Last week's AIG bonus-gate fueled the populist fire, and today's jet scandal involving JPMorgan Chase & Co. is inarguably fanning the flames. ABC reported this morning that JPMorgan—beneficiary of $25 billion in TARP funds—plans to spend $138 million for two new luxury corporate jets and a new aircraft hangar. But the investment bank dismisses the report and denies any plans to purchase new jets or renovate the hangar. That is, until after it has paid off the bailout money.
According to a spokesman for JPMorgan, once the TARP funds are reimbursed, the bank could purchase new jets to replace existing ones but would not add to the size of the overall fleet. Renovations to the hangar also would occur after the funds are repaid.
Yet even when the funds are paid back, is such an opulent upgrade necessary? According to ABC, the upgrade "includes nearly $120 million for two Gulfstream 650 planes and $18 million for a lavish renovation of a hangar at the Westchester Airport outside New York City." ABC reports the new hangar will be built with quarry tile and reclaimed wood and have a roof garden.