Should JPMorgan be held liable for business practices at two companies—Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual—it bought during the outset of the 2008 financial crisis, at the urging of the Federal Reserve and then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson?
Paulson refused to comment directly during an appearance Thursday on CNBC's "Squawk Box," but he was effusive in his praise of JPMorgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon's "courage" at the time to help prevent "a real disaster."
"I'm not going to comment on the merits of any legal case, legal settlement," Paulson said. "[But] it's hard for me to be totally objective, when I look at what Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan did. Because it's one thing to make an acquisition like that [of Bear Stearns], it's another thing to make a decision over a weekend."
(Read more: Hank Paulson: Some elements 'hijacked the debate')
JPMorgan finds itself in the crosshairs of government regulators over allegations of sales of shoddy mortgage securities leading up to the crisis. Last week, Dimon met with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington to discuss a possible settlement rumored to be in the $11-billion-range. Several of the government investigations stem from JPMorgan's purchase of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual.