JP Morgan is paying more than 700 million dollars to settle charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission it made unlawful payments to friends of Jefferson County commissioners in order to win municipal bond business. Under the settlement announced Wednesday, JP Morgan agreed to forfeit almost 650 million dollars in bond-swap termination fees. The Wall Street bank will also pay a 25 million dollar penalty and 50 million to Jefferson County. The SEC also took action against two former JP Morgan officials involved in the alleged scheme. They did not settle and an SEC spokesman said the government will continue to pursue the case against them. WBHM's Bradley George spoke with Samford University finance professor Melissa Woodley. She says Jefferson County leaders are probably relieved by the settlement, but it's far from a panacea for the county's massive debt.
~ Bradley George, November 4, 2009