How The Brutal Shaming of Jamie Dimon Exposes The Abhorrent Greed of Wall Street
Some weeks ago, JPMorgan Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon got his ass handed to him on a platter that was cluttered with an upper-crust diet, that contained a skyrocketing salary, and hefty bonus packages that are mandatory, even at the expense of low-level employees of the bank, who are working enough hours to secure the necessary pay for survival, but somehow those funds are rarely forthcoming.
Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter became a household name, when she commandeered the floor during the hearing with the House Financial Services Committee, and proceeded to expose the willful arrogance of a decked out billionaire corporate vulture, who couldn’t come up with a reasonable solution for one of his bank tellers, whose monthly pay is a measly $2,425.
Dimon’s stiff disposition was no match for the fiery avalanche of facts and queries that Congresswoman Porter was impressively armed with, as she ripped into the audacity of a privileged and over-paid Wall Street thug, who made even more money when the economic crisis of 2008 devoured the lifesavings of modestly-positioned Americans, who were victimized by the mortgage scam that JPMorgan helped to orchestrate.
In 2017, Dimon received about $29.5 million in compensation which was nothing compared to what he took home back in 2007, when JPMorgan bequeathed him a staggering $50 million.
And to break it down, you have to bear in mind that most of his salary is borne out of equity. His annual base salary is about $1.5 million, with cash bonuses of $5 million.
It’s no wonder that Porter was adamant about painstakingly breaking down the itemized necessities of an employee of JPMorgan Chase, who offers services that are vital to the overall survivability of the most successful and largest financial institution in the country.
And yet, her lowly status at the very bottom of the company’s hierarchy tree, leaves her vulnerable to the elements of gross negligence by corporate managers, who are more interested in offering a full load of responsibilities without the substantial pay raise to match the increase in duties.
As a former employee of JPMorgan, it was deliciously gratifying to watch Dimon squirm under the scathing review of someone who was finally in the enviable position of exposing the nefariousness of operations at a gigantic organization, that boasts billions in yearly profits, and prefers to shuffle those wins to higher ups, who already had trust funds established before they were conceived.
At one point during the heated Q&A session, Porter queried her disgracefully clueless subject about the calculations that would save his woefully underpaid employee from the harrowing ordeal of being short almost $600 every month, due to an annual salary that doesn’t translate to the growing cost of living, that’s crippling the progression of middle-class families with threats of extinction.
Jamie Dimon was stunned by the requirements of his assignment, and wearily offered that he would need more time to discuss the financial management of the woman in question.
“I don’t know. I’d have to think about it.”
Not long after the insightful episode, Porter took to Twitter to release the financials that Dimon claimed he needed to examine in order to provide a thorough assessment, that will detail how any family can survive on the meager salary that JPMorgan provides its expendable employees.
After the infamous encounter between the CEO and the woman who beautifully shamed him, a recklessly tone-deaf tweet was sent out by a Chase account, that seemingly tried to strike back at those that rightfully challenged Dimon about his ineffectiveness and proven nonchalance when it comes to the direness of a nationalized issue, that is suffocating the life out of over-worked employees, who aren’t getting the benefits of their labor based on systemized greed that keeps the rich richer and the rest out of luck.
The tweet that seemed to echo what Dimon was trying to convey when he mentioned that he needed to survey the financials of the employee before making his case has since been taken down after an avalanche of disapprovals were rightfully levied.
But the damage has already been done.
It’s quite clear that the art of shaming those who aren’t living their #bestlives despite consistently noteworthy output is alive and well, and in this climate that encourages being rewarded for lounging around while the numbers do all the talking, we can expect things to only get worse.
Chase and the CEO that apparently needs reinforcement to counter the attacks on his waning reputation are adamant on putting the blame on money mismanagement by those who dare to complain about not being paid enough to meet basic needs.
This is the tactic that is used as the defense mechanism that keeps the towering pay gap crisis and its destabilized victims at a safe distance from the population that won’t give up memberships to exclusive country clubs or monthly yachting excursions, even if it becomes a life or death situation.
The good news is that the domino effect is already activated, as the discussion around the astoundingly shameless paychecks of blissfully disconnected corporate CEOs has reached new heights with the inclusion of a Disney heiress, who knows a thing or two about the abundance of wealth, and the unfairness of some having more than they can handle, while more of us drown in debt and mental anguish.
Not too long ago, Abigail Disney refreshingly offered her summation of the massive pay gap between billionaire CEOs and badly compensated employees, by targeting Disney CEO Bob Iger, who earns about $65 million in total compensation, which the granddaughter of the company’s co-founder described as insane.
The heiress has been transparent about being born into a dynasty that armed her with more money than she will spend her lifetime, and as a philanthropist, it has become her life’s mission to maximize her good fortune by spreading the wealth in ways that elevate the lives of those who desperately need the boost.
And while Disney was careful to express her fondness for Iger, she was also relentless when it came to pointing out the obscene amount of money that he rakes in based on his “performance” which shareholders rate as “exceptional,” while the “exceptional” deliveries of hard-working employees are conveniently overlooked.
The Walt Disney Company has enjoyed a plethora of back-to-back hits, thanks to the notably flourishing Star Wars franchise and the cultural movement that was Black Panther. The eye-popping profits from the Black movie that garnered the largest Black audience ever on record, went right into the pockets of White money-makers, who control the strings of Hollywood now and possibly forever.
And as a former contractor at ABC, I can attest to how the current environment is driven by the mandate of enslaving temporary workers with plenty of work at a pay rate that doesn’t justify output, and with the empty promise of permanent employment that never happens, even after the three-year mark is up.
Embattled Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, who has blood on his hands after it has been determined that the 737 Max 8 jets were rushed to production, and certified to fly despite glaring inconsistencies that needed to be reviewed to prevent the two fatal air disasters that are currently under investigation — is another underserving corporate shark, who received a 27% bump in pay in 2018 that resulted in an annual salary that totaled 23.4 million.
And the list of mostly White men, who are in positions of power that leave them bloated with the loot that they gorge themselves with as payback for being privileged enough to seamlessly commit criminal acts that rob innocents of their very lives or the ability to earn a decent livelihood — illustrates the racial makeup of approved felons illegally living the American Dream.
As someone who tirelessly slaved away for almost 7 years at JPMorgan, the memories of those days, especially the last 4 years are far from pleasant.
The first half of my tenure didn’t hurt as much, even though there was the sting of a staring salary that didn’t meet expectations when you consider my status as a college graduate. But at least the slight bump in salary and modest bonuses subtly alleviated the disappointment.
The second half brought major changes in team structure that added more responsibilities to a work load that was already buckling from the almost impossible juggling act. The punishment was more severe when it was evident that the salary raises and bonuses had been abruptly halted.
Suddenly I was caught in the turbulence of a tornado that saw me supporting a team of bankers, analysts, associates, and credit officers, while also providing the head of the team, who was my direct manager, premium assistance that didn’t leave much room for anything or anyone else.
My work load was enormous, yet my annual salary barely allowed me to keep a roof over my head. It was aggravating to watch my manager and his equally privileged colleagues, reveling in the splendor of their bonus checks, that only got more generous after the successful navigation of the economic crisis, which they helped to initiate with manipulated portfolios that made no sense to me then — but sure does now.
The brutal greed of Wall Street CEOs and others in that realm of billon dollar direct deposits needs to be examined with the motive of redistributing that cold hard cash through the accounts of weathered employees, who are also supposed to enjoy the definition of “work hard, play hard.”
There’s nothing more discouraging or mentally assaulting than being tasked with responsibilities that should be given to at least three assistants to regulate, but due to the callousness of well-positioned managers, who curate the team’s budget to allot extra dough to pampered analysts from Ivy League backgrounds, the unfortunate props have to either take the abuse or find another job that will fuck them up even more.
The “American Dream” is still a viable pursuit that can be attained by those who want it. We just have to defeat the monsters in shiny suits, who are determined to stay rich, even it means killing the trajectories of ordinary American workers, who also want a piece of the pie.
Thankfully, the war against the “monsters” has begun, and this time, they’re the ones out of luck.