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Bear Stearns CEO Is An Enigma Wrapped In A Joint

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Your company’s in trouble and you need to relax. You’ve tried taking every other day of the week off from work to play in golf and bridge tournaments, but that’s not doing the trick because, as it turns out, you’re almost as bad at those things as you are at not losing money, and you routinely turn in unimpressive scores on the green and sometimes place close to dead last at the card table. Skipping out on conference calls two minutes after they’ve started isn’t helping you to unwind (which is surprising, because you were leaving for your three hour deep tissue massage/nap combo, and those usually do the trick), and neither is playing dead. What’s a CEO to do? If you’re Jimmy Cayne, the answer is simple—get high. Get really, really high.
Yes, according to today’s Journal, James Cayne is a pothead, and may even be stoned right now (you would be, too, if you’d recently been outed in a Page One article for being friends with Maury Povich). It’s apparently common practice for Cayne to light up at the end of the day during bridge tournaments, and the old boy once hotboxed a men’s room at a Doubletree hotel in Memphis with “a woman.” He denies the story, though telling, so very tellingly, Cayne told Journal reporter Kate Kelly that he would only respond “to a specific allegation” and not general questions regarding the fact that he loves weed. That the very next thing he did was fish an empty Fresca can out of the recycling bin and ask Kelly if she had “anything sharp enough to poke a hole” is also suspect.
What else did we learn about Cayne today that we didn’t already know? He fancies himself more important than the leader of the free world, refusing to meet with the President about economic issues unless Bushie comes to 383 Madison Avenue (a visit GWB has yet to make, probably because he’s scared the temptations surrounding him in the office of a drug addict will be too much for him to handle). He’s dying to use the term “Mick” (in July, Cayne told mortgage-division head Tom Marano to “keep [his] Irish down”). And perhaps most telling, this: Cayne can no longer enjoy the singular bliss that is lighting up and enjoying a bowl of Count Chocula, because a few years ago, he was diagnosed with a breakfast-cereal allergy, an affliction which he spoke at length about on July 12. And this would probably explain why he has a tendency to act like an unmitigated prick, a trait illustrated by the fact that Cayne regularly schedules time not to work, per se, but to tell employees the various ways in which their children suck (once informing investment chief Alexandra Lebethal that her 11 year-old son had a “rotten handshake” and will be going “nowhere in life” and sending an email to Alan Schwartz that said, “I bet your kids are going to grow up to be just like me”).
Bear CEO's Handling Of Crisis Raises Issues [WSJ]