay $920 million in fines to resolve federal and international investigations into its $6 billion “London Whale” trading loss, JPMorgan Chase has reportedly reached “some closure” in the case and is ready, in the words of its chief executive, Jamie Dimon, to move forward in a process of “simplifying” the bank.

While JPMorgan may feel some closure, there is scant closure for the American public, which deserves accountability for bank recklessness that continues to endanger the economy and which understands that without accountability true financial reform is impossible.

Under the settlements, JPMorgan will pay fines that amount to very little for a bank that earned $6.5 billion in the last quarter alone. It has also admitted to violating securities laws on corporate governance and internal controls. The Securities and Exchange Commission rightly extracted the admissions as a condition of settlement. But unless federal prosecutors follow up with charges against the bank or its officers under the Sarbanes-Oxley accounting law or other federal statutes, those concessions are mostly an embarrassment. They are not, in themselves, punishment for past improper conduct and are unlikely to deter future bad behavior.”

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Read full New York Times article here

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