Both of these banks are still struggling to repair their balance sheets — and their reputations — while Jamie Dimon can honestly tout his bank’s “fortress balance sheet.”
As for the London Whale, the $100 billion derivatives-bet-gone-wrong cost the bank more than $6 billion, but could have potentially cost it more had the wind-down not been handled gingerly and with patience. Dimon took his time, got out of the trades slowly and with care, and almost undoubtedly saved the bank — and its shareholders — significantly more money.
Be careful what you wish for
The board stripped Jamie Dimon of half his 2012 pay because they felt they needed to do something: There had been such an uproar over the $6 billion loss, even though that’s nothing for a bank with more than $2 trillion in assets, and even though JPMorgan’s solvency was never in question at any time. Quite the contrary, as we’ve seen.
Dimon has made it known that he wants to stay on as both CEO and chairman, and has hinted at the fact he may not stay at all if the board tries to strip him of his role of chairman. I don’t blame him. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) has done nothing but perform under his leadership. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And JPMorgan ain’t broke, any way you look at it.
The article Why Jamie Dimon Deserves a Raise originally appeared on Fool.com is written by John Grgurich.
Fool contributor John Grgurich owns shares of Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase. Follow John’s dispatches from the waist-deep, muddy trenches of high finance and capitalism on Twitter @TMFGrgurich. The Motley Fool recommends Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo.
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