Editors' Pick: Originally published Dec. 28.
It was, to put it mildly, not a banner year for the Little Guy.
As 2015 was winding down, fat cats snuck language into a federal spending bill that would protect $1 billion in tax savings for the casino and other industries.
The securities industry tried to persuade the public that a proposal for brokers to act in clients' best interest was not in clients' best interest. And some people actually believed them.
Joe Average, in the meantime, racked up 12 months' worth of lumps of coal.
Consumers and workers had the courthouse doors slammed in their faces as corporate lawyers who hadn't already jumped on the trend cranked out mandatory arbitration agreements.
Interest rates went up, but savings rates paid to customers didn't.
All in all, business this year often came out a winner at the public's expense. Which isn't all bad, because it gives us an excuse to pause and recognize the dubious accomplishments of the victors:
1. Hands-down winner of this year's Whiner's Award is JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, the man who can't complain enough about how hard it is to put up with regulations after his company breaks the law.
Dimon started the year grousing about banks being "under assault" during a call with reporters in January.
"It's a hard thing to deal with" when you have five or six regulators coming after you on different issues, he told his audience. "You all should ask the question about how American that is. And how fair that is."
I figure it's at least as fair as rigging currency and municipal bond markets and engaging in mortgage fraud, all of which the bank has been accused of by regulators. Does Dimon read those settlement agreements before he or his lieutenants sign them?