I hate to blockquote his entire post, but I know he won't mind, so, you know, what Atrios said:
I know all the Very Serious People accepted the narrative the Jamie Dimon was a good one, that JP Morgan was fine no really fine yes just fine of course all fine. But, you know, they weren't. They took TARP money. They went to the Fed discount window and put their mouths to the free money funnel. More than that, numerous counterparties were bailed out.
The top executives at every big bank should have been sacked at a minimum. They aren't wizards, even the "good ones" like Dimon. They're gamblers who almost destroyed the world and will likely do it again soon.
At which point they will be bailed out. Again.
It's not his main point, but it's worth repeating: "They aren't wizards." There's this myth that America is largely a meritocracy, that executives like Dimon earn hundreds of millions of dollars because they're uniquely worth it, but it's just not true. There are hundreds... thousands... perhaps millions of people who could run Chase at least as well as Dimon, if not better. But through whatever combination of timing, good fortune, chutzpah, and yes, talent, it is Dimon who managed to work his way to the top.
And Wall Street isn't the only place filled with incredibly wealthy people who have convinced themselves that they earned every penny through their own genius and hard work. The Seattle area has its fair share of self-important multi-millionaires, many of whom are no doubt very smart and have at times worked long hours, but who somewhat owe their immense fortunes to the accident of being born ten years before the following generation of Microsoft employees, or whatever stock option lottery they managed to win.
Even someone as iconic as Bill Gates: no doubt as smart and driven as he is he likely would have ended up a success no matter what career he had pursued, but would he ever have been the world's richest man had he been born five years sooner or later, or to a working class family? Probably not.
But I digress. Again, the point is that people like Dimon aren't wizards. And we'll never fix what's wrong with our economy by deferring to them as if they are.