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Government pursuit of JPMorgan aggressive: Bill Daley

The federal investigations into JPMorgan Chase show "a bit of an aggressiveness" because of CEO Jamie Dimon's "notoriety" and the bank's success, William Daley, former JPMorgan man and White House chief of staff to President Barack Obama, told CNBC on Thursday.

"They make a great target because they make a lot of money and they've done real well. Jamie's as good a CEO as there is in any industry," Daley said in a "Squawk Box" interview.

JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon
Getty Images
JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon

"The government's got to look at them," he added. "I think there's a bit of an aggressiveness here because of Jamie's notoriety, and the fact is JPMorgan has been very successful financially. They are an easy target. If they were on their knees [the government] probably wouldn't be so anxious to try to pound them."

(Read more: Paulson on JPM: I shouldn't say, but I will ...)

JPMorgan finds itself in the crosshairs of government regulators over allegations of sales of shoddy mortgage securities leading up to the crisis. Dimon recently 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 investigations stem from JPMorgan's purchase of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual.

'Beginning of a dance' on debt?

On the partial government shutdown, Daley said: "Washington does nothing without a deadline."

Without a settlement, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said the first-ever U.S.default on making its debt payments could occur as soon as next Thursday. President Barack Obama and House Republicans will meet at the White House on Thursday in an attempt to break the standoff over the debt ceiling.

(Read more: Why stocks seem to be signaling a debt deal ...)

"All of this is moving and part of a negotiation. It's a beginning of a dance and at some point they have to get it done," said Daley, who also served as Commerce Secretary under Bill Clinton.

With the shutdown in its 10th day, Daley said: "We saw with the shutdown under President Clinton. The longer the shutdown goes on—the first week, 10 days people kind of deal with it—but it begins to build and people begin to get really ticked off."

He said the stock market is showing concern, and internationally "people are laughing at us. And after they stop laughing, they [also] get a little nervous."

By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere. Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC.

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