The paychecks for top Wall Street executives are a constant source of debate and sometimes even rancor among the public and even members of Congress from time to time, especially since the financial crisis. The executives themselves rarely speak out about their own compensation. This week, however, former Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, John Mack, came to the defense of his fellow Wall Street titans.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Mack said, “I would love to see us stop beating up on Lloyd and Jamie. I think that would make a lot of sense and I’m in favor of that.”
Lloyd, of course, is Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs and Jamie is Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase. Blankfein’s compensation totaled about $23 million in 2013. Dimon pulled in about $20 million for the year. Staggering numbers for sure, but as Mack points out, those companies also pulled in staggering numbers for their shareholders. In its most recent earnings report, Goldman Sachs reported revenue of about $8 billion dollars in 2013. J.P. Morgan Chase reported about $25 billion in revenue last year.
“As long as shareholders reward performance - what these companies have delivered – we can argue is it $10 million too much or $1 million too much,” said Mack.