Updated from 9:15 a.m. to include details from the filing.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- JPMorgan Chase (JPM) Chairman and CEO James Dimon earned a 2013 pay package worth $20 million, a big increase over the $11.5 million he earned in 2012, according to a filing by the bank Friday afternoon.
The 2013 pay hike comes after Dimon's pay was cut in half in 2012 to $11.5 million due largely to a notorious $6 billion proprietary trading blunder known as the London Whale. JPMorgan's board deliberated extensively and at times heatedly about what to do in 2013, according to The New York Times, weighing some $20 billion in regulatory fines against the bank's otherwise strong financial performance. The newspaper reported Dimon would get a raise early Friday, before the filing became public.
How you feel about Dimon really depends upon how you feel about big business generally. If you love big business, you probably love Dimon and think all the regulatory fines were just political nonsense. And you point out that despite the fines, the stock rose 35.5% and the bank earned $18 billion. If you don't, you probably think Dimon deserves to be fired and JPMorgan broken up.
I live in Brooklyn and mostly hang out with artist types so I guess it is my duty to be in the second camp, or I might have to find some new friends, and I generally don't get along so well with pro-Dimon types.
But on many days -- and today is one of those days -- big questions like these are just too much for me. I instinctively dislike Dimon. I think he's arrogant and a bully. Maybe those are good qualities for a CEO.
But a bank analyst I like once said to me that he thinks its absurd that "these guys" (i.e., the Dimons of the world) get paid so much to run what are essentially government utilities. He said that to me about two or three years ago, and it has stuck with me because I thought it was a good point.
If you sit on the board of a bank, I'm not sure what you do with that "government utility" question. Do you just insist on paying everybody what you think is fair while all the other banks in the industry pay 10 times as much?
Maybe you do. But you'd be taking a huge risk. And this seems like a good place to end this article before I go any further down this rabbit hole.
-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.