The card which goes on to feature JP Morgan’s CEO, who is paid a very handsome $19 million a year, depicts him in a care free spirits as he and his wife and three daughters go on to fabricate a lush game of tennis in their palatial home.
Yet it seems the 57 year old executive’s choice of Christmas good cheer has many claiming the executive to be tone deaf to the plight of the average worker in times of prolonged economic duress, save that is for financial institutions who have managed to go from strength to strength since their 2008 bailout at the hands of their gross exaggerations and mismanagement.
In fact the banker agreed to close investigations of mortgage back losses of 2008 by paying a $13 billion settlement to government inspectors. Never mind that sum paled in comparison to the sums generated for the bank as it continued to get one over customers.
Yet perhaps what makes the sign off deal increasingly tactless is Jamie Dimon’s recent conceding of impropriety with respect to the ‘London Whale’ bond scandal. There Dimon agreed to pay $920 million US dollars to US regulators.
Yet none of these transgressions seems to hurt the bank as its stock continues to roar to new all time heights of $58, something that Dimon probably thought to reflect as the financial outlet continues to mint money fist to hand.
Yet commentators on the web have found the image disorientating and akin to a slap to the public’s face which gets to watch the fantastic life of Dimon and co essentially untouched by their transgressions whilst the public is still suffering the effects of the 2008 meltdown at the hands of Dimon and his peers.
Portends the image: ‘Hey, we’re so rich we can destroy our own stuff.”
Knowing full well that it is a stacked game because when they do there will be government welfare for Dimon and his lot that will be explained as natural and very necessary if capitalism is to survive. Nevermind such arguments are dismissed when it comes to the layman’s turn to ask for some relief. In fact his relief of late has seen the reduction of food stamps, the end of long term unemployment benefits and increased measures to make it more difficult to claim government relief.
In rebuking Jamie Dimon’s Christmas card, MSNBC host Chris Hayes said it was as if the Dimon family were saying: ‘Hey, we’re so rich we can destroy our own stuff,’ whilst The Atlantic magazine said it was ‘braggy and opulent.’
Time magazine said it was ‘maddeningly tone-deaf’ and comedian Stephen Colbert joked that Dimon committed a basic error and that his ‘Christmas card should have been him weeping alone on a pile of money clutching a sled.’
Writing on Salon, David Dayen said the message seemed to be: ‘We play tennis in the house because we’re transgressive and also we have billions of dollars and no accountability.’
And then there was this comment on the web that made me wonder as well:
Hey, guess what, people! Its no one’s business what Jamie Dimon does in his own house with his own money. Your opinions on the matter simply aren’t relevant. Why is that, you ask? Because we live in a country where a man is free to live how he wants–you can’t tell a man what he can and can’t do with HIS money or HIS house. You may not like his success as a CEO but tough noogies.