Nov 11, 2019

JP Morgan's Dimon calls wealth gap a huge problem but defends CEO pay

Jamie Dimon, Chair and CEO of JP Morgan Chase, takes his seat to testify before the House Financial Services Commitee in Washington Wednesday April 10
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon prepares to testify before the House in April 10. Photo: J. Lawler Duggan/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday that the wealth gap in the U.S. is a "huge problem."

Details: When CBS journalist Lesley Stahl asked him if the $31 million he was paid last year was too much, he replied he had "nothing to do with" the payment decision and questioned whether returning some of the money would "solve any of those problems."

The wealthy have been getting wealthier too much, in many ways. So middle-class incomes have been kinda flat for maybe 15 years or so, and that’s not particularly good in America."
— Dimon on "60 Minutes"

Why it matters: CEO pay has been criticized by progressive Democratic presidential candidates including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both of whom have issued policies targeting wealthier Americans.

The big picture: Warren has personally called out Dimon in a series of Twitter posts. Dimon told CNBC last Tuesday that Warren "vilifies successful people." He clarified his remarks in his "60 Minutes interview."

"What I was commenting on is that anything that vilifies people I just don't like. I think, you know, most people are good, not all of 'em. I think you should vilify Nazis, but you shouldn't vilify people who worked hard to accomplish things. And so my comment is, I think it's American society — we're just attacking each other all the time."
— Dimon on "60 Minutes"
  • In the wide-ranging interview Dimon was positive about the U.S. economy, despite slow growth forecasts.
  • "The consumer, which is 70% of the U.S. economy, is quite strong,” he said. "You see that the strength of the American consumer is driving the American economy and the global economy. And while business slowed down, my current view is that, no, it just was a slowdown, not a petering out."

Go deeper: JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon: "The American dream is alive — but fraying"

Go deeper