The board at JPMorgan Chase elected to give company CEO, Jamie Dimon, a 74 percent raise this year following a 2013 filled with billions in fines for company malfeasance. The pay increase is angering to financial reform advocates because the man whose company committed many financial crimes not only avoids any government prosecution, but gets more money.
Dimon’s salary was cut in 2011 from $23.1 million to $11.5 million, which includes his base salary of $1.5 million plus bonuses. The board-approved pay raise is $18.5 million in restricted stock which will vest over the next three years. The board attributed the raise to Dimon’s “stewardship” and “sustained long-term performance” in the wake of the bank’s turbulent legal issues. Essentially, Dimon got a raise for “handling it well.”
JPMorgan agreed to pay the federal government a $13 billion global settlement because the bank misled investors about bad mortgage loans, which ultimately contributed to the financial crisis in 2008. As part of the settlement, JPMorgan admitted its misrepresentations to the public. The settlement also didn’t absolve the bank or its employees from facing criminal charges, or pay raises for that matter.
The $13 billion settlement is the largest ever paid in American history. This single settlement combined with the repayment of $5.4 billion of shareholder dividends, $1 billion in legal fees, and other smaller settlements, comparatively, JPMorgan paid out around $20 billion because of it crimes.
It’s almost indescribable how outrageous and miscalculated this pay raise is for Dimon. JPMorgan was among the banks most responsible for bringing the economy to near-shambles. Not a single CEO or upper-management employee was ever charged, prosecuted, or convicted for their company’s crimes, most for which they were responsible. Instead of being brought to justice, these Wall Street criminals are being rewarded.
Joshua de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.