Jamie Dimon is upset. And rightfully so. After all, his bank was saved from the brink of disaster in 2008. The US government took extraordinary measures to ensure that he did not go down as one of the greatest bank failures of all-time. In fact, the US government did him a huge favor by making his bank the linchpin in the US economy. Of course, this was done by making Mr. Dimon’s already too big to fail bank too bigger to fail. But none of this is enough. Saving someone’s career and ensuring that their bank is now an instrumental portion of the US economy is not enough. And in a fit of rage Mr. Dimon went and rewarded himself with a monstrous $16MM pay package last year. After all, he deserved it.
But this is not enough. It’s not enough to pay yourself outrageous sums of money when your company should be in a hole in the ground. It’s not enough to have the government by the throat and know that the taxpayers can never let your company fail. It’s not enough to have been a key player in helping the US banking system become the gigantic leach on the world’s largest economy. It’s not enough that you help pull our best and brightest minds out of productive fields and into finance where they will do nothing but think of new ways to help separate the middle class from their savings. It’s not enough that you helped build a banking system that nearly crashed a $15 trillion economy.
No none of this is enough. And when we pass an incredibly weak regulatory bill that does nothing to actually fix what caused the crisis you go and complain that the government is doing too much. Well, you’re right. The government did do too much. The government should have let you and your friends fail. They should have let you become the poster child of the greatest banking collapse in the history of the world. But you know what? They didn’t do that. They saved you. They saved your career. They saved your reputation. And they saved your precious multi-million dollar income. So, rather than complain that the government has done too much why don’t you just say thank you for what they did do, take a seat in the back of the room, thank your lucky stars and shut up.
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.