The news today is all shutdown, all the time, but just a quick public service announcement: now out of the public eye, bankers on Wall Street are back to getting absolutely huge pay raises. Last week, it was reported that Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, took home $18.6 million in 2010, almost double his earnings from the previous year--a fact that surely has some watchdog nuns displeased. And yesterday, it was reported that Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, got a 51 percent pay raise in 2010, and ended the year with a pay package worth $20.8 million.
The Guardian adds some context here:
The 55-year-old chief executive was awarded stock options worth $17m and a "cash incentive" of $5m in 2010, on top of his basic salary of $1m. The previous year he had received no cash bonus and stock awards of just above $14.1m. In 2008, the year of the financial crisis and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Dimon received just his base salary.
In other words, back when everybody was mad at the banks, Dimon was compensated a lot less generously. But now the heat is off, and $5 million cash bonuses are making a comeback.
In its item about Dimon's pay package, The Wall Street Journal covered the news very differently than the Guardian: "Mr. Dimon, 55 years old, received a $1 million salary, the same as the prior year, and a $5 million cash bonus, which he didn't receive the past two years." Interestingly, even though the news about Dimon broke last night, the Journal doesn't have it on the home page or the Business page of its Web site. There was a time when Wall Street bonuses were watched very closely in the U.S., but it seems like bankers netting huge pay packages has gone back to not being front-page news.