In the beginning of 2010, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) had $3 billion set aside in reserves for its litigation expenses -- which is what it would expect to pay out in lawsuits. As of the most recent quarter, that amount has ballooned to $23 billion, even after including the $8 billion that has already been paid out.
The Motley Fool has tracked down 10 things that are surprisingly smaller than the $23 billion that JPMorgan has set aside to pay off its legal bills and settlements -- and what it could have done with that money is a little staggering.
We don't know definitively exactly how much JPMorgan has set aside -- except it is somewhere in the neighborhood of $23 billion; so, for the purposes of this one, we rounded up. But the number you see above is the total cost of everything owned and sold by Amazon from March-June of this year. So JPMorgan could pay for everything bought on Amazon through three months with its reserves.
Each year, Forbes calculates the value of each team in Major League Baseball and, as of last count, the combined value of the 30 franchises that make up America's pasttime stood at $22.3 billion. That means JPMorgan could either pay its legal bills -- or buy every baseball team.
In 2012, JPMorgan had a net income of $21.2 billion, meaning that it has now set aside just more to pay for its legal expenses than it made all of last year.
Reed Hastings' streaming video service Netflix is currently worth about $19.7 billion, so with its litigation reserves, JPMorgan could offer him 15% more than what the company is valued at today to try and entice a deal.
DId you know that 15.1 billion is the number of inches that there are between earth and the moon? That means you could take every dollar that JPMorgan has set aside, and make a path from earth to the moon and back over four times.
That's the total dollar value of the chicken eggs produced in the United states in 2012, according to the USDA.
There are about 317 million people in the United States at the time of writing. JPMorgan could give each of us $72.50 with its $23 billion.
In the most recent quarter, Apple sold 31 million iPhones, which brought in total revenue of just north of $18 billion.
In 2012, the World Bank collected GDP data from 182 countries -- and the amount that JPMorgan has set aside would be larger than the GDP of 84 countries last year. Its legal expenses alone would check in as the 99th largest country by economic output in the world, narrowly edging out Cyprus, which has a population of 1.1 million people.
It is estimated that, in 2013, the U.S. Military budget will be roughly $716 billion -- which means JPMorgan's legal settlement could fund the entire U.S. Military for a little more than 11 days.
Beyond the settlement
Despite their legal woes, bank stocks have seen massive gains in over the past few years -- and many investors are kicking themselves for missing out. However, there's good news: It's not too late. Bargains of a lifetime are still available, but you need to know where to look. The Motley Fool's new report, "Finding the Next Bank Stock Home Run," will show you how and where to find these deals. It's completely free -- click here to get started.