Your editorial "Slap on the Wrist: Even a Record Penalty Is Light for JPMorgan" (Oct. 26) was poorly reasoned, ignorant of history and blind to unintended consequences. The management and shareholders of disgraced financial companies like Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual lost their careers and received pennies on the dollar for their ownership stakes. As if that wasn't enough punishment, you advocate jail time of the sort usually reserved for violent criminals. Following your logic, perhaps the newspapers that helped spread the word about those "ruinous loans" (your words) should be criminally punished, too.
JPMorgan Chase will pay the tentative $13 billion settlement on behalf of the companies it acquired, with the urging and backing of the federal government, in the darkest hours of the 2008 financial crisis. The ideological fines will discourage provident banks like JPMorgan from cooperating with the government -- and helping to save the economy -- during the next financial crisis.
Your call for additional punishment will only exacerbate future financial panics. It's an un-American opinion for a newspaper that considers itself one of the greatest in America.