$2 Billion Loss, $15.5 Million Gain?

JPMorgan Chase took a $2 billion loss on a risky investment strategy last week.  As news of the loss got out, CEO Jamie Dimon “fell on the sword” and took responsibility.  But that was not the end of it.

This week, Chase’s Chief Investment Officer “retired” in the wake of the loss.  As CIO, you would be correct in thinking that Ina Drew should bare the brunt of the blame.  That is, after all, her area of responsibility.

That being said, Ms. Drew was allowed to “retire” instead of being fired.  And in doing so, she will receive a $15.5 million retirement package.  Must be nice.  You are deemed responsible for your company losing $2 billion and are rewarded with $15.5 million.  Not a bad deal.  Yes, Drew’s reputation is shot, and will probably not working in the banking industry again.  But she has quite the account balance, and I think she will be just fine.

If it were a mid-level employee or a branch-level employee that were responsible for that loss, do you think they would have been offered a comfortable package?  Not in a million years.  Let a branch employee take a $1,000 loss, and you can almost be sure they are going to be out of a job and collecting $240 a week in unemployment.

$1,000 loss bad, $2 billion loss not so bad.  

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