Apologists for our top-heavy economic order have a ready response whenever anyone starts blasting CEO pay excess. Sure, they tell us, we may have some power-suited stinkers out there, but most rewards are going to deserving high achievers — and then they trot out our national superstar CEO du jour.
In the financial sector, that superstar has been JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, “America’s least-hated banker,” the New York Times opined in 2010. The next year Dimon took home $23 million. Pundits did not protest. Hadn’t President Obama himself described JPMorgan as “pretty well managed”?
Now a new report from Senator Carl Levin has popped the tires on the Dimon bandwagon. Under Dimon, turns out, JPMorgan has routinely bet federally insured deposits on outrageously risky derivatives and dabbled in everything from illegal flood insurance claims to auto-finance rip-offs.
The lesson? We don’t have some CEOs who deserve their millions and some who don’t. We have some whose scams have come to light and others whose scams still lurk in the dark. We’ll continue, in Too Much, to shine all the light we can.