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Eye Opening Chart: The JP Morgan $13-Billion Settlement in Perspective

October 24, 2013 in Blogs

By Kevin Connor, LittleSis Blog

Holder and his team all worked for the law firm that had JP Morgan as client.

It is 

The DOJ negotiating team.

JPMorgan has been a client of each firm in recent years, though it is unclear if Holder, West, or Cole personally worked on matters for the bank while at their respective firms.*

This white collar defense work pays pretty well, if not at Cutler’s levels. According to financial disclosure forms, Holder received $3.32 million in partnership income from Covington in 2008, before being appointed AG the next year. Cole received $900,000 in 2010 from Bryan Cave, before joining the Justice Department. West received a relatively paltry $318,000 in partnership income from Morrison & Foerster in 2008.

Expect them to be making a lot more in a couple years, if they choose to return to the private sector. While their government salaries are much lower than their private sector compensation, their government service – and their involvement in deals like this one, sitting across the table from Jamie Dimon and negotiating a “tough” deal – has significantly bolstered their value in the marketplace.

Unfortunately, democracy is footing the bill.

*Coincidentally, when JPMorgan settled a $400 million suit with FERC over charges that its commodities unit had been manipulating energy markets earlier this year, it tapped lawyers at Holder’s old firm, Covington & Burling, and West’s old firm, Morrison & Foerster. But the fact that the lawyers at each firm were former FERC officials may go further in explaining why the bank did not suffer greater penalties in that case.

Update (10/23/2013 5:15pm): Tony West, the former WaMu attorney, was the DOJ official who negotiated the details of the settlement with Cutler, after Dimon and Holder got off the phone, according to the NYT:

On a final call that Friday night — Mr. Cutler, Mr. West, Mr. Holder and Mr. Dimon all joined the call — the C.E.O. asked, “What will it take to get this done?”

Mr. Holder informed him that the government would not accept less than $13 billion. And with that, they had a tentative deal.

Mr. Holder and Mr. Dimon left Mr. Cutler and Mr. …read more


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