As you may have heard, yesterday afternoon, Morgan Stanley held a little good-bye party for John Mack, who will step down as chairman at the end of the year. What are Mack’s plans for the retirement phase of his life? Will he sail around the world? Restore old cars? Work on his golf game? Take up fly fishing? Move back down to his native North Carolina? Teach a course on business at his alma mater, Duke University? While those would all be admirable pursuits, it’s not likely Mack will have the time for them. Because John Mack, you see, has his sights set on something bigger. The realization of a dream, if you will. The dream of selling women’s shoes.

According to someone who attended yesterday’s gathering, Mack “talked about how if he hadn’t been a banker, he would have wanted to be a women’s shoe salesman. He said he loves watching the fierce New York ladies trying on Manolo Blahniks at Bergdorf Goodman–and recommends that all men go there and just sit and watch– because ladies will just walk up to you and ask you for your opinion.” In fact: “Once he told a woman, ‘Those are the ones. Get them.’ And the manager came up to him and said ‘Can you come here every day??'” Apparently Mack told people that his retirement is going to include being “a part-time salesman in the women’s shoe department at Berdorf’s.” While it’s unclear if he’s officially applied for the job yet, it goes without saying we support this wholeheartedly. Sure, there’ll be some tough days when he wonders why he got into all this (particularly when a certain Treasury Secretary looking to settle a score shows up in drag and after making Mack run back and forth fetching twenty different pairs of shoes in three different sizes, declares “You know what? I think I’m going to buy these on Zappos- don’t want to pay the NYC sales tax”), but it’ll be worth it.

121 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (121)

  1. Posted by Lisa Marie | December 8, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Now that's a sellside lateral move that I want to know about! Any interest in some light squared shares John?

  2. Posted by this one goes to 11 | December 8, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    John Mack: Well, I suppose I could, uh, work in a shop of some kind, or… or do, uh, freelance, uh, selling of some sort of, uh, product. You know…
    Bergdorf: A salesman?
    John Mack: A salesman, like maybe in a, uh, haberdasher, or maybe like a, uh, um… a chapeau shop or something. You know, like, "Would you… what size do you wear, sir?" And then you answer me.
    Bergdorf: Uh… seven and a quarter.
    John Mack: "I think we have that." See, something like that I could do.
    Bergdorf: Yeah… you think you'd be happy doing something like-…
    John Mack: "No; we're all out. Do you wear black?" See, that sort of thing I think I could probably… muster up.
    Bergdorf: Do you think you'd be happy doing that?
    John Mack: Well, I don't know – wh-wh-… what're the hours?

  3. Posted by .Bo | December 8, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    Rex Ryan, meet John Mack. You two should get along just fine.

  4. Posted by Dr_Zaius | December 8, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Lets' Rock.

    – Al Bundy

  5. Posted by Phil Purcell | December 8, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    And he gets a grand send off because?

    -Phil Purcell

  6. Posted by UFO | December 8, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    John, if you change your mind and want to start a new career in something more manly, say, losing a public office or blowing up futures brokerages, I can give you a few pointers. Call me.

    J Corzine

  7. Posted by Al Bundy | December 8, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Johnny, trust me, it's not all it's cracked up to be.

  8. Posted by Hadley V. Baxendale | December 8, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    Retiring from MS to work at Payless Shoe Source is the NKI.

  9. Posted by inlovewithpmco | December 8, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    Does that mean if Al Bundy was not a shoe salesman he would have run Morgan?

  10. Posted by still fighting hank | December 8, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    but NYC doesn't have sales tax on clothing under $100

    -Mack's sales rebuttal coach

  11. Posted by Shecky Mack | December 8, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Did you hear about the former investment banker with a lisp who took a job as a woman's shoe salesman? He got fired the first day on the job when he said to a lady, "Allow me to look up your thize….."

  12. Posted by Guest | December 8, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Al Bundy > Everything

  13. Posted by Guest | December 8, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Do they have boots in my size?

    -B. Quick

  14. Posted by Rex Ryan | December 8, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Ladies shoes? Call me.

  15. Posted by Just sayin | December 8, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Shoes being purchased at Bergdorf Goodman are in the 300-600 dollar range. FYI.

  16. Posted by Guest | December 8, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    Bundy Morgan has a nice ring to it.

  17. Posted by florida | December 8, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    Bundy & Wollensky

  18. Posted by still fighting hank | December 8, 2011 at 11:51 AM


    -Mack's sales rebuttal coach

  19. Posted by Guest | December 8, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    And if his wife weren't a lady-who-lunches that's into buying those shoes, she'd be a Tarp banker…. oh wait…

  20. Posted by Too Big To Fit | December 8, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    “Tell him to get fucked,” Mack said of Geithner. “I’m trying to sell some shoes.”

  21. Posted by guest | December 8, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Manolos don't cost $99.99…

  22. Posted by Guest | December 8, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    If I wasn't a banker, I would have been an adventurer who took an arrow in the knee.

  23. Posted by John Mack | December 8, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Been there, Done That!

    — John Mack

  24. Posted by inlovewithpmco | December 8, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    PMCO I bet he want s to sell you some FM heels

  25. Posted by L. Tilton | December 8, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Pretty sure all heels are CFM heels. Particularly stilettos.

  26. Posted by The Truth | December 8, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    I had 4-1 on Intrade he'd travel the country doing Tony Shalhoub impressions

  27. Posted by desksoda | December 8, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    Cover your ears. You tell Mrs. Geithner to fucking blow me. I'm trying to convert an international shoe size.

  28. Posted by Buck Bundy | December 8, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Seriously? if anything, it'd be Steve Rhoades impressions. First off, he looks just like him. Second, its topical!

  29. Posted by Guest | December 8, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    leaving the company to sell fuck me boots is the NKI

  30. Posted by Buck Bundy | December 8, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Come on, if anything he'd be doing Steve Rhoades Impressions. He looks just like him, AND its topical!

  31. Posted by BessLevin | December 8, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    I wish I could give this more than one thumbs up.

  32. Posted by geoffgeoffgeoff | December 8, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    Throw me the shoe-horn thrice.


  33. Posted by None for you | December 8, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    Awesome! Rejoins MS at $35 levers it to $68 and leaves when it hits around $16. Meanwhile collecting hundreds of millions in comp. My f'ing hero! Where are the shareholders yachts? By the way, he looks like a combo of the Soup Nazi and Monk.

  34. Posted by Guest | December 8, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Do they allow canolis in the break room at Bergdorf's? It is very important that he can win over his new colleagues with free canolis.

  35. Posted by GueSt | December 8, 2011 at 5:20 PM
  36. Posted by Mike | December 8, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Penn State

  37. Posted by Red Goose | December 8, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Mack is no heel! Sure, he might shank bad guys financially so you have to watch your tongue. As he laces up his career and bares his sole, will he meet a Greek lady and "Buster Brown"? Will he take off in a van's security and style? He might go out instep with other leaders of his day. If the shoe fits, wear it I say. If he toes the line people won't say he was a loafer. If he meets a cute chick he won't slipper a Mickey Finn. At his physical Doc Marten said, "Bend over.." but Mack replied, "Hey, remember you're no shoe in."

  38. Posted by guest | December 8, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    He got the idea from Rex Ryan

  39. Posted by Mike | December 8, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    WHy must your post always be negative?

  40. Posted by serious question | December 8, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    How is saying that she wants to 'like' the post more than once negative?

  41. Posted by guest | December 8, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    You do realize that on the intensedebate commenting platform, it's not possible to give two thumbs up, which is what she would like to do, based on the hilarity of TBTF's comment, right? Or did you not?

  42. Posted by guest | December 8, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    This should have gotten more love.

  43. Posted by signals | December 8, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    Gray? is that you ?

  44. Posted by Okinawa | December 8, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    Future Dealbreaker headline: "Bank of Tokyo-Mistubishi UFJ diversifies into designer shoes"

  45. Posted by Mike | December 8, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    I misunderstood. Bess Levin articles are generally negative. Excuse me.

  46. Posted by adfda | December 9, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    true MS is full of shoe and used car salesman… smells of deep country mall)

  47. Posted by guest | December 9, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    I think you will also find my experience to be useful.

    John Meriwether

  48. Posted by guest | December 9, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    Now we know what makes Bess tick.

  49. Posted by Guest CFA | December 9, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Bergdorff HR: Mr. Mack, I understand you want to work in our renowned shoe department. Do you, by chance, carry a Discover card?
    Mack: Of course I do. I bought the company.
    Bergdorff HR: I'm sorry Mr. Mack, our customers don't want to interact with people with a Discover card. Perhaps you should contact Sears?

  50. Posted by guest | December 9, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Like the above one? Oh wait, except it's not and actually, many of them aren't? You're an idiot.

  51. Posted by guest | December 9, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Comments that are funny.

  52. Posted by guest | December 9, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    You clearly do not read the site. Most articles are simply humorous, and if there's a negative aspect, like, say, a bank losing billions of dollars, that's not "Bess Levin" being negative, that's A BANK LOSES BILLIONS OF DOLLARS = SOMETHING NEGATIVE. How do you not understand the distinction?

  53. Posted by guest | December 9, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    You misunderstand a lot of things, apparently.

  54. Posted by Guest | December 9, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    Mack has no idea

    – Lisa Falcone

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