A very wise, British-born, not banker but nevertheless partner of Goldman Sachs tasked with dealing with the firm's image once lamented, "Jamie Dimon tells the government to wank off and the public calls him oh so spirited. Would life change for me if Lloyd wore lifts?" The Masters of the Universe aren't usually ones to whine (or give a baker's fuck about what the public thinks) but honestly, what the hell? Why is it that when Goldman has some maybe non-consensual relations with the economy it's not okay but when JPMorgan does they're the best bank in the world? How is it that Goldman can somehow get blamed when a kid in Akron, Ohio kicks a puppy but senior management at JPMorgan picks up where Michael Vick left off and they're just having some fun? Or Lloyd Blankfein is a monster for passing a hobo and only giving him a dollar (when he made so much more last year) but Jamie Dimon rapes the same hobo after helping himself to some change and he's "just being affectionate." It's just not fair and it makes no sense, have come the wails from within 200 West.
The double-standard struck the most sensitive nerve, of course, immediately following the crisis when the hate for Lloyd and GS versus the perceived love for James was so great Goldman's board considered asking LB to wear a Jamie mask "just in public, or when addressing large groups of people, reporters, etc." So we were interested to find out if the public's perception of JD v. LB still chapped some Goldman hide now that things have calmed down a bit. Turns out it does.
Duff McDonald reports:
I was at a fairly large dinner party last Saturday night, and found myself sitting next to the wife of a Goldman partner. She later introduced me to her husband, whose ears perked up when I told him I'd written a biography of Dimon. "You know," he said, "we scratch our heads at Goldman every day about that guy. He can be a much bigger bully in the markets than we are, but everyone still thinks he's a prince and [Goldman CEO] Lloyd Blankfein is the devil."
Seriously, what is it? It can't be all looks because Jamie, while, yes, quite boyishly handsome, doesn't have the Lloyd Grin. Is it the hair? It's the hair, isn't it. If that's the case, you should all know LB's actually got lots of it, he just chose to start covering it with makeup a la Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder a number of years back because he thought he had to to make CEO, as the pates of those who came before him would suggest. You want hair, he'll give you hair.