Just because it wasn’t enough of a vote of confidence in Jamie “Dear Congress: oath I vouch under oath that it was nothing but a tempest in a teapot” Dimon that his pay rose 74% to $20 million in 2013 despite JPM’s Net Income crashing as the bank had to provision for tens of billions in legal expenses (conveniently excluded from Non-GAAP earnings) – but that’s ok because the Fed’s pumping of $1 trillion in fake buying power meant the stock soared – here comes folksy Crony Capitalist #1, aka cuddly Uncle Warren seemingly desperate for close encounters of the rectal kind with the JPM CEO, telling the world just how underappreciated poor, poor (we use the term loosely) Jamie is and said that if he owned J.P. Morgan, “he would keep Chief Executive James Dimon at the helm and would pay him even more than he’s making now.”
In an interview Friday, Mr. Buffett called Mr. Dimon “a bargain.”
“If I owned J.P. Morgan Chase, he would be running it and he would be making more money than the directors are paying him,” said Mr. Buffett, who has publicly defended the bank executive before and owns J.P. Morgan shares.
He added J.P. Morgan was a “huge plus to the American financial system” during the financial crisis and did much better than other big banks through that period.
“If Jamie decides he wants to make more money, all he has to do is call me and I’d hire him at Berkshire,” the billionaire investor added.
Warren had no comment how much he would pay Barack Obama if the president worked for him more than he already does, i.e., making sure that the Keystone Pipeline is mothballed indefinitely while Buffett’s various railroad interests become the New Normal trans-US pipelines.
And Buffett certainly had no comment what his compensation to Bernanke, Paulson or Congress would be for injecting a few hundred billion in the same financial companies that Berkshire had some $26 billion invested in, and would have all gone bankrupt, unless the US taxpayer had boldly, if involuntarily, stood up to defend the equity value of crony capitalist #1.
As Reuters reported at the time: “A good chunk of his fortune is dependent on taxpayer largess. Were it not for government bailouts, for which Buffett lobbied hard, many of his company’s stock holdings would have been wiped out. Berkshire Hathaway, in which Buffett owns 27 percent, according to a recent proxy filing, has more than $26 billion invested in eight financial companies that have received bailout money. The TARP at one point had nearly $100 billion invested in these companies and, according to new data released by Thomson Reuters, FDIC backs more than $130 billion of their debt.”
Surely by the time the US finds Berkshire Hathaway to be a “systemically important” entity, any time Dairy Queen misses earnings or NetJets sells one less plane in the quarter than budgeted, the US will rush to bail it out.
As for “poor” Jamie, who obviously deserves much more than just that $20 million pittance, don’t cry for him. We are confident soon enough he will take another massive risk with FDIC-insured depositor cash, which will either pay off, or the bank will simply be bailed out once again. Because once you are the king of the TBTF, the only way is up.