JPMorgan's Dimon 'Tired' of Attacks Over Bonuses
JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon defended the bank's pay policies on Monday and said he was "tired" of his employees being vilified over bonuses.
Rising bonuses have drawn criticism from politicians and others, who complain Wall Street's losses seem to be socialized while its profits are privatized.
Dimon, along with the chief executives of Goldman Sachs, [GS 167.3467 -4.2133 (-2.46%) ] Morgan Stanley [MS 31.10 -0.94 (-2.93%) ] and other big banks, will be appearing this week before a commission created by Congress to look into causes of the financial meltdown.
JPMorgan [JPM 43.09 -1.44 (-3.23%) ] pays its employees for sustained performance over multiple years, Dimon said on Monday.
"We do not have change-of-control agreements, special executive retirement plans, golden parachutes, special severance packages or merger bonuses," he told a JP Morgan healthcare conference, adding that many of company's employees are in client-facing jobs and work hard with small and mid-size businesses.
"I am a little tired of the constant vilification of these people," he said.
Regulators and lawmakers have pressed banks to tie compensation to longer-term performance and to pay more in stock.
JPMorgan, the second largest U.S. bank by assets, is seen as one of those that has best survived the credit crisis, but as the recession lingers it is facing rising losses across its large consumer loan portfolios.
In wide-ranging remarks, Dimon said the worst of the problems in the U.S. residential real estate market appear to be behind.
"It's not over, but I am not sure it's going to get worse," he said.
Dimon said U.S. home prices have fallen significantly, making home ownership more affordable.
Regarding the commercial real estate market, Dimon said, "commercial real estate is a train wreck but it's already happened."
Dimon also discussed regulatory matters. The CEO repeated his opinion that regulators deserve the authority to manage failures of large financial institutions, a view he laid out in November in an opinion piece in the Washington Post newspaper.