JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has been rewarded with a 74% pay increase, despite criminal activities by the company he directed that resulted in $20 billion in penalties last year.
The $20 million compensation package for 2013 awarded by the board includes a $1.5 million base salary—unchanged from last year—and "$18.5 million worth of restricted stock that will vest over the next three years as his 2013 bonus," CNNMoney reports.
Dimon received $11.5 million in compensation for 2012, compared to $23 million in 2011, following the "London Whale" bets that cost the company over $6 billion.
In November, the bank inked a widely criticized $13 billion settlement deal with the Justice Department for misrepresenting the quality of mortgages in mortgage-backed securities in the lead-up to the financial crisis.
William K. Black, author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One, writes at New Economics Perspectives that
Dimon led JPMorgan while it committed what government investigators have identified as over 15 frauds, most of them massive. [...] These frauds represent the greatest financial crime spree the government has ever identified. I am not counting the frauds of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual (WaMu).
JPM’s board has proven for years that it is spineless, unethical, and dedicated to Dimon’s interests.
As Firedoglake's DSWright puts bluntly,
Dimon was able to break the law continually and exceptionally and face no serious consequences. That is an achievement of sorts isn’t it? If you were the head of a company and were able to break the law continually and never had to seriously pay for it – why not keep you on?
This point is echoed by Black, who writes that
The regulators have used feather dusters when it comes to elite bankers – and only actions against elite bankers matter. Fines against banks cannot deter frauds by officers. The officers who control the bank are delighted to use bank funds to negotiate deals in which there are large fines – but the government does not prosecute the officers or seek to claw bank their compensation and seek damages from them.
"Dimon proved the rule of law is a joke for the rich, and for that he will be handsomely rewarded," Wright adds.
Robert Reich offered his thoughts on Dimon's compensation on Friday, tweeting:
Jamie Dimon's $20 m pay package for 2013 comes out to a million for every billion JPMorgan has been fined this year for illegal activities.
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 24, 2014