On what is shaping up to be the most volatile day in global finance since the death of Lehman Brothers, we are being treated to a true smorgasbord of batsh!t freakouts.
Granted, it's pretty incredible to watch our closest ally (let's be honest with each other, Canada) vote to put a serious short-term hurt on its own economy, and it's jarring to realize that the financial center of Europe will no longer be technically in Europe, but not everything around us is smoldering with a dank smoke smelling of confusion and fear.
Take for example the memos to staff sent out by the CEOs of the biggest banking institutions. As compiled by BI, the statements of our favorite characters in finance remind us that even though we're facing down a bizarre global economic crisis brought about almost entirely by the popular vote of a trusted friend, guys like Lloyd, Jamie and BriMo will always be there for us... and they'll always be exactly who we want them to be.
Like the aforementioned Lloyd Blankfein, for instance. The Brexit vote broke the "wrong" way and everyone is panicking? Ha! Lloyd Blankfein doesn't know panic:
"As you may have seen by now, the British people have voted to leave the European Union, and we respect this outcome. We have had a strong team focused on this potential result for many months. There is no immediate change to the way we conduct our business. A process of negotiating the terms of the exit will now begin, and is expected to take a considerable period of time. Goldman Sachs has a long history of adapting to change, and we will work with the relevant authorities as the terms of the exit become clear. We are committed to our people and our clients, and will work diligently to ensure the best possible outcome. We will continue to communicate with you as relevant information becomes available."
Lloyd is doing what Lloyd does; telling his staff that, sure, this is a big scary deal, but they should be careful to remember that they work at GOLDMAN F@CKING SACHS and ought to therefore act like the mini-masters of the universe that Lloyd and Uncle Gary expect them to be! Fear the Brexit? We ARE the Brexit!
And speaking of guys who aren't fond of behaving like a total candy-asses, Jamie Dimon wrote a little memo of his own...
"British citizens voted yesterday to begin a new, independent relationship with the European Union. This decision is a seminal moment in European politics and in the history of the United Kingdom.
J.P. Morgan has 16,000 employees in the U.K. We are extremely proud of the work they do and our long history in the country. Regardless of today's outcome, we will maintain a large presence in London, Bournemouth and Scotland, serving local clients as we have for more than 150 years.
The framework of the U.K.'s engagement with the EU, including trade agreements, will be negotiated over a period of years. For the moment, we will continue to serve our clients as usual, and our operating model in the U.K. remains the same.
In the months ahead, however, we may need to make changes to our European legal entity structure and the location of some roles. While these changes are not certain, we have to be prepared to comply with new laws as we serve our clients around the world. We will always do our best to take care of our people and do the right thing during times of change.
We recognize the potential for market volatility over the next few weeks and we are ready to help our clients work through it. As of today, there are no changes to the structure of our clients' relationships with JPMorgan Chase or their ability to work with our firm, but again this may change in the coming months or years.
We are hopeful that policymakers will recognize the immense value created through a continued open economic engagement between the U.K. and EU members. As negotiations offer more clarity over the coming months, we will communicate with you and with our clients regarding any relevant changes."
Jamie is the face of American banking and that face is saying, "I eat Brexit for breakfast. JPMorgan is older than the EU and this vote doesn't scare us even like a little, it should scare them though."
As they say in Jamie's native Queens, "We ain't going nowhere, yo."
Jamie is tough and Lloyd is ice-cold, but while both men are prone to statements of length befitting their large personalities, one of their fellow CEOs is more invisible vanilla terse and cautious. Care to share, Michael Corbat?
"Citi has been preparing for this potential outcome for many months and we are well positioned to continue to support our clients through this period of uncertainty."
Ugh, Corbat, does he ever shut up?
But at least Corbat didn't give the air of panic. The same cannot be said for the man who runs Barclays.
"I know your customers and clients will be asking you questions today. Whether it's a pension fund looking for long-term counterparty, or a pensioner looking for holiday money, our answer to them is the same: we are here for you today just as we were yesterday, and this will not change, wherever you are based.
For those of you who are not UK nationals, but based in the UK, I know that the vote to leave may also raise questions about your own future. I do not pretend to have the answers but I know that our people are the lifeblood of Barclays, regardless of where they're from, so we will do all we can to support you.
Since I joined Barclays, I have immersed myself in our history and been guided towards our future by the hopes and ambitions of our people. This is a fantastic organisation with a proud past and great future. And what I've learnt beyond anything else is that in times of great change, people look to the profession of banking to help them steer a course ahead — and that's exactly what we're going to do."
At times, Jes Staley's statement felt like it was edited by senior staff who kept reminding their CEO that the phrase "Smoke 'em if you got 'em" is not the message he wanted to send.
Another CEO prone to starting his communications with an air of "Oh sh!t, what now?" is John Cryan. His memo starts off with the most Deutsche Bank of phrases.
"I'm afraid that this is not such a good day for Europe. At this stage, we cannot fully foresee the consequences, but there's no doubt that they will be negative on all sides. As a bank headquartered in Germany and with a strong presence in the UK, we are well prepared. However, there's no doubt that the uncertainty created by the referendum's results will be a challenge.
Oh John, you had us at "I'm afraid."
Someone who has spent much of his recent career in the cold clutches of fear is the relatively newly-installed leader of Credit Suisse. And Tidjane Thiam used his memo to let employees know that they definitely still worked at a bank:
"Markets have been impacted negatively by the results of the UK referendum. We expect this market volatility to stay with us for some time as the macroeconomic and political environment adjust to this new reality. In these uncertain and volatile markets our clients need us most. This is an opportunity for us to stay close to our clients and to provide our expertise to them.
"Clear eyes, full hearts... we have customers to worry about."
But the coup de grâce of CEOs sticking to their personas on this day of changeable chaos was delivered by the man who never disappoints us, Brian "BriMo" Moynihan.
This is the first line of the memo to BofA Merrill Lynch staff...
Here is a memo to staff from Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, president, Europe, the Middle East and Africa: