John Mack Takes Some Time Out From His Retirement To Gently Sh!t On Millennials

The former Morgan Stanley CEO is kvetching about "Kids these days!"
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We have missed John Mack.

The former Morgan Stanley CEO has been reasonably quiet since his retirement in 2010 but he always manages to charm when he pops up every now and then, draping his battle-scarred no bullshit thought process inside his folksy Carolina accent. Who else, after all, can be fondly remembered for saying "Tell Tim Geithner to get fucked!" in 2008?

JohnMackRetired

Well, Mack made one of his post-retirement appearances at a Yahoo Finance even last Friday and shared some thoughts he's been thinkin.' According to reports from his hosts, Mack seemed very concerned about the effect of automation on the workforce but praised online lending (he's on the board of Lending Club) and told a very Mackian story about once discipling a trader for disrespecting a food delivery guy.

But the most fun that ol' Johnny Mack seemed to have last week was sharing his thoughts on every old person's bête noire; Millennials.

Here's what Mack had to say:

“To have the iPad or the iPhone and to be able to communicate the way they can and get the data and information they have — they’re much more aware,” Mack said. “They’re much more plugged in with each other. There’s just no doubt about that. So from that — that aspect, they’re different.”
But for Mack, access to technology isn’t the only difference.
“By and large, they’re not as driven as my generation,” he continued. “When I was born, it was World War II. And you came into a world that was rebuilding. It was very different. Thank God, we’ve basically had peace for a number of years, and people can grow and expand what they want to do and go to different places with a sense of safety.”

With the reality of all-out global war being replaced by tablets, these whippersnappers have turned soft...and like chubby. This was vintage Mack, he even said "kids today."

“I grew up in a business that you cross every T and you dot every I,” Mack said. “Kids today don’t cross Ts and dot Is. They’re so fast like this. They want to get the product or the idea out there. They don’t go back and check, ‘Did I make a mistake or does this open us up to some issue that could hurt them personally or hurt their company?’”

And if you were looking for an example of just how goofy and unprepared Millennials are to inherit the Earth, Johnny Mack has got you covered:

“They built a company in the real estate business. And in their company, they take credit card numbers that people can pay some of the real estate calls through credit cards. So I’m talking to them, and I find out they do not have PCI insurance. So PCI insurance basically protects you if someone breaks into your database and takes all this credit card data and accounts. You’re gonna be held liable for it unless you have insurance. So I asked, ‘Why don’t you have PCI insurance?’ ‘It’s too expensive,’ [they said]. I said, ‘Well, do you understand if someone hacks into your system, you’ll be outta business, and you’ll be sued, and you’re gonna be in, you know, tremendous water. You’ve gotta pay for that now.”

Now we can't wait until he's allowed to talk about all the shit that Lending Club forgot to do.

Retired Morgan Stanley CEO: Millennials aren't as driven as my generation [Yahoo Finance]

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John Mack Takes Another Job That Doesn't Involve Selling Shoes At Bergdorf Goodman

Earlier today, KKR announced that former Morgan Stanley Chairman and CEO John Mack will be joining the private equity firm as a senior adviser, "supporting new investing activities and providing counsel to KKR portfolio companies." Including the new gig, Mack is now working three jobs, the others being "part-time adviser" to Morgan Stanley and author (as previously noted, he's working on a book). And while it's nice to see him keeping busy, you know what these little diversions don't leave a lot of time for? Going after his dream. As you may recall, back in December Mack told a room full of Morgan Stanley employees that if he hadn't become a banker, he would have been a women's shoe salesman and that in the years since he chose one path over another, the former has never come close to replacing the latter when it comes to things that light a fire inside him. Even when he was CEO of Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley, Mack found time to stop by Bergdorf Goodman and "watch the fierce New York ladies trying on Manolo Blahniks," often advising them on what to purchase, based on which pairs spoke to him and which did not ("Those-- those are the ones. Get them," he would say with undeniably certainty). Which was why, Mack said with a glimmer in his eye, his retirement would include being a "part-time salesman at Berdorf's." And, yet, here we are, more than three months later, and no such job has been procured. What's more, a spokeswoman for the department store has said that despite possessing an undeniable love and appreciation for shoes and being a born salesman, in order to work the floor, Mack would have to go through the same training program, just like everyone else, and he hasn't even filled out the application to do so. Why the hold up? It seems pretty obvious that when it comes to the thing that makes him feel alive someone is scared. Not scared to fail-- hell, he knows he can move that product. But scared the reality won't live up to the dream. Scared that years from now, selling shoes will just be a slog like everything else. So he takes these bull shit little advisory jobs so he can say he "just doesn't have the time" when the topic comes up, knowing full well that he goes to sleep at night and wakes up in the morning thinking about women's shoes and that nothing, and we mean nothing, will ever compare to feeling he'll get running back and forth to the stock room juggling six different styles in 3 different sizes, working his ass off to make that sale. The sooner he realizes that, the better. He obviously told the MS people about his little-known passion/plan for reason: to make himself accountable. If you see Mack today or next week or the week after, [tell him to go for it.] John Mack To Join KKR As Senior Adviser [Deal Journal]

Wall Street Bank That Might Consider Entering The Witness Protection Program Screws Zoe Cruz Out Of A Job For The Second Time

[caption id="attachment_76125" align="alignleft" width="260" caption="How people smile when they're plotting cutting your brake lines."][/caption] Earlier this week, it was announced that Zoe Cruz would be closing her hedge fund, Voras Capital Management. Cruz started the fund in 2010, a few years after she was famously fired by John Mack at Morgan Stanley (where she was co-President), for reasons that remain unclear to this day but include theories like: a) the belief that she was responsible for losing the firm a few billion dollars b) a lot of people disliked her-- including this guy named Vikram Pandi who was "not a fan"-- and told Mack they would leave if he made Cruz CEO c) Mack had to blame either himself or Cruz for some losses and he chose her. d) She was, you know, a girl, and the boys didn’t like that. Regardless, the ousting was probably mildly to majorly humiliating for ZC and since Mack-- who she was extremely close with prior to the personnel change-- was the one who told her to hit the bricks, it would have been fair to assume she spent a least a little time fantasizing about  sticking pins in a Mack voodoo doll and/or slashing his tires. In 2009, though, Mack and Zoe had lunch and she told him she wanted to start a hedge fund. And maybe it was it was the fact that he was feeling nostalgic, maybe it was the fact that tragedy + time = comedy, maybe it was the fact that he was still riding high from "saving" Morgan Stanley, maybe it was the wine, maybe it was that he was feeling bad about the unceremonious canning and thought "Oh, why not just give the poor girl some money" but Mack went back to the office and "told bank executives that he would like to help her start her new investment business, according to people familiar with the matter." And when they said, "But John, didn't you fire her for supposedly taking on too much risk and losing the firm $4 billion," he said "[Well], her track record was a very good track record." So Morgan Stanley gave Cruz $20 million and she was on her way. And while we can't say for sure, and we're not suggesting money necessarily heals all wounds, the $20 million and the stamp of approval and the fact that she could say to investors she was trying to raise money from ,"Hey look, even the guy who fired me wants in" probably helped smooth things over and improve MS's standing in the Cruz-missile's eyes. She likely even had nice things to say about her former employer at social gatherings! And then this happened: Last month, Morgan Stanley asked for its money back, disappointed by the hedge fund's performance and worried about the shrinking size of Ms. Cruz's firm, according to people familiar with the matter...The retreat by Morgan Stanley was part of broader moves to sell off assets that Chief Executive James Gorman felt exposed the company to unnecessary risk or otherwise didn't serve clients, the people said...On Thursday, the 57-year-old Ms. Cruz told clients in a letter that she has decided to close down Voras Capital Management. The letter cited "the difficult capital-raising environment for new funds and the enormous uncertainty and volatility in the markets," according to a person who saw the letter. It was signed by Ms. Cruz. Oooo, that's not good. In fact, it's worse than if they'd never given her the $20 mill at all. But to give and take back? Yikes. All those nice things Cruz said about MS and Co? Strike them from the record because they are so over! Don't call, don't write, don't cry don't beg 'cause you're done! Finished! Morgan Stanely Bailed On Firm [WSJ]