As John Mack takes his valedictory lap around Wall Street, The Wall Street Journal has decided to take the Knife down a few pegs. It seems that, in choosing a successor to Mack, the board thought it best to hire someone who shares nothing with Mack besides a penchant for cutting costs.
To begin with, James Gorman is Australian. But he's not like the Australians you've seen on TV: He's deliberate, cautious and doesn't use foul language. In all the ways that count, he's actually less Australian than North Carolina's own John Makhoul.
He's not even taking Johnny's bigger office, allowing the dowager empress to keep her throne until he decides to throw her overboard. He's threatened to discipline--after careful consideration--any floor trader that even looks at him, much less offers him a standing ovation. Gorman's thinking on that point is simple: You don't applaud the guy who's cutting your balls off; you thank him quietly, miss, and start trading like the stupid girl that you are. And don't dare call him Jim.
Most importantly, he's decided to keep his alleged abetting of insider-traders to an absolute minimum, so as to avoid any unpleasantness with the Feds.
"His communication skills and ability to lay out a plan are better than mine," do-it-on-a-whim Johnny said. "He doesn't have the baggage that some of us have." And as his first order of business--after he mulls it for 30 days--he will have this stomach-turning item removed from Morgan Stanley vending machines around the world, so get your fill ASAP.
Other key differences between Jim James Gorman and John Q. Mack:
- Gorman hates cannolis. And, by extension, Italian people. But both Gorman and Mack hate Charlie Gasparino.
- Gorman is the only person on earth who can stand David Einhorn's presence.
- Unlike Mack, Gorman can, in fact, control himself.
- Also unlike Mack, Gorman is not a huge fan of the Outback Steakhouse.