JP Morgan’s CEO Thinks YOU are Overpaid

Jake DiMare calls out JP Morgan’s wealthy CEO, who claims newspaper employees are overpaid at $44,000 a year.

Rounding out the “Opposite of Good Men” list today…

Bloomberg news is reporting JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon says employees of the newspaper industry—who make an average of around $44,000 a year—are… wait for it… Overpaid.

Jamie Dimon earns approximately 23 million dollars annually.

According to Wikipedia, in 2004 the median household income in the United States was $44,389.

According to the Wall Street Journal, at this same event, an annual investor’s meeting, he went on to defend the pay for employees at JP Morgan, claiming:“We are going to pay competitively.” He also said, “We need top talent, you cannot run this business on second-rate talent.”

Poor Jamie Dimon. I can’t imagine how hard it would have been for JP Morgan to have played their part in crippling the world economy with ‘second-rate talent’.

I think it might be fun to show Jamie some solidarity on Twitter by pointing out other people we think are overpaid using the hashtags #poorjamiedimon and #wayoverpaid

Don’t forget to mention @goodmenproject in your tweets.

Photo courtesy Randy Le’Moine Photography

About Jake DiMare

Jake DiMare lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his fiancee Jackie. In addition to writing for the Good Men Project, Jake is a digital strategist managing large scale web projects for government, health and higher education clients. When Jake’s not at work he enjoys sailing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, movies and hanging out with friends. Jake blogs at and can be found on Twitter @jakedimare


  1. Mike- you asked a rhetorical question. Getting rhetoric in return kinda comes with the territory. Welcome to political/economic discourse.

    • No, Travis, I asked a specific question.

      People are calling his salary “unfair.” That’s fine, I just want to know what would be fair. I have yet to get an answer.

      • Mike,

        (I jumped to this string because it seems you and I have found the limits of back and forth in the previous)

        I’m not going to go into the entire history of the sub-prime mortgage crisis here. Suffice to say, we’d probably disagree about why it happened. However, to explain my point, I see the sub prime mortgage crisis as the reason for the liquidity crisis which is the reason for the auto industry crisis, etc, etc, etc.

        You’re going to say I am crazy, but as far as I am concerned, this was all caused by greed on the part of the mortgage industry and fraud in the finance (and ratings) industry.

      • Mike: I apologize. I mistook your initial question for rhetoric, because I thought you were asking the question to make some point about how we can’t put a number on it and it’s all just emotional, knee-jerk reaction. Sorry, I thought you were partaking in the sort of nonsense that corporate apologists seem to pull out of their nether-regions when someone brings up a valid point.

        In any case, you seem more intelligent than that. But I’m sure you know in your mind that no one can come up with a hard number because there are too many variables. And because there are variables to consider and no flat answer, the original point must be invalid? Not in the least!

        So, if you would be satisfied with a hard rule in lieu of a hard number, I’ll propose one. For any business that has failed to make a profit, and is thereby “forced” to lay off employees or cut pay, the CEO must take a pay cut–and I’m not talking about the purely symbolic “$1 salary” that has nothing to do with how much the CEO actually gets that year. IN such a system, any money the board members make that year should be cut in accordance to the collective salaries of employees who were laid off, or the collective net amount of salaries that were cut.

        There are a few problems with such a scenario, but since I’m not an economist and have nothing more than a High School Diploma, I’m not going to beat myself up over my inability to come up with a perfect solution. I contend that it would be an improvement over the situation now, but than again, a kick to the head would be an improvement too. That’s just how bad it is out there.

        IN stark contrast, the best minds in finance, economy and business that we have are busy pretending that there’s no problem with CEO’s making multi-million dollar salaries while employees are basically treated like a disposable resource. And the ones that remain? They get to do twice as much work. But hey, at least their CEO doesn’t have to suffer the embarrassment of only making a “mere” six figures, right?

        Now, perhaps you don’t agree that that is a valid solution and I respect that. But can we at least agree that there is a problem? Let me strip it down to essentials:

        The problem is that companies are laying off dozens, hundreds of employees and irresponsibly turning them out into the worst job market on record. I can understand for the ones whose leaders are actually *losing* their OWN money rather than simply taking home less. But the ones who are turning out employees in droves while still making a few million? Unconscionable.

        To make matters worse, these employees are not able to contribute to the continued operation of the economy by buying goods and services. And yes, I am contending that the middle class and its ability to purchase are every bit as vital to sustaining the economy as investors, venture capitalists and the Boards of most Corporations. If not more so. And when that ability is compromised due to a lack of employment, and few opportunities… well there goes half (if not more) of the economy right there.

        And on top of it all, someone making $23,000,000 has the unmitigated gall to crow about the “overpaid” people who, even if they are journalists, collectively have contributed more to the economy in a single day than he has in the last few years. The ones who DID NOT run his company to the brink of insolvency.

        No one is saying CEO’s shouldn’t make money. No one is saying they shouldn’t make a lot of money. But if I have to explain why someone who’s barely scraping by–and not, by the way, because they’re anunderachievers– sees 23,000,000 as a ridiculous salary, then I’m honestly at a loss for words. It’s like trying to tell someone that sugar is sweet, only for them to turn around and ask you to prove it. Does the lack of a quantifiable answer make it any less true?

        So how *do* we figure out what is unreasonable and what is not? Well, it’s sort of like how we look at an obviously obese person. We may be polite enough not to judge them, but it’s obvious they are obese, even without knowing exactly how much they should weigh. One doesn’t have to be a dietician to know that the Half-Ton-Teen needs serious intervention, do they? But because attention was called to the problem by non-dieticians, dieticians eventually got involved and got him to lose weight.

        To extend the analogy further, it would be nice if the proverbial Half-Ton Teen could be bothered to go on a diet themselves, instead of waiting for the dieticians (the government or other outside entity) to be called in and then whining about regulation.

  2. wellokaythen says:

    Sure sounds like he’s overpaid to me. That’s because I am much closer to the 44k than the 23 million, and of course I deserve more money.

    Then again, he doesn’t set his own salary. The shareholders and/or board of directors determine his salary and benefits package. If enough people were motivated to give him a pay cut, they would buy up stock and reduce his earnings or fire him for someone cheaper. Or, people would boycott banks or companies affiliated with JP Morgan in protest. I won’t hold my breath on that one.

    Tweets are not going to bring about a pay cut.

    I know a few people who for 44k/yr do very little work at all. Some days I put myself in that category.

  3. So repulsive I have no words. Tweeting, as requested.

    • Julie Gillis says:

      Speaking of repulsive….check this link about about how the wealthy are suffering by having to consider taking their kids out of private school. I mean, no one likes losing money and lifestyle, but dropping for the super wealthy is would be like me gaining a socio economic status or two. Meanwhile there are kids in foster care, people out of work hard core, and poverty all over.

  4. It’s a crazy mindset these guys seem to have to adopt. If you’ve seen “Margin Call,” there’s a great line from Paul Bettany’s character Will Emerson, who says to a younger colleague whose confidence he’s trying to nurse, “if you really wanna do this with your life you have to believe you’re necessary and you are.” (It’s also later followed by the callous, “F*ck normal people.”) That’s the game they have to play, I guess, where they genuinely believe their a superbreed, deserving of so much more than the rest. But it’s funny, one of the most successful people I know, Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Richard Russo (under whom I once studied), is still one of the most humble people I know, quick to shun the spotlight and put it on the work of others. I think if Jamie Dimon ever stopped to think for a second about how much of his wealth and success actually just came from the luck of being a macho-looking white guy in the right place at the right time, it would unravel his whole foundation, make him realize he probably doesn’t deserve his money much more than the guy running the small business that dry cleans his suits. So he can’t afford to ever go there.

    • Mark,

      Respectfully, if you think that “Margin Call” is in any way shape or form an accurate representation of investment banking, you REALLY have another thing coming.

      Many of my friends from college went into i-banking, because that’s what happens when you major in economics. I would be happy to tell you about their 80-hour work weeks that have lasted for years on end, the constant upbraiding from management that, no matter how well you perform “Maybe you don’t really belong here,” to say nothing of the zero-job-security that’s existed the past 4 years.

      “Margin Call” wants you to believe that somehow they all get paid $200k-$400k per year so they have time to go out drinking and getting hookers every night.

      The real picture looks closer to someone who is afraid to go to a bar, or even go out in general, because their colleagues might still be analyzing charts somewhere and they cannot fall behind.

      Please talk to people and don’t take Hollywood at face value.

      • “to say nothing of the zero job security that’s existed for the last 4 years”

        Cry about it. That’s what happens when your industry brings the world’s biggest economies to its knees. People lose jobs. As far as I’m concerned, your friends should be in prison.

        • Jake, should we also jail all the individuals who bought homes they couldn’t afford? Or are you just a hypocrite?

          • Julie Gillis says:

            Well, if not them the banks that gave them the loans that it was clear they couldn’t support. And the credit card companies that start with a 6% rate of interest and then BAM up you to 18%. And certainly the consumer plays a role yes.

            • Julie,

              Banks give out loans (even the robo-signing ones) on a representation on the part of the borrower that they can pay the loan back. This is literally stated in every single promissory note ever.

              Are you arguing that the poor lack real agency? Should we prevent them from taking our loans at all? Are the poor genuinely less capable of making decisions than the rich? Is this really what you want to say?

              And if not, where does that leave you? No one puts a gun to your head and makes you take out a loan. No one threatens you to pay with a credit card at knife-point. Unless you are claiming that the poorest in society need someone to make their decisions for them, it’s clear that the responsibility for borrowing what cannot be paid must lie with the borrower.

              • Again, all very true. I don’t think you’ll find may tax paying Americans (who didn’t take out loans they couldn’t afford, like me) complaining that those that did lost their homes. What I, and so many like me, are pissed about , is we, the taxpayers had to foot the bill. In the meantime, the finance industry pretends they had nothing to do with the problem in the first place.

                In a free market if you extend a bad loan and you get burned, you lose. In America you win. That’s not a free market, that’s corporate socialism.

          • No, we should not imprison people who can’t pay their loans. We don’t have debtor’s prison in this country. However, we do imprison people for financial fraud.

            By that same token, in a free market, if a bank extends a loan to someone who can’t pay it, the bank should be taking it on the chin. Not the taxpayers.

            • Jake, you seem confused about reality.

              Let me help you out.

              TARP was a loan program. The banks paid the loans back, with interest.

              What “bill” are the taxpayers footing?

              • Incorrect. Not all of TARP has been paid back and you are forgetting the Maiden Lane transactions and the take over of Fannie/Freddie. The taxpayers are still footing the bill to this day.

                However, even if we weren’t…even if TARP and everything else was paid back, that’s not a free market. A low interest loan from the public is still a public bailout. Goldman, AIG, JP Morgan, GM, Fannie/Freddie they would all be gone today. All these CEO’s would be living out their lives in shame or in prison.

                Get your facts straight or troll somewhere else.

                • Jake,

                  You specifically stated that *my* friends should be in jail, with no knowledge of who they are or who they work for.

                  The treasury announced an $11 billion profit from TARP, so even if some of the loans failed, the reality is that there is no bill that the taxpayers are footing. Please take your own advice about getting facts straight.

                  I don’t know why you’re bringing Freddie and Fannie into this. This is about one statement made by one CEO, once, who has nothing to do with either of those institutions. If you need to confuse the topic on purpose in order to “feel correct” that’s up to you, but it’s got nothing to do with this.

                  Finally, even if you don’t agree with bailouts on principle, I sincerely suggest you look up what the alternative would have been, you can find it in the library under “Depression, the Great.”

                  • Like I said, get your facts straight or troll somewhere else. The Government may have announced a profit on one of the many sub-programs of TARP but the sum total of TARP “investments” has still been a net loss for the public.


                    As for including the other transactions, my point has always been, the banks fucked up, and the people paid for it. And we continue to pay for it.

                    As for your comments about the great depression, there is no evidence to support any claim that failing to bail out the shareholders of the banking industry would have definitely caused a Depression. To the contrary, that money divided evenly among every adult man and woman in this country may have been far more beneficial. We’ll never get to know, because the 99% doesn’t own K street.

                    Come back with facts backed up by evidence bro.

                    • Jake, you and I both know that if I post links on this site, my comments get lost “in moderation” for weeks on end.

                      Look up the work of Mark Zandi and Alan Blinder on where the economy was headed without TARP. They were featured on PBS Newshour about a year ago, so they’re pretty easy to find.

                      As for TARP tracker, please stop trying to confuse the issue. You specifically stated that my friends who worked at banks should be “in jail” please look at your own comment to confirm this.

                      According to the very website you linked, $259 billion was recovered on bank programs from $245 billion dispersed. This is a clear profit. Just do a mouse-over of the chart and you will see the numbers clear as day.

                      The banker did not cost the taxpayers a dime. There is ample evidence that TARP averted a depression (again look up Zandi and Blinder, I’d link but then my post would never come through).

                      Please stop trying to confuse the issue with references to groups that are not banks, or at least take ownership of your backwards view that bankers belong “in jail.”

  5. Media agents of the plutocratic 1% occasionally try to float the concept that ‘American workers just have it too darn good,’ but somehow it never catches fire. Hard to believe, isn’t it?

  6. That first link appears to be broken. Here’s one from HuffingtonPost:

  7. I’m sick of these sorts of attacks on CEOs simply because they are highly paid.

    Can someone define what a “fair” salary would be? Anyone can gripe, but real social commentary takes critical thought.

    And please don’t give me the usual tropes about “But they make 56x what the workers make!” or “But it’s so much!” give me an honest-to-God hard number that you will defend.

    And for conversation’s sake, in an age where the average newspaper article is about as well researched as the average blog post, yes, newspaper reporters are overpaid. If all newspapers read like the NY Times, I would be the first to claim that they are underpaid. But the NY Times is not the average newspaper. The NY Post most likely is. Are NY Post articles really worth $44k a year?

    • Someone calculated $23 million/year works out to be $10,000 an HOUR and nobody is worth that an hour. That’s not a salary, that’s a Powerball lottery jackpot.

      • Again, you have offered no hard numbers on what would be “fair.” It’s easy to complain, why not try coming up with a hard number based solution?

        • MichelleG says:

          i would ask his $44k overpaid employees what they think he’s worth! They would have a better idea…what he does day to day and how other employees rank within the company…I’m sure they would be more fair in coming up with a figure.

          No living person should win the Powerball lottery every year of their working life. These people need to go on the HOARDERS reality TV show and purge!

          • So, yet again, you are replacing a real answer with more rhetoric.

            Seriously, what is he worth? How would you even calculate such a number?

            Harping on how much he is paid is not an answer. I strongly suspect you don’t have a real answer.

    • Hey Mike, glad I was able to make you sick.

      It’s always interesting to me when millionaires read my work. I’m assuming you are a millionaire because anyone making less than $250,000 a year would have to be suffering from some sort of mental handicap to defend such outrageous inequality. Since you write fairly succinct sentences I assumed you are not a simpleton.

      I say you would have to be a simpleton because it always amazes me how even I, a high school drop out, can understand the problem of gross economic and social inequality. In case you’ve forgotten what that problem is, I will remind you: riots, revolt, revolution. Inequality is pretty much THE reason nations fall apart.

      I happen to be a patriot. I like this country the way it is…which is why it pisses me off when CEO’s who are paid millions to run the economy, tank the economy and then complain about how nobody should question their salary. The fact is, if there was any justice in the universe, Jamie Dimon would be behind bars right now getting comfortable being the new bitch on the cell block. But, that’s not happening. And do you know why? Because normal morons don’t have the good common sense to stop voting for politicians who let this keep happening to the rest of us.

      So go ahead Mike, keep defending the 21st century robber barons. Thanks buddy…when the country crumbles around us…remember your part.


    • The point is not how much Dimon should make but that he made an issue out of how much other people make. I hate to make it sound like a schoolyard argument, but really–he started it, so let him defend his own salary. Don’t ask anyone else to do it. It’s the claimant’s job to defend his position, not mine or anyone else’s.

      • Juju,

        You are completely correct, “he started it” is an argument children use. Please let us know when you have a better one.

  8. Jamie Reidy says:

    Jamie Dimon gives guys named “Jamie” a bad name.

  9. Joanna Schroeder says:

    Here’s my tweet:

    @poorjamiedimon Who else is #wayoverpaid – teachers? janitors? nurses? @GoodMenProject

    I mean, really, what a douche this Jamie Dimond is.


  1. […] This comment was by Michelle on Jake DiMare’s post JP Morgan’s CEO Thinks YOU are Overpaid. […]

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