Why Isn't the Government Tougher on JPMorgan?

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Aug. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg View Columnist Jonathan Weil discusses JPMorgan's numerous government investigations with Carol Massar on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)

Becoming america's new favorite pastime.

He joins us in new york.

Every day there is a new one.

What does that tell you?

You look at these cases, especially where we're getting leaks about settlements.

There are so many contradictions and ironies.

The government is trying to look tough even though they cannot punish them too hard.

If an indictment were warranted, -- why can they not be tough on them?

That is an excellent question.

Nobody knows.

The y will be part of the london whale settlement.

They're treating an admission of liability as a third real.

They will not make anyone go there, especially jpmorgan.

They will make them admit wrongdoing but never admissions of liability.

I do not get that.

You did something wrong or you did not.

If you are kiddin -- a kid who steals from 7-eleven, the judge does not say pay a fine with no admissions.

The whole system is screwy.

One number that stood out from your story is you wrote they have paid $21.3 billion in legal fees and litigation costs since the start of 2008. almost as much as the shareholder dividend.

The shareholders cannot be happy about this.

The perfect time to have bought the stock was right after the london whale scandal broke in the spring of 2012. it has gone up 60%. jpmorgan went from being the bank that could do no wrong with the c o that was revered -- with the ceo that was revered -- it feels like the tide has turned.

They have had six investigations by the justice department alone.

We've learned about 1 or two others since then.

At some point, you are wondering how many this company can take and not have people start wondering about the direction it is going.

They are not alone, right?

We have seen this happen throughout the space.

We have the crisis from 2008 and 2009. it almost seemed like a policy decision was being made.

Everybody complained you are not bringing out the dogs.

They bring out the dogs.

And not make them nip too hard.

It is like they're getting nibbled to death by ducks.

Some of the ironies, you look at the conservatives with fannie mae and freddie mac.

They are demanded a $6 billion payment over bonds sold to fannie and freddie.

A lot of those were for washington mutual and the ones.

Stearns sold to them.

The government practically begged jpmorgan to buy those companies.

This is a commercial dispute ultimately.

This is not a law-enforcement matter we have the conservatives of fannie and freddie asking for money because they do not like the bonds they bought.

Jpmorgan and jamie dimon have said they are looking at the internal controls.

They are looking at this.

Arguably, they are punishing shareholders twice . the ones who bought after the scandal are not getting punished twice.

The federal energy regulatory commission had to do with

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