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The venture capitalist will allow that when he compared progressive politics to Kristallnacht, he may have exaggerated slightly: He knows the 1% will not literally go extinct, for mathematical if for no other reasons. But just in case, he’s come up with a plan that will keep them protected. Read more »

Jamie Dimon’s continuing employment as chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase may or may not be an interesting case study in shareholder rights and corporate governance, but the most interesting question in bank governance is really “who cares what shareholders think?” Like: a bank is a bunch of depositor and creditor money, largely backed by explicit and implicit government guarantees, topped with a thin layer of shareholder-capital icing, and run for the benefit of that layer of icing. The shareholders are in charge because that’s how it’s done in every other sort of company, and because they bear the riskiest risk, but they certainly don’t bear the most risk on a sheer notional basis. And, since their shares are an almost at-the-money option on a vast pile of assets, they tend to have a fondness for volatility that other stakeholders might find disconcerting.1

Here’s The Epicurean Dealmaker on chairmanshipery:

The CEO is supposed to be the chief employee, leading his or her organization to deliver on the agenda and objectives the Board of Directors has set. The CEO is an operating executive.

The Chairman, on the other hand, is supposed to lead the Board of Directors in setting the agenda, strategy, and objectives of the corporation, in response to its employers, the shareholders, and all the other myriad stakeholders (employees, regulators, government officials, vendors, community members, and customers) which have a say or a stake in the activity of the firm. The Chairman and other directors of the corporation are stewards. They are not supposed to get down in the weeds, day to day, operating the various parts of the business. That is the CEO’s job. But as stewards they are supposed to think about the what-ifs, the perils and opportunities that may or may not confront the firm in the future, and the problems and threats which may be festering beneath the glittering surface of excellent corporate performance.

One way of reading that is that the CEO goes to work every day to make money for the shareholders: his job is to increase net income. Read more »

He said he was going to quit if stripped of the chairman role, and god damn it, he meant it but luckily: 1. It did not come to that and 2. He got distracted watching that Harlem Shake video Lloyd sent him and fell down a rabbit’s hole of different versions on YouTube, waking up this morning with his face on the keyboard and an email that began “I believe it was John Pierpont Morgan who famously said, ‘You can all go fuck yourselves'” saved to drafts. Read more »

You wanna play hardball? James Dimon is game. Read more »

  • 17 Dec 2009 at 11:19 AM

Senate Banking Commitee Backs Beard

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