Despite the fact that he is a rolly polly ball of smiles that had the good sense to sell his hedge fund to Citi for a billion dollars, as the CEO of the Treasury's special needs child, Vikram Pandit does not have a lot to look forward to, other than the day he "makes more than $1." So when the word got out several weeks ago that he was going to have the opportunity to meet one of his idols, he got pretty psyched Naturally, the idol I speak of is Mr. Jay-Z.
Both Pandit and Jay-Z were being honored at the New York Police and Fire Widow’s and Children’s Benefit Fund (Vikram, for this "ongoing support of the fund and NYC’s first responders" and Jay-Z for "his efforts on behalf of the Fund as the sole beneficiary of last year’s 9/11 'Answer the Call' benefit concert"), and VP would be lying if he said he wasn't excited/scared. What would he say to the guy? That Jay-Z's music got him through the crisis? That whenever he was feeling particularly low in Fall 2008, he'd shut the door and blast 99 Problems? That when he had to go into meetings with the government he'd play Big Pimpin' on the way over, to remind himself that, yeah, despite what the haters say, he's a fuckin' pimp. That during one memorable Town Hall with employees, in an attempt to boost morale, he simply played "Run This Town" over the PA system?** Or cut through the bull shit and state simply, "You're my muse"?
Or would he want to talk shop? Knowing that Jay-Z is a client of Goldman Sachs and had recently sat down with Warren Buffett, Vikram realized Mr. Jay might be interested in hearing about the changes Citi has made to get back to the core business and hey, maybe VP could learn something.
And finally, if things went well, would tonight be the night to float the idea of them working on something together, based on the lyrics to a little ditty Vik has been working on for some time, or would he email Jay-Z the next day telling him how great it was to meet and "also, if you're interested..."
Vikram had no idea and was no closer to an answer by the time he arrived at the Hilton Hotel, butterflies raging. And it is with a heavy heart that we must relay that the world will never know, either. Because according to a spokeswoman for the event, Mr. Jay-Z accepted his award via a previously taped segment. And while he may be a hero, he should also know that last night he made the biggest mistake of his life, and can kiss any potential collaborations good-bye.
**Winking at Dick Parsons on the "her ass could swallow up a g-string" line