j-p-morgan-chaseIn addition to being one of the oldest financial firms in the world, JPMorgan capitalizes the financial market with over $2 trillion in assets. According to its Web site, the firm services millions of customers in the United States holds the second-largest hedge fund in the United States. In 2008 the company even hired former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as a senior advisor.

Despite its success, JP Morgan in experienced poor returns in 2004 and 2005 because the firm was in the middle of the country’s then-largest financial catastrophes. Former Enron investors were paid $2.2 billion in a settlement, while JPMorgan paid investors an additional $2 billion after the collapse of WorldCom.

In November 2009, JPMorgan agreed to settle with the SEC for $722 million, ending a government probe into sales of derivatives that helped push Jefferson County, Alabama into the brink of bankruptcy. The county, which includes the city of Birminham, Alabama, had its $3 billion refinancing of its sewer system.

Despite the company’s regulatory history, JPMorgan was the recipient of $25 billion of government aide under the United States 2008 (TARP) bailout, and subsequently spent over $100 of that money on executive bonuses the following year.


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