Without question, it's been a difficult year and a half for Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon. While they may not have had to deal with the abysmal failures of some of their peers, they've had to grapple with something perhaps even more difficult: being punished for their manifold success. Peasants with pitchforks, deranged Rolling Stone writers, college-coeds, Washington-- they've all dished the hate and dished it hard. It's been pretty tough to take but rather than commiserate, rather than stroke each others' hair/shining pate, consoling one another with the fact that people will always try to tear down those who are richer and better looking than them, the two have displayed some signs turning on the other. Jamie has expressed to those close to him that nothing has grinded his gears more these last few months than being compared to that guy, who's demonstrated what some believe to be a deaf ear to the populist, anti-Wall Street sentiment, which James has never done. And Lloyd, while it's yet to show up in the papers, has surely spent many an evening bitching to Gary Cohn about the fact that Mr. Dimon could clown-face the a homeless guy and receive a standing ovation for his seed-spreading generosity and commitment to the arts. And while an anecdote from this week's New York cover story could be interpreted as further signs of tension, of animosity between the two, all we see is progress.
Blankfein and Dimon share the crown warily, uneasily. At a recent industry event in Washington, Dimon was giving a presentation and struggling with his laptop when Blankfein cracked from the audience, “I’m feeling a bit better about my competitive position”—to which Dimon cheekily shot back, “Just doing God’s work up here, Lloyd.”
This is how it starts. It starts with a laugh at each others' expense's. A little busting of each others' humps. Before you know it they'll be back to pranking Vikram, as a team.