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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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October 21st, 2013
06:07 PM ET

How significant is a $13 billion fine for JPMorgan?

The tentative deal that JPMorgan Chase reached over the weekend with the Justice Department will cost the bank $13 billion, a record penalty.

"I don't think the Justice Department wanted to hurt JPMorgan so badly that it would cause them any real financial concern," said William Cohan, contributing editor to Vanity Fair and Bloomberg View columnist.

The company is on the hook for benefiting from the shaky mortgage deals made prior to the real estate bubble burst in 2008, when many banks were signing home buyers who had weak credit or unverified income, then selling the risky mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

To put the fine in context – JPMorgan Chase has a market cap in excess of $200 billion, its stock price hit an all time high Monday, and it has net income of about $25 billion this year, said Cohan.

"$13 billion is not insignificant, (but) they're not going to lose a whole lot of sleep about it. They're not happy about it," said Cohan.

According to The New York Times, the negotiations started with JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for $1 billion of settlement, and ended up with $13 billion.

"So negotiation didn't go well, and he probably didn't have any leverage to begin with," said Cohan. "He didn't get what he wanted. But if he wants to get this situation behind him, he's going to have to pay the $13 billion."

For more of our interview with William Cohan, check out the video above.

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