[caption id="attachment_73269" align="alignright" width="260" caption="People who *can* dance"][/caption] There are a lot of things Jamie Dimon is very, very good at: building a fortress balance sheet, chatting up reporters in elevators, doing sake bombs, and being appreciably better looking than his peers, to name just a few. In other areas, the JPMorgan CEO has left room for improvement. For example, his dancing skills, about which Dimon's own wife and mother are unsparing in their directness at this point. JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon “is a terrible dancer,” his wife, Judy Dimon, said last night at a gala for Ballet Hispanico, of which JPMorgan was the lead sponsor. She then moved her shoulders straight up and down to demonstrate what the 56 year-old leader of the biggest US bank, with $2.27 trillion of assets at year-end, does on the dance floor. Jame Dimon's mom, Themis Dimon, was no more encouraging. Is he a good dancer? "No," she said, shaking her head. Jamie Dimon wasn't present to prove otherwise. “Unfortunately he couldn’t be here tonight because he had another commitment,” said his wife, a Ballet Hispanico board member and the event’s honorary chairman. Too bad. Jamie Dimon missed a good party. His wife, in a slim-fitting coral gown, danced a salsa with New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, reminiscent of his moves in the end zone after scoring a touchdown. Speaking of people who can hold their own on the dance floor? “We like to dance,” Jamie Dimon's father Theodore Dimon, there with his wife and Jamie's twin brother, told Bloomberg. “We dance the fox trot -- it’s nice and easy.” Scene Last Night: Victor Cruz, Dimon for Ballet Hispanico [Bloomberg]
Time was, working on Wall Street meant going to great lengths to lavishly entertain clients whose business you wanted to win or keep. Client wanted to party on a yacht with forty Brazilian hookers? You made it happen. Client wanted Jay-Z to perform at his son's Bar Mitzvah? You were on it. Client wanted you to manipulate Libor while simultaneously hand feeding him grapes? All you wanted to know was red or green. Whatever they wanted you delivered and then some and the best part was nobody said anything about it. Nobody judged, nobody protested, nobody wondered if flying to Hyōgo Prefecture to personally slaughter a cow and bring it back with you in business class so the client's dinner would be fresh was the best use of company money. Then you nearly take down the global financial system and have to be bailed out by the government and all of a sudden it's like people think they have the right to count your (or in the case of banks still partially owned by the UK, their) money. So you scale back the big outings. You make less of a spectacle. Should be enough to get 'em off your backs, only it's never enough for these people. They're not happy until you're taking clients to Applebee's and suggesting getting one appetizer and splitting an entrée, or inviting them to major international sporting events and then denying them black car service, putting them up in relative dumps, and making them drink malt liquor. Which is more or less what one bank is doing. The games are typically one of the biggest corporate schmoozefests on the calendar, with official sponsors and interlopers alike flashing the cash for the best tickets, best party venues and best celebrity guests. Many banks and other companies spent mightily four years ago in Beijing to show their clients a good time and increase their profile in China. This time around, banks are under pressure to cut costs and avoid displays of wealth that will further inflame an already angry public. What is more, the U.K.'s influence in the world isn't what it used to be, and its economy, mired in recession, doesn't exactly have the growth prospects of China's. And antibanking sentiment here is still off the charts after several years of global financial turmoil. Lloyds is arguably in the trickiest position by virtue of its Olympic sponsorship. The [sponsorship] deal was struck in the heady window between the day London was awarded the games in 2005 and when the global financial crisis kicked into gear—and kicked Lloyds into trouble and, eventually, partial state ownership. One of the main points of such deals is the ability to strut with clients around the Olympic Park—something the bank is largely keeping in check. For one thing, Lloyds didn't buy all of the several thousand tickets allocated to it in the original agreement. And being invited to the games by Lloyds isn't exactly a luxe affair. The bank said "the majority of our guests will travel to and from Olympic venues on public transport." Lloyds also says it won't offer guests transfers to and from airports, and will in some cases put them up at three- or four-star hotels—a contrast to the five-star accommodations frequently used in bank hospitality events. Lloyds has also put the kibosh on Champagne. Happy now? Hold the Bubbly: London Financiers Keep Low Profile at Olympics [WSJ]
Greek god. Philosopher. Adonis. The only person on earth who has earned the right to have an opinion about anything. All appropriate characterizations of one Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and the way at least three-quarters of all living homo sapiens have described NNT in their conversations with friends and in their diaries. And while his many admirers have surely studied him in great detail in the hopes of one day having the opportunity to unlock his heart or simply bask in his reflected glory for a moment or two, not everyone has a comprehensive list of the things that rev Taleb's engine and, more importantly, that tick him off. Luckily, a recent profile by Chronicle writer Tom Bartlett has produced a near-complete guide to the likes and dislikes of Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Read it, print it out, carry it in your pocket-- but really, consider taking the time to commit it to memory. Your chance may only come along once and you don't want to fuck it up by fumbling around your notes because you can't remember what his thoughts are on "bourgeois bohemian bonus earners" or fruit.