Jamie Dimon Makes His Average Employee’s Annual Salary In One Day

Zero Hedge–It should come as no surprise that Jamie Dimon makes a lot of money; after all, one of the trademark statements by the CEO of the bank that was first handed Bear Stearns on a silver platter for pennies on the dollar and just a few months later was bailed out by the government, is “that’s why I am richer than you.

To underscore this, in 2015 Dimon, whose bank was forced to disclosure to clients and investors that it was caught rigging the FX market…

… officially became a billionaire, largely thanks to JPM’s soaring stock price.

“The odds are much, much lower for a bank CEO becoming a billionaire than a guy going to a hedge fund or private equity,” said Roy Smith, a professor at New York University Stern and a former Goldman partner who started on Wall Street in 1966. “The real lucre in this business has always been on the transactional side. The CEOs of Wall Street have to deal with litigation, regulation and the relatively short tenures you have at the top of the pile.”

However, the odds soar when JPM, like every other bank, got a multi-billion bailout courtesy of US taxpayers after it – and its other bank peers – had taken on so much risk the entire system imploded. One wonders what Jamie’s net worth would have been had Americans not collectively “decided” it is time to make Jamie the richest bank CEO currently to have a job.

And while one can debate “what would have been” until one is blue in the face, there is no debating that last year Jamie Dimon went from stinking rich to stinking richer, by $28.3 million to be precise.

None of the above is new. What may comes as news to some, however, is that Dimon makes 364 times the median JP Morgan employee who received $77,799 last year, including firm-paid benefits. In other words, in one day Jamie Dimon earned as much as a typical JPM employee made in one whole year.

The only bank CEO who makes more relative to their employees is Citigroup chief Mike Corbat, whose 2017 take of $17.8 million was 369x the median employee at $48,249, according to the FT.

As the FT breaks down, “Dimon’s total award of $28.3m included perks such as personal use of corporate aircraft ($73,921), personal use of cars ($29,848) and the cost of “residential and related security” ($48,259). But the bulk of his pay came in stock awards ($21.5m), bumped up after a year of record annual net income of $26.5bn, excluding the effects of the tax reform, on record revenues of $104bn.”

Third in line is Charlie Scharf of Bank of New York Mellon – Dimon’s protégé, who raked in nearly $20 million after becoming BNYs CEO last July. Scharf’s payout puts him at 354x the average BNY Mellon employee.

The median ratio for all listed U.S. banks is 135x according to Autonomous.

The disclosures of pay multiples, mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, finally came into effect for all listed US companies this year. Critics say such figures are a crude metric, telling investors very little about the composition of a company’s workforce or the particular ways in which it has identified the “median” worker. But advocates say the tool is necessary as a way to restrain pay for top executives, which has consistently outpaced gains for lower-ranked workers. –FT

The pay ratio figures – mandated by the Dodd-Frank act, were arrived at by taking its top 10 most populous countries – which constitute approximately 97% of JPMorgan’s employee headcount of 253,500. Salaries of employees hired during 2017 were annualized.

As FT reports, JP Morgan began using so-called “performance share units” as part of variable pay for management following a 2015 challenge by investor advocacy groups calling for a stronger tie between compensation and performance. JP Morgan’s three-person compensation committee led by former ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond said “In determining Mr. Dimon’s compensation, the independent members of the Board took into account the Firm’s strong performance in 2017 and through the cycle, across four broad categories: Business Results; Risk, Controls & Conduct; Client/Customer Focus; and Teamwork & Leadership.”

Dimon has never sold a share of JP Morgan in his 14-year career at the bank. In fact, as FT reports, sometimes he buys more during dips, and famously purchased 500,000 JPM shares in February 2016, the so-called “Dimon Bottom“, just before the Shanghai Accord, which sent global stocks soaring, and more than doubled the value of his $26.6 million investment.

* * *

Of course, being a shrewd investor with a remarkable sense of imminent central bank bailouts – or simply the recipient thereof – is not the only reason why Jamie makes tens of millions each year and is a billionaire. Here are some other reason why, from the bank which has paid hundreds of millions in legal settlements and criminal charges over the years:

Misleading CDO Investments

Quick Stats



  • JP Morgan fined $153.6 million
  • Settled on 6/21/2011
  • Case Details

The SEC settled with JP Morgan after it was discovered that the company misled investors on the complexity of a number of CDOs that were being offered. Specifically, the firm failed to notify investors that it had taken short positions in more than half of the assets bundled in said CDOs. The company did not admit to any wrongdoing or deny the allegations, but it agreed to pay $18.6 million in disgorgement, $2 million in prejudgment interest, and $133 million as a penalty. It was also required that the company change how it reviews and approves certain mortgage securities.

Anticompetitive Conduct in Municipal Bonds

Quick Stats

  • JP Morgan fined $228 million
  • Settled on 7/7/2011
  • Case Details

JP Morgan settled an anticompetitive case with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in which it was forced to admit wrongdoing and knowledge of its illegal actions. “By entering into illegal agreements to rig bids on certain investment contracts, JPMorgan and its former executives deprived municipalities of the competitive process to which they were entitled” said Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney of the case. The charges stemmed from actions the company took from 2001 to 2006.

Foreclosure Abuses and “Robo-Signing”

Quick Stats

  • JP Morgan fined $5.29 billion
  • Settled on 2/9/2012
  • Case Details

This gargantuan settlement came as the DOJ fined the five largest mortgage servicers in the nation. The entire suit was for $25 billion and was centered around “robo-signing” affidavits in foreclosure proceedings, “deceptive practices in the offering of loan modifications; failures to offer non-foreclosure alternatives before foreclosing on borrowers with federally insured mortgages; and filing improper documentation in federal bankruptcy court.” All banks involved, including JP Morgan, have until 2/9/2015 to comply with the settlement [see also The Unofficial Dividend.com Guide to Being an Investor].

More Mortgage Misrepresentation

Quick Stats

  • JP Morgan fined $269.9 million
  • Settled on 11/16/2012
  • Case Details

Settled with the SEC, this case focused on JP Morgan misstating the delinquency status of mortgage loans that were collateral for residential mortgage-backed securities in which JP Morgan was the underwriter. It was found that investors lost $37 million on undisclosed delinquent loans. “Misrepresentations in connection with the creation and sale of mortgage securities contributed greatly to the tremendous losses suffered by investors once the U.S. housing market collapsed” said Robert Khuzami, Director of SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

Improper Foreclosures Pt. 2

Quick Stats

  • JP Morgan fined $1.8 billion
  • Settled in 01/2013
  • Case Details

Continuing from the 2/9/2012 fine, JP Morgan tacked on another $1.8 billion to its already massive fine of $5.29 billion, totaling just over $7 billion. Combined, it is the company’s largest fine ever up to that point. That record would not stand for long, as the latter half of 2013 had other plans for the financial blue chip.

Electricity Trading Scandal

Quick Stats

  • JP Morgan fined $410 million
  • Settled on 7/30/2013
  • Case Details

This fine was brought on by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as it was discovered that JP Morgan was manipulating energy markets in California and the Midwest. In total, $125 million of unjust profits were returned and $285 million came as a civil penalty to be sent back to the U.S. Treasury.

Illegal Credit Card Practices

Quick Stats

  • JP Morgan fined $389 million
  • Settled on 9/19/2013
  • Case Details

This fine was the result of JP Morgan deceiving customers into signing up for costly, unnecessary services when opening a new credit card. Broken down, $309 million of that figure was dedicated to repaying consumers, there was a $60 million civil penalty, and a separate $20 million penalty from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The London Whale

Quick Stats

  • JP Morgan fined $920 million
  • Settled on 9/19/2013
  • Case Details

One of the most infamous cases over the last few years is the “London Whale,” which refers to two former JP Morgan traders who committed fraud to cover up massive losses (approximately $6 billion) in a trading portfolio. “JPMorgan failed to keep watch over its traders as they overvalued a very complex portfolio to hide massive losses” said George S. Canellos, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. The SEC slapped JP Morgan with the fine and also forced the firm to admit to wrongdoing.

The Fannie and Freddie Fines

Quick Stats

  • JP Morgan fined $5.1 billion
  • Settled on 10/25/2013
  • Case Details

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) acted as a conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in this settlement. The fine included a $4 billion charge to address infractions of both state and federal laws while another $1.1 billion went to Fannie and Freddie themselves – $670 million to the former and $480 million to the latter. Yet another case that was based on mortgage-related securities at its core, which is something of a theme for the company.

Institutional Mortgage Securities

Quick Stats

  • JP Morgan fined $4.5 billion
  • Settled on 11/15/2013
  • Case Details

No surprises here, yet another case where JP Morgan was accused of shelling out less-than-stable mortgages. This time, however, the focus was on 21 institutional investors as opposed to a mass of retail investors. The $4.5 billion settlement covers the losses incurred from instruments that were sold between 2005 and 2008. Shortly before this case settled, the company disclosed for the first time that it had $23 billion set aside for legal expenses and penalties.

The Big One: Misleading “Toxic Mortgages”

Quick Stats

  • JP Morgan fined $13 billion
  • Settled on 11/19/2013
  • Case Details

In the largest fine (of any single company) in corporate history, JP Morgan settled for $13 billion in November of 2013. The charges stemmed from misleading investors on what regulators dubbed “toxic mortgages.” The settlement also dictated that the company had to admit wrongdoing in that it knowingly misled investors on the quality of these securities. This has been one of the few times in recent memory that the company has actually offered a “mea culpa.” Of the $13 billion, $9 billion will be used to settle federal and state civil claims while $4 billion will be used as relief to aid consumers harmed by the unlawful practice.

Libor Rigging Scandal

Quick Stats

  • JP Morgan fined $108 million
  • Settled on 12/4/2013
  • Case Details

The alleged manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) was one of the biggest European cases in recent memory. When the dust finally settled, it was found that a number of banks, including Citigroup (C ) and JP Morgan were involved. JP Morgan settled for $108 million as the investigation could not find any evidence that management had knowledge of the actions of the two traders who committed the act [see also The Ten Commandments of Dividend Investing].

Madoff Retribution

Quick Stats

  • JP Morgan fined $1.7 billion
  • Settled on 1/6/2014
  • Case Details

The Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme is one of the most infamous in the history of the investing world. After faking portfolio gains and eventually losing billions for his clients, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison (after pleading guilty) and had to forfeit $17.179 billion. His scheduled release from Federal prison is on 11/14/2139. The high profile case cost JP Morgan $1.7 billion along with an onslaught of negative press.

Currency Manipulation

Quick Stats

  • JP Morgan fined $1.34 Billion
  • Settled on 11/21/2014
  • Case Details

JP Morgan joined the likes of UBS, Citigroup, and Royal Bank of Scotland in being fined for currency manipulation and collusion-like efforts on the part of the financial institutions. Investigations revealed instant messages between traders of the institutions showing plans to buy and sell currencies after market close in order to manipulate foreign exchanges in their favor. JP Morgan was fined $996 million by U.S. and U.K. regulators along with an additional $350 million dollar fine from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

And so on, and so on, and so on…



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