JPMorgan Chase posted a quarterly loss this morning, with profits entirely wiped out by the company's legal costs. But as I wrote last week, the fines the bank is paying are high, but they do nothing to imperil the job of the bank's CEO's job because they remain small relative to the whole scale of the enterprise. Unlike with a regular business, there's just no risk that getting caught breaking the rules is actually going to drive the bank out of business.
Flipping on CNBC this morning, it was clear that the bottom line focused analysts there still haven't lost their faith in Jamie Dimon. They pointed out that if you exclude "one-time" legal costs, the bank actually beat analyst expectations for earnings. It seemed to me that it was a telling phrase. Sure the bank's been hit with billions in fines. And sure it's not shaking up its management team in response. But the costs are still "one-time" costs like if a freak tornado had damaged the headquarters building.
To them the really interesting story this morning just had to do with how talk of tapering (or not) is impacting Wells Fargo's mortgage lending business. This whole business where one of the most important banks in America is found in violation of various rules by a dozen other agencies is no big deal.
TODAY IN SLATE
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.
Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.
The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team
The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?