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Bankers need to make their own sacrifices during this crisis, says a medic.

"I'm a very busy surgeon; I think pay for top bankers is crazy"

I'm a senior academic surgeon in the U.S.. I'm at the top of my field and I work very hard - I typically do twice the work relative value units (wRVUs) of a community surgeon in my field. I'm paid well as a result, but when I look at how much senior bankers are paid, my mind is blown.

Last year, I earned $750k from my clinical work. I also undertook a lot of uncompensated work in the form of teaching lectures and research. I am one of the better paid surgeons at my institution.

However, despite this, the discrepancy between my pay and that of our lowest paid staff members is comparatively narrow compared to the differences I see in banking. At our hospital, for example, the lowest paid member of staff earns around $31k. As it stands, my salary is 24 times higher than this - although if I only did full time equivalent (FTE) hours my salary would be $415k, or 13 times higher than our lowest employee's.

By comparison, Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan made $31m last year. That's 41.3 times more than my salary (and I can guarantee that I worked just as hard as he did)!  Worse, Dimon made around 1000x the amount of his lowest paid employee!!!!!!

Now, I appreciate that Dimon might be an outlier, but there are plenty of other senior people in banks also making tidy sums. In this year, when huge demands are being made of healthcare workers globally, that seems especially inappropriate.

Don't get me wrong. I can understand why some people in business are paid well: people like Bill Gates or Jim Sinegal (CostCo) have unreal wealth because they created something. They made their money from company ownership. However, bankers are just employees and the outrageous pay at the top levels is crazy. 

By the end of this year, I suspect that banking pay will also seem inexcusable. - All the more so as senior bankers are using shareholders' money to help lower paid employees through this crisis when they could be helping out themselves. If Jamie Dimon took a $25m pay cut, for example, he could donate $10k each to his lowest paid employees. As people in my field make their own sacrifices, senior people in banking need to start making sacrifices too.

Josh Russell is a pseudonym

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Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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  • AR
    ARealist
    31 March 2020

    This guy is comparing himself to the CEO of one of the largest financial institutions in the world. Get a grip mate.

  • Ka
    Karl Marx
    31 March 2020

    Moan moan moan. You’d think someone that busy, and earning 750k would have better things to do than gripe about banker pay right now. They made their life choices - the level of control Jamie Dimon has over the whole economy and thereby all people around the globe is infinitely greater than a singular academic surgeon has.

    Really, what a bitter and twisted thing to get caught up in right now when everyone’s just trying to get through to the other side. This person needs to take a long hard look at themself and if they decide if they are happy with their lot. If they’re not then they need to seek some help as moping about it under a pseudonym doesn’t do the world any favours. Suck it up.

  • Sp
    Spindoctor
    30 March 2020

    Wall street, bankers and other exec's have rigged the system for themselves.. while agggressively working for decades now to slash wages and conditions.. Time for a universal living wage.. lift basic pay to minimum of $20 an hour so people can get ahead and have a safety net for times like these. You also need universal free healthcare, like other western nations adopted 70 years ago.

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