It looks like whatever curious amalgam of personalities that constitutes the Trump transition team at the moment is all aboard the #DraftDimon train.
A number of conflicting reports broke out late yesterday regarding whether or not Jamie Dimon is Trump's top choice to be the next Secretary of the Treasury, and while the unsubstantiated rumors were flying fast in many directions they were taken seriously enough to negatively impact JPM stock and make Dealbreaker editors dizzy with excitement.
Admittedly, the organization around Trump seems to be something of a chaotic echo chamber so there is almost no way to truly know what the hell is going on inside of it. Adding on to that the fact that Dimon has been utterly silent on the rumors, and we've essentially got a situation in which no one knows anything. What seems to be the consensus though is that Trump has reached out the Khaleesi of Wall Street, but Jamie has responded with a firm "thanks but no thanks."
However, allow us a different theory: Fuck that shit.
Allow us to elaborate.
A report from Reuters this morning contains one golden nugget of information that leads us to believe that Jamie is playing the ultimate game of hard-to-get with a man who has admitted in the past that he gets a little grabby when he sees something he wants. Here's the clue:
A Trump transition team source told Reuters that Dimon is "pitching hard" for the Treasury role.
Since we know right off the bat that the notion of Jamie lobbying for the Treasury is total fucking nonsense, we can step back and look at this for what it is. Using beautifully Trumpian logic and tactics, Team Trump is clearly trying to create a situation in which they are going to make Jamie take the job so he doesn't look like a loser who can't have it. The only two problems that we see with this plan is that it's dumb and will never work. Jamie doesn't need to want it, he needs to know that no one else can save us.
The Trump team also needs to be desperate enough to admit that to him. And they seem pretty close. Judging from the weak-ass "He wants it so bad but we are not that slutty" leak to Reuters, it appears that Jared Kushner has told his father-in-law and Mike Pence that Steven Mnuchin will not fly as Treasury Secretary and has lined up Jeb Hensarling as an emergency fallback should they fail to draft Dimon. Hensarling would probably get through Congress, but he would offer Trump all of Jamie's baggage and none of Jamie's knowledge or know-how. Essentially, "Hensarling" translates politically to "Dimon with no upside."
Kushner needs to get The Donald and The Jamie in a room.
The Reuters report also offers another fun little thought on how Jamie can make this work:
Although Dimon has said repeatedly and publicly that he would not want to be Treasury secretary, it is rare to reject a president-elect's request to join his Cabinet. Doing so could put JPMorgan in an awkward position, because it would then be regulated by an administration Dimon spurned.
But if Dimon did take the job, it is not clear who would step in as CEO.
Several senior executives' names have been floated in the past as potential successors, including Chief Operating Officer Matt Zames and heads of business units such as Gordon Smith, Douglas Petno and Daniel Pinto, but none has been identified by the bank or insiders as being the clear choice to take over as CEO.
First, the notion that a sitting president would retaliate against a bank CEO who spurned his advances to become Treasury Secretary is insane...in any other reality than the one we are currently living in, kind of like how Jamie Dimon would be a bizarre choice in literally any other parallel political dimension than this one (In this one he is perfect, #DraftDimon). So this is something Jamie and JPM shareholders should take under advisement. It's also something that Lloyd, BriMo, Gorman and Corbat should mention when they get ahold of Jamie and beg him to do this.
Secondly, the line of succession at JPM should be a part of the larger tactic here. Zames, Smith and especially Pinto are all guys who could probably step in and keep things afloat with minimal turbulence. But the real chess move wold be to put CFO Marianne Lake in charge once Mr. Dimon goes to Washington. As the first female CEO of a major bank, Lake would be not only super-qualified but also politically bulletproof. It would also be a tremendous moment of schadenfreude to watch the largest bank in the United States hand the reigns over to a woman due in major part to the machinations of the Trump administration.
Crunch time has arrived for us loyal warriors of the #DraftDimon movement. And we are going to need more than Maria Bartiromo tweets to save our economy.