If I mess up, I get fired - the boss just gets a bigger bonus!


It's just the way it is.

Here's something sent in by one of our readers.

'Jamie Dimon's back in the news again - this time for receiving a 74% pay rise (to $20m) for his work in 2013, a year during which JPMorgan Chase paid $23bn to settle various regulatory probes.

The board, of course, recognised Dimon's leadership qualities - together with a strong 'sustained long-term performance; gains in market share and customer satisfaction; and the regulatory issues the company has faced and the steps the company has taken to resolve those issues'.

So, Dimon was paid $20m for basically writing checks to resolve previous wrongs; nice work if you can get it.

Now, some would say that some of the settlements imposed on JPMorgan by the U.S. government for supposed wrongs in the run-up to the financial crisis (especially those related to Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual) were harsh - some even say that they represent a shakedown. Others, however, wonder how Dimon was ever in a job in 2013 anyway.

The 2012 London Whale trading debacle, something Dimon initially described as a 'storm in a tea-pot', ultimately cost the firm $6.2bn. Now, in 2011 Oswald Grubel resigned from UBS over a $2.3bn unauthorized trading loss, and Bob Diamond fell on his sword at Barclays in 2012 over the LIBOR scandal. So, why is Dimon any different ?

How come Dimon's reputation has remained relatively unscathed throughout all JPMorgan's troubles ? We've even had Warren Buffett coming out in Dimon's defence; in an interview Friday, Buffett described Dimon as 'a bargain'.

'If I owned J.P. Morgan Chase, he would be running it and he would be making more money than the directors are paying him.....If Jamie decides he wants to make more money, all he has to do is call me and I’d hire him at Berkshire', Buffett said.

Amazing! If I (or any of my colleagued) screwed up, we'd be fired. Dimon gets a bigger bonus and praised by the Sage of Omaha. I'm clearly in the wrong job!'.

image: © C.P.Storm

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