London Whale A Plot to Slash Dimon’s Pay?
In the run up to recent report releases by JP Morgan, rumors swirled about a 25-30% paycut for Jamie Dimon, or a cut from $23 million to $15 million. On Wednesday, it was announced that his pay cut was 50%, down to $11.5 million. This pay cut comes despite JP Morgan earning a record amount, despite the $6 billion loss attributed to the “London Whale” in the spring. The banks net earnings were $21.3 billion for 2012, a record profit, amidst regulatory investigation and intrigue.
Jamie Dimon paid the ultimate price for that debacle, and will take a 50% cut in his pay. One must wonder, perhaps this was the purpose of the London Whale? It is a massive loss for a bank that is run by known control freaks. Dimon also will have to wait 18 months to vest 2 million stock options awarded to him in a previous bonus payout back in 2008, worth approximately $13 million today. Other than the London Whale, JP Morgan had a great year, and that great year – according to the logic of the paycut – is to be attributed to Jamie Dimon. Nonetheless, the London Whale stood out as reason enough to take away half of Dimon’s annual riches.
The company’s announcement was not kind to Dimon, saying that “Mr. Dimon bears ultimate responsibility for the failures that led to the losses in CIO and has accepted responsibility.” JP Morgan saved more money by firing three executives, and easily breezed through 2012.
- Announced Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit surged 53%, marking a third straight year in record income for the US banking giant.
- Net income rose to $5.7 billion in the final quarter of 2012 from $3.7 billion in the year-ago period, according to JP Morgan itself.
- For all of 2012, JPMorgan reported a record profit of $21.3 billion up from $19.0 billion in 2011, and underscored what was the third year in a row of record profits.
- Share earnings of $1.39 in the fourth quarter were well above the market consensus estimate of $1.16.
So, we here at SV wondered: Perhaps London Whale was a setup for the bank to cut costs, including Dimon’s prior salary?