More Videos:

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Shine on You Jamie Dimon

Tickers in this article: CBS FOX JPM

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Many are calling the raise given Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase this week "beyond shame."

It's a base salary of $20 million plus two million stock options, yet to be granted, that could be worth another $34 million. Call it a signing bonus.

By contrast, 25-year-old pitcher Masahiro Tanaka just signed a seven-year deal to pitch for the New York Yankees worth $155 million, with another $20 million going to his old baseball team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Sendai.

OK, maybe Tanaka had a better year last year, winning 24 games and losing none. Maybe the financing of sports stars' deals is fairly straightforward. The Yankees had its own cable network, YES, now 80% owned by 21st Century Fox with a valuation near $1.2 billion, and last year the team drew almost 3.3 million  fans to Yankee Stadium. 

On the other hand, Dimon put together a $23 billion contingency fund to pay for JPMorgan Chase's legal liability following the 2008 meltdown, along with those of subsidiaries it bought, and the bank now seems to have gotten out of its legal jams for less than that figure.

Can Tanaka do that?

J.P. Morgan, the company and the founder, have a long history of bailing out the U.S. government. The man himself directed federal bailouts in 1895 and 1907.

Dimon agreed to acquire both Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual during 2008, knowing they had bad assets and had made bad deals. The government was facing a choice on whether to nationalize the country's biggest banks, and Dimon's actions helped prevent that. Dimon even called the deals bargains, then made them into bargains. 

Can Robinson Cano do that? He's going to be getting $24 million to play baseball in Seattle this year. Peyton Manning will get $20 million from the Denver Broncos if he comes back as quarterback next year, not counting endorsements. Kobe Bryant is sitting on a contract extension worth over $24 million per year to play basketball in Los Angeles.