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Matt Levine

Mortgage Forgiveness and CEO Pay

Also Finra's endowment, Fearless Girl, Yksnim moments, SoftBank and a cappella.

Mortgage relief.

After the mortgage crisis, JPMorgan Chase & Co. entered into various mortgage settlements for eye-popping headline amounts. But these amounts consisted mostly not of cash paid to the government, but of "consumer relief," in which JPMorgan could get credit for forgiving or modifying mortgages in order to help struggling homeowners. Yesterday David Dayen reported at The Nation that some of JPMorgan's consumer relief came through the odd but efficient expedient of forgiving other people's loans: JPMorgan would sell mortgages to someone else, then it would "forgive" the mortgage and claim credit for the settlement, and then the someone else would say, hey, what the heck, why do you get to forgive a mortgage that I own?