Hank Paulson: JPMorgan CEO Dimon a strong CEO

Izzy Best, News Associate
Hank Paulson: Dimon & the DOJ

Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson remarking on the $13 billion fine levied on JPMorgan, called Jamie Dimon a "very strong CEO that had the confidence of his board" of the bank chief's acquisition of Bear Stearns.

In an appearance Tuesday on CNBC's "Closing Bell," Paulson also discussed where the markets are today from the market's collapse five years ago.

"If Bear Stearns had gone down there would have been a disaster," said Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs. "I think it would have been horrendous because I think Lehman would've gone down right away and we hadn't yet stabilized Fannie or Freddie."

(Read more: Hank Paulson: Some elements 'hijakced the debate')

Banks safer, leverage down: Paulson

Saying he wouldn't speculate on everything, Paulson commented that he is glad Dimon didn't foresee the details plaguing the acquisition by JPMorgan

Paulson said he was involved but not at the levels some may think. "The differences are between what the FDIC and JPMorgan says. I have no idea what that agreement says."

(Read more: Dimon, AG end meeting)

Separately, commenting on a meeting Tuesday at The Paulson Institute in Chicago that brought leaders together to discuss getting the economy back on its feet, Paulson said continued reform is what's needed.

Hank Paulson
Louis Lanzano | Bloomberg | Getty Images

"Our companies are run much better than they've ever been run," said Paulson.

"What worked the best was the bipartisan support in Congress," he said. "You had policy continuity across administrations and the Obama administration took the capital markets stabilization programs and made them work."

"We haven't corrected the flawed government policies that got us where we are," he said. Paulson reaffirmed the biggest thing that needs to get done to grow the economy faster and more competitively is a new tax system including health care and immigration reform.

"The only way you get big difficult, complex things done is from the executive branch and with Congress willing to compromise."

—By CNBC's Izzy Best.