Memories of the fictional sports announcer Biff Burns came to mind this weekend amid all of the anonymously attributed news reports that the Justice Department had reached a tentative settlement agreement with JPMorgan Chase & Co. worth $13 billion.
Burns was part of the comedian George Carlin's stable of characters. His shtick was to report the day's scores while omitting basic information. ("Here's a partial score: Pittsburgh 37." Or, "Quickly now the basketball scores: 110 to 102, 125 to 113, 131 to 127.") Likewise, it has been widely reported that the $13 billion settlement would be the largest ever by the government with a single company. Yet we still don't have enough facts to know which side would emerge the real winner.