On One of The Worst Days Of WhaleGate For Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan's Vice-Chairman Thought It Would Make Him Feel Better To Hear From Another Guy Who's Sort Of But Not Really Been There

As you may have heard, Summer 2012 was not the best of times for JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. On May 10, after having said that a Bloomberg story about one of its London traders making very large, very worrisome bets was but "a tempest in a teapot," the bank announced that said trader had lost approximately $2 billion. On May 11, it was suggested that Dimon's title of most loved-banker on Wall Street was up for grabs. On June 19, Dimon was forced to testify on Capitol Hill. In July 13, JPMorgan was forced to revise the $2 billion loss to $6 billion. Associates who surrounded Dimon during these days said that the stress was visibly wearing on him, and that it was arguably one of the worst periods of his career. And while senior executives logged long hours and gave up weekends and holidays to help deal with the fallout, gathering documents and unwinding trades and trying to manage the crisis, only one busted his ass to actually give Jamie Dimon what he needed: Jimmy Lee. After spending much of July 13 again explaining the trading loss to the media and to research analysts—including making the stunning admission that the traders in London may have intentionally mismarked the trades to make them look less egregious, a potential illegality that the Justice Department is still investigating—the exhausted Dimon got an unexpected call from Tom Brady, the star quarterback of the New England Patriots. (Jimmy Lee, a legendary sports fan, had arranged for it.) Brady reminded Dimon that even Super Bowl champs have bad days and told him “to hang in there.” And after thinking about it and thinking about it and thinking about it some more, snapped his finger and said, "I've got it- we need to get Tom Brady on the line." And then gathered his five secretaries in his office and told them to clear his and their schedules because they needed to get this deal done by the end of the day. And when he finally got Brady on the line, assured him that the call would be welcome and that it wouldn't be awkward* or seem out of left field. "Just tell him he's got this. Tell him that if banking or football were easy everyone would be doing it. Tell him that even on your worst day, you still get to go home and bang that little Brazilian of yours. No, wait, scratch that. Tell him you can't generate profits and be responsible for the losses at the same time. Tell him, 'Keep your chin, up, kid.' Tell him you're down by 7, you just took a huge sack, Gronkowski's got a broken leg and you're not wearing a cup. But there's still time left on that clock, Jamie D. And as long as there's time left on that clock, you're going to score a mother fucking touchdown. Tell him, 'Go get 'em, Tiger.' You still there, pal?" Jamie Dimon On The Line [VF]
Author:
Publish date:

As you may have heard, Summer 2012 was not the best of times for JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. On May 10, after having said that a Bloomberg story about one of its London traders making very large, very worrisome bets was but "a tempest in a teapot," the bank announced that said trader had lost approximately $2 billion. On May 11, it was suggested that Dimon's title of most-loved banker on Wall Street was up for grabs. On June 19, Dimon was forced to testify on Capitol Hill. On July 13, JPMorgan revised the $2 billion loss to $6 billion. Associates who surrounded Dimon during these days said that the stress was visibly wearing on him, and that it was arguably one of the worst periods of his career. And while senior executives logged long hours and gave up weekends and holidays to help deal with the fallout, gathering documents and unwinding trades and trying to manage the crisis, only one busted his ass to actually give Jamie Dimon what he needed: Jimmy Lee.

After spending much of July 13 again explaining the trading loss to the media and to research analysts—including making the stunning admission that the traders in London may have intentionally mismarked the trades to make them look less egregious, a potential illegality that the Justice Department is still investigating—the exhausted Dimon got an unexpected call from Tom Brady, the star quarterback of the New England Patriots. (Jimmy Lee, a legendary sports fan, had arranged for it.) Brady reminded Dimon that even Super Bowl champs have bad days and told him “to hang in there.” “I was surprised he even knew who I was, to tell you the truth,” Dimon says.

What's particularly great about this anecdote, via Bethany McLean's article in Vanity Fair, is that if you only saw it as a highlight somewhere else, you might have thought that Tom Brady had read about JPMorgan's woes in the paper and was like, "I gotta give this guy a call." That, in other words, he was being a self-important douche. When in reality, on the day JPMorgan had to tell the public it'd actually lost $6 billion, the vice-chairman of investment banking said to himself, "I've got to do something. How can I help Jamie? Think, Jimmy, THINK."

And after thinking about it and thinking about it and thinking about it some more, snapped his finger and said, "I've got it- we need to get Tom Brady on the line." And then gathered his five secretaries in his office and told them to clear his and their schedules because they needed to get this deal done by the end of the day. And when he finally got Brady on the line, assured him that the call would be welcome and that it wouldn't be awkward* or seem out of left field. "Just tell him he's got this. Tell him that if banking or football were easy everyone would be doing it. Tell him that even on your worst day, you still get to go home and bang that little Brazilian of yours. No, wait, scratch that. Tell him you can't generate profits and be responsible for the losses at the same time. Tell him, 'Keep your chin, up, kid.' Tell him you're down by 7, you just took a huge sack, Gronkowski's got a broken leg and you're not wearing a cup. But there's still time left on that clock, Jamie D. And as long as there's time left on that clock, you're going to score a mother fucking touchdown. Tell him, 'Go get 'em, Tiger.' Tom? You still there, pal?"

Jamie Dimon On The Line [VF]
*Which, based on the account, kind of sounds like it was? For both Dimon and Brady? How did the call end-- "Well, just keep me posted on how everything turns out"?

Related

Jamie Dimon (Sort Of) Returns Tom Brady's Favor

Back in October, the most wonderful aspect of the JPMorgan Whale Tale emerged in the pages of Vanity Fair: the day Vice-Chairman Jimmy Lee barricaded himself in his office determined to come up with a way to help Jamie Dimon, and after hours of thinking real hard, summoned his six secretaries and told them they had a job to do, which was getting Tom Brady on the horn so he could deliver a pep talk sure to cheer up the boss. Was the call kind of awkward, considering the two had never spoken and Brady's lack of useful investment ideas likely meant his big speech involved not much more than  "Even Super Bowl champion quarterbacks have bad days" and "Keep your chin up out there?" Probably. And yet some sort of bond was clearly forged, which would explain why Dimon felt compelled to throw Brady this bone:

Taking Chairman Title Away From Jamie Dimon Is The Craziest God Damn Thing Ken Langone's Heard Today

As you may have heard, recently some JP Morgan shareholders have been making a lot of noise about their desire to strip Jamie Dimon of his gig as JP Morgan Chairman. Their argument centers largely on last summer's incident in which one of the bank's employees lost $6+ billion on a trade. So far the board has rallied behind JD, but we hadn't yet heard from veterans of the business community. What, for instance, is Ken Langone's reaction to the idea that Jamie can't hold down two jobs at the same time? Whattayanuts? It's horse shit, is what! "Nuts!" he told Bloomberg TV the afternoon. "It's nuts!" 1. Jamie Dimon is the best CEO in America, nay, the universe 2. JPMorgan is so good is can afford things like the Whale. 3. Ken loves Jamie, as a human. 4 This "whole nonsense about governance is a lot of horse feathers" to Big Langs and 5. Unrelated but important: Ken Langone would like to remind you that he once vanquished Eliot Spitzer.

Bloomberg: Not One Bank CEO Can Fill Jamie Dimon's Shoes, Especially Not That Guy From Australia Who Doesn't Own An Iron

Earlier today, Bloomberg ran a lengthy piece about the latest crisis on Wall Street: a lack of Jamie Dimon. Specifically, a lack of Jamie Dimon telling meddlesome regulators, anti-industry populists, know-nothing Congressmen, and hypocrite bastard newspapers where they can go and what they can suck. True, it's not as though he's gone anywhere, and he's still reminding people "it's a free fucking country" but "juggling multiple investigations and a $5.8 billion trading loss on wrong-way bets on credit derivatives" has left his hands a little tied and, some believe, cost him his once untouchable "stature" in the industry. And while one should never simply offer problems without solutions, Bloomberg isn't gonna sugarcoat this one: when it comes to "any kind of credible statesmen" to step in for JD, Wall Street is shit out of luck and not just because no one besides Lloyd came close in sales of their respective Bankers At Work And Play pin-up calendars. Among current CEO's, Lloyd Blankfein, Brian Moynihan and Vikram Pandit are deemed too busy "fixing their own firms or repairing their reputations," while Wells Fargo chief John Stumpf, though respected among his peers, is ruled out due to geography (“Part of Jamie’s fitting into that role was his natural brashness as a Wall Streeter and New Yorker, and that is not John"). But hey, what about that James Gorman guy? Runs Morgan Stanley, is based in New York, has been known to put a foot up an ass when necessary? Don't even get Bloomberg started. James Gorman, 54...doesn’t fit the Wall Street titan stereotype. The Australian prefers a rumpled tuxedo he bought as a business school student in 1980 to Armani for black- tie events, and he stocks Vegemite in the executive kitchen. Or maybe perhaps all that makes him perfect for the gig? The way we see it, Jim Gorman doesn't have the time or patience for fancy extras like unwrinkled suits and burgers made from foie gras-fed cows. All he cares about is not taking shit, or prisoners. Someone asks him, "What is this Vegemite stuff," he knocks their two front teeth out. You suggest maybe he could have ironed his shirt before that gala, he takes out that iron and smashes you in the face with it. You want a worthy successor for the job, you've got him. Wall Street Leaderless In Rules Fight As Dimon Diminished [Bloomberg]