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Message Subject THE ECONOMY & YOU # (Daily Updated Videos & Articles)
Poster Handle RoXY
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The New Financial Aristocracy
by Andre Damon
July 1, 2012

As governments throughout the world close schools, lay off workers and slash support to the poor, old and sick, the financial oligarchy that rules the world increases its wealth and power.

The incomes of the top-earning bank CEOs grew 12 percent last year, according to an analysis of the 15 largest global banks conducted by pay research group Equilar. These executives received an average of $12.8 million apiece, even though the stock values, earnings, and profits of most of the banks shrank.

Jamie Dimon, the chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase, once again topped the list, taking in $23.1 million, an 11 percent increase over 2010. Under Dimon’s watch, JPMorgan recently disclosed billions of dollars in speculative losses.

Governments across the globe have bailed out these banks to the tune of trillions of dollars. They have massively subsidized these giant, privately-owned financial institutions, and they stand ready to rescue them again if and when necessary.

The report on bankers’ pay was released only days after Hawaii’s governor announced that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had bought Lanai, the sixth-largest Hawaiian island, for between $500 and $600 million. The island’s 3,000 residents will be as dependent on Ellison’s good will as were the vassals of the Middle Ages to their lord.

Ellison, the third-richest individual in the United States, is notorious both for his extravagance and his petty avarice. In 2008, he won a $3 million tax refund from the city of Woodside, California after a court ruled that his house, a reproduction of a Japanese emperor’s estate that cost $200 million to build, was worth only $100 million on the current market.

The court declared that nobody besides Ellison could afford to live in the house, which gave it “limited market appeal,” and on that basis lowered the Oracle executive’s property taxes.

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