The CEO of the infamous Wall Street trading firm J.P. Morgan Chase, Jaime Dimon is reported to have enjoyed a massive $20 million salary, up from the paltry $1.5 million “basic salary” of 2012, which included $18.5 million in company stock.
Despite the firm’s varied and numerous legal problems, many of which stem directly from their involvement in bringing about the financial collapse, and net losses to the company’s value since 2012, Dimon is proving beyond any shadow of a doubt, that once you’re rich and on top, nothing can bring you down.
In early 2013, under Dimon’s stewardship, traders Julian Grout, Javier Martin-Artajo and Bruno Iksil managed to lose J.P. Morgan $6.2 billion through, shockingly, credit derivatives swaps. In addition to two of the three traders being arrested, J.P. Morgan was forced to pay $920 million to settle the US investigation into the firm.
Though Grout and Artajo and Iksil were all individually at lower levels of the illegal trades and bad bets, the chain of responsibility has been found easily traceable up the food chain, as it was on Dimon’s instructions to Chief Investment Officer Ina Drew that traders below were told to take “bigger risks” to make more money. This very same, very dangerous thinking is largely what caused the same derivatives based trading schemes to bring the U.S. economy to its knees, leaving apparently all but senior level financial industries executives struggling.
Later, in November, J.P Morgan Chase settled out of court with the Department of Justice to the tune of $13 billion for their “serious misrepresentations” (lies) to investor regarding the mortgage-backed credit default swaps made which led to the sub-prime mortgage meltdown. Additionally, to add to both price tag and profile, the firm also paid $2.6 billion in fines as a result of trader Bernie Madoff’s ponzi schemes, which the bank was accused of not reporting despite being aware of.
With their fingers also well in the midst of the Libor scandal, in which key banking interest rates were being rigged by investment banksters, it becomes hard to think of a scandal or incident of serious financial fraud and malfeasance that J.P. Morgan, under the leadership of Jamie Dimon, has not been involved with.
Despite having lost money, broken the law, having played host and employer to petty financial criminals and as well as having been central in the very economic collapse which has left so much of American still suffering, 2013 it seems was yet another good year to be an untouchable and boundlessly corrupt chief executive for a reckless Wall Street trading firm.
In other news, the sky is still blue.
(h/t BBC News)