Citigroup Raining On Jamie Dimon's Big Day

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On ABC's new nighttime soap opera "What About Brian" (think of it as the Portfolio of "Entourage"--set in LA, staring a bunch of youngish men but obviously pitching hard for the ladies) a lawyer gives up sex until he makes partner at his firm. The abstinence works amazing magic on the show, making him unbelievably attractive to women, more dedicated at work, and last night, improbably, he was made partner because the partnership was so impressed by his sex-free dedication. So, obviously, sex was back on.
Well, that's more or less what's been going on at JP Morgan Chase. Except instead of avoiding bedding women, CEO Jamie Dimon has avoided bedding big M&A targets. It was something of an unofficial M&A abstinence, perhaps waiting until he took over as chairman of the board (the official story, of course, was more boring: something about finishing the integration with BankOne). Well, now that's over. And today he faces a meeting with shareholders where, as we noted yesterday, he's likely to face questions about possible targets.
This morning the Wall Street Journal's new M&A blog--we'll tease them about that very original name "Deal Journal" some other time--names some names of possible takeover targets: Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp and SunTrust Banks. The boys at Deal Journal think that Dimon is just too cheap to go after the big game of Bear Stearns.
Citigroup, where Dimon worked under his mentor--empire-builder Sandy Weill--until he was forced out when the relationship soured, just coincidentally chose to announce an $11 billion deal to by a Japanese brokerage firm. It's not quite the "in your face" big deal that some say the JPMorganChase rival wanted to announce on the day of Dimon's shareholder meeting but the timing still makes it look like a challenge, a glove across the face. "Okay, big boy, you want in on this game. Let's see what you got!" Citi just said to Chase.
So, Dimon, what do you have up your sleeves?

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[Deal Journal]

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