John Ransom

Another politico is claiming that he got “Christied.”

This time it’s Jersey City mayor, Steven Fulop, who said that after he declined to endorse the Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, meetings with the governor were cancelled and money for hurricane relief dried up.

I guess in this Alice-in-TV-Land world we live in, this counts as news.

This comes on the heels of a federal investigation into Christie’s use of federal hurricane relief funds, which Obama is sure were used for nefarious purposes; presumably that means purposes that didn’t include electing Democrats.

While Barack Obama didn’t invent the “Christie” – that is punishing political friends and foes by use of his office—he’s certainly used it more vigorously in my lifetime than any politician not named Clinton.

Just today, as JP Morgan reported earnings, we are reminded of this.

“JPMorgan Chase reported a 7.3 percent slump in fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday,” reports the New York Time’s Deal Book, “as billions of dollars in legal costs from a series of government settlements continued to weigh on profit at the nation’s largest bank. The net earnings of $5.28 billion, or $1.30 a share, fell slightly below Wall Street analysts’ expectations of $1.35 a share. The results underscored how expensive it has been for the bank to obtain peace with Washington. All told, JPMorgan has paid roughly $20 billion over the last 12 months to resolve government investigations.”

Legal costs? That makes its sound like it went to lawyers rather than Uncle Sam.

By contrast Deal Book reports that JPM competitor Wells Fargo’s earnings came in up 10 percent.

“Wells Fargo’s earnings rose to $5.6 billion,” says the New York Times, “or $1 a share, from $5.1 billion, or 91 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2012, slightly exceeding the 98 cents a share that Wall Street analysts estimated the bank would make in the period.”


John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.