"Banks got bailed out, we got sold out," Seattle protesters chanted last night as Jamie Dimon...

"Banks got bailed out, we got sold out," Seattle protesters chanted last night as Jamie Dimon (JPM) told business school students he sympathized with the frustration: "In general, the big institutions of America let them down... America has become more inequitable in the last 10 to 20 years." Dimon's hourly wage is roughly $10,000, vs. ~$23 for the average worker.

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Comments (14)
  • HiSpeed
    , contributor
    Comments (1279) | Send Message
    While most of us would agree that most CEOs are grossly overpaid at they are in charge of companies that provide jobs.


    How many people have the protestors hired?
    3 Nov 2011, 06:25 PM Reply Like
  • bkpark
    , contributor
    Comments (331) | Send Message
    And how many of the protesters still do business with JP Morgan (a private entity for the most part), chipping in for what they claim are Mr. Dimon's unreasonable salary?
    3 Nov 2011, 06:29 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4290) | Send Message
    The compensation of top executives at America's large public companies would suggest that their skills are scarce commodities, but this does not explain the explosion in salaries, benefits and stock options over the past thirty years. In the 1950s, CEO compensation was roughly fifteen times that of the average worker. Instead, executive compensation is more suggestive of corrupt corporate governance as witnessed by average director pay of $250,000 at Fortune 500 companies. In the meantime, investors in these companies have seen scant returns over the past ten to fifteen years.
    3 Nov 2011, 06:44 PM Reply Like
  • Poor Texan
    , contributor
    Comments (3527) | Send Message
    "CEO compensation was roughly fifteen times that of the average worker"


    What is the ratio between the average Federal government employee (bureaucrat) and the average private citizen worker?
    3 Nov 2011, 06:49 PM Reply Like
  • Wyatt Junker
    , contributor
    Comments (4498) | Send Message
    Throw in bennies too.
    3 Nov 2011, 06:58 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4290) | Send Message
    1.5:1 for similar positions.
    3 Nov 2011, 07:37 PM Reply Like
  • Neil459
    , contributor
    Comments (2636) | Send Message
    Every comment here about CEO compensation so far is bull. The problem is not CEO compensation. The free market determines compensation and if leaders were available for less money then they would be hired. The problem is government corruption and CEO's being able to buy government favors and regulations and protection from prosecution by the SEC and DOJ. The problem is government not CEOs. Now its amazing that the government has the media and a lot of otherwise smart people bamboozled into blaming CEOs. If not CEOs then they blame banks (who were blackmailed into actions that brought on the financial collapse). We will never cure the symptoms until we recognize the source of the problems.


    Everyone knows that congress has what, a 15% approval rating. Everyone knows where the problem is, but thinks they can hide their head in the sand because one party is promising heaven (and a free kitchen, and free money, and will punish the made up bad guys.) We are where we are because of voter ignorance of what is really happening in Washington DC. We have that ignorance because the media has abrogated their watchdog responsibility (at least with respect to one party.)


    You want to solve the problem, then vote out the scumbags responsible for the financial crisis (Democrats and Republicans) collectively know as the Washington political elite. This applies to anyone of either party that has been in office more than 2 terms.


    Then stop paying for any media that does not apply their watchdog role to both parties equally.
    3 Nov 2011, 07:09 PM Reply Like
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4290) | Send Message
    Neil: There is no free market and never will be. It is human nature to rig markets, thus the need for regulation. Similarly, human nature is corrupt, thus regulators, like politicians, can be bought. Not only are we witnessing the end of a debt super cycle, but arguably, a swing in the pendulum of corruption back to the mean. One can only hope.
    3 Nov 2011, 07:43 PM Reply Like
  • Neil459
    , contributor
    Comments (2636) | Send Message
    Geoffster, while i agree there is no perfect free market, there is still a big difference between a reasonable free market and the alternatives.


    Also, I have never advocated no regulation. Of course reasonable regulations are needed. We have in some areas gone way over reasonable and in other have been totally pathetic.


    As mentioned below the biggest problem right now is not new regulations or killing existing regulations (Obamacare excepted) but rather enforcement. We will not get enforcement until the media quits playing favorites and gets back to outing both parties for waste, fraud, corruption, lies, and pandering. In addition, the media is perfectly happy to allow Democrat politicians to walk all over the constitution (and to a much lesser extent Bush's as long as they were scared of terrorists.)


    The only group that can force elected officials to do the right thing is the media and they have abrogated any form of responsibility with regard to vetting any Democrat candidate or policy.
    4 Nov 2011, 09:16 AM Reply Like
  • phxcrane
    , contributor
    Comments (730) | Send Message
    Geoffster, No doubt regulation is needed. There is already abundant regulation. What we need is enforcement. I completely agree with Neil. Blame the Government! Vote them out! Whining about the CEO is pointless.
    3 Nov 2011, 09:43 PM Reply Like
  • Dave Faulkmore
    , contributor
    Comments (84) | Send Message
    u can vote 'til you are blue in the face. If you don't hold politicians to a contract with huge personal financial repercussions then they will simply take the corporations infinite money.


    Or better yet let the gov't collapse into hyperinflation. Then lets meet up again and take it from there. Until then print away helicopter Ben. U are the worlds savior!
    4 Nov 2011, 12:15 AM Reply Like
  • Skier99
    , contributor
    Comments (73) | Send Message
    The problem is not corrupt politicians, although no doubt some of these guys do exist. The problem is incompetent politicians. Think about it. Everybody says that they want to elect an honest citizen who will go to DC and solve problems. The reason regulations don't get enforced is due in part to the fear of regulators to take firm action for which they do not know the consequences. Same for law-makers. Who knows exactly what effects come from certain kinds of legislation. Lobbyists telling them loudly this or that. The 'honest citizen' politician can't be an expert on everything: tax policies, financial regulation, foreign affairs, etc. etc. So, they hesitate, and in hesitating the unscrupulous businessmen (of which there are probably more than a few) push them into inaction.


    This article from today about Corzine exactly illustrates the problem:




    GWB was personally against regulation because his advisors convinced him that it would hurt business. So he hired staff people who would stop the enforcement. In some cases he may have been right; in many others he was wrong.


    You get what you ask for, including the consequences. This is why in most cases you need to elect boring eggheads, people with knowledge, but also people with experience of failure, so that they know when to exercise caution. That is what used to be called 'conservatism' not the flaming ideologues of today who are frankly dangerous.
    4 Nov 2011, 07:33 AM Reply Like
  • cwknob
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
    I have very little problem with Jamie Dimon's salary. He works a 90+ hour week 365/7 and is probably the only bank CEO that has successfully steered a "too big to fail" bank through all the crises. I agree, there are few people in the world who can negotiate the minefield of our breaking political process and wild market swings.


    This is the kind of situation i have a problem with:
    The description from Wikipedia:


    [Leo] Apotheker served less than 11 months as CEO, he received over US$13 million in compensations: a severance payment US$7.2 million, shares worth US$3.56 million and a performance bonus of US$2.4 million.


    Thank you Board of Directors at Hewlitt Packard. for tanking my stock
    4 Nov 2011, 08:30 AM Reply Like
  • Neil459
    , contributor
    Comments (2636) | Send Message
    "He works a 90+ hour week 365/7 . . . ."


    In addition, if you have ever worked at the CEO level its killed or be killed. I been there at smaller companies and know some CEOs of larger companies and while everyone looks at the money and gets envious, its not a job I would ever consider taking without the kind of money people are complaining about. Its simply not worth what you have to do to get there and stay there without huge compensation.


    If we applied the same thinking to jail we would all be talking about how criminals have it so good, free TV, free internet, free meals, no real work, plenty of time to exercise or play sports etc.. Heck that would make us all want to be criminals if it weren't for the downsides. Same applies to CEOs. The average CEO works continuously, has a broken family, little respect from their kids, has a drug or alcohol problem, worries constantly (even if they don't show it) etc. It is a high stress high tension job where they can be fired for absolutely no reason whatsoever. There are no protections, the CEO can (or at least "should be able to" in the real world) be sent to jail for the actions of subordinates. They can be fired because of market conditions or acts of god or other things totally outside of their control. There are very few jobs where the person doing the job has so little control over their future as what happens at the CEO level.


    The only control is the big salary and big payout when being fired. Every CEO gets fired (but they all call it something else) and the only way to protect against the board and other political groups from firing the CEO more often and for more silly reasons is the payout.


    Most CEO employment contracts that I have seen have a provision that the big payout and options are off the table if the CEO quits. So if you hear of the CEO getting a big payout to leave it means they were fired (or otherwise asked to leave against their will.)


    This is the reality that the big media and the government don't want you to know about. Not reasonable knowledgable person would take the CEO job without the money being complained about. It does not matter if its 100,000 times what the lowest paid person makes.
    4 Nov 2011, 09:51 AM Reply Like
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