To settle a barrage of government legal actions over the last year, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to penalties that now total $20 billion, a sum that could cover the annual education budget of New York City or finance the Yankees’ payroll for 100 years. It is also a figure that most of the nation’s banks could not withstand if they had to pay it. But since the financial crisis, JPMorgan has become so large and profitable that it has been able to weather the government’s legal blitz, which has touched many parts of the bank’s sprawling operations. The latest hit to JPMorgan came on Tuesday, when federal prosecutors imposed a $1.7 billion penalty on the bank for failing to report Bernard L. Madoff’s suspicious activities to the authorities. Yet JPMorgan’s shares are up 28 percent over the last 12 months. Wall Street analysts estimate that it will earn as much as $23 billion in profit this year, more than any other lender. And JPMorgan’s investment bankers, who on average earned $217,000 in 2012, can look forward to another lush payday as bonus season approaches. “The fines have been manageable in the context of the bank’s earnings capacity,” Jason Goldberg, a bank analyst at Barclays, said. “It makes $25 billion in revenue per quarter and has record capital.” [Dealbook]

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  1. Posted by guest | January 8, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:

    Correction: January 8, 2014

    An earlier version of this article misstated a comparison between the penalties paid by JPMorgan Chase and the payroll of the New York Yankees. The amount could finance the team's payroll for 100 years, not 10.

  2. Posted by Guest | January 9, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    There had to be a reason why government requested banks to raise capital reserve requirements. Now, we know why. And stupid me thought it was to make banks more stable.

  3. Posted by Guest | January 9, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Are we imagine that duck represents DImon? 20 bil. in fines is water off duck's back. And 7bln London Whale loss I guess is oil on teflon pan. I'm sure some at DOJ wonder: can we fry the duck on teflon pan and see what happens.