Opening Bell 3.6.20 - Dealbreaker

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WWJD - JAMIE DIMON HAS HEART SURGERY

Flags are flying at half-mast today. You might want to sit down...

Jamie Dimon...yes, that Jamie Dimon had an emergency heart surgery yesterday and is recovering as of last night from an acute aortic heart dissection. I’m no doctor but any time you have “heart” and “dissection” in the same sentence, that can NOT be good. According to reports, JD is awake and recovering. The markets over the last few days have taken a toll on all of our tickers, JD.

Protect this house

Co-Presidents Daniel Pinto and Gordon Smith are at the helm and ready to carry the torch while Jamie is down and out. Whether or not the two are planning to do their CEO like Robert Baratheon remains to be seen, but this isn’t the first health scare for the long-time JPM CEO. Back in 2014, he battled throat cancer but still managed to run the powerful bank throughout his eight-week chemotherapy treatment, from which he fully recovered. So you could say he’s seen some sh*t.

Dimon is only 63 years young at this point, so multiple health issues are a bit concerning. He claimed at JPM’s recent Investor Day that he is planning to work for at least five more years. Who does he think he is, the Tom Brady of banking?

Of course, the bank will be fine while Dimon is on the DL. There are plenty of executives who don’t know their kid's names that will carry the load, but under Jamie’s supervision, JPMorgan has flourished, largely due to the fact that it avoided getting mixed up in mortgage-backed securities ahead of the 2008 financial crisis. As a result, the bank was able to swipe up Bear Stearns and the banking ops of Washington Mutual, leading to it becoming the biggest US bank by assets. All in favor of changing the banks’ name to “JD Morgan?”

The Bottom Line ...

Major heart surgeries will really put things into perspective. With the recent death of Jack Welch, it's a good time to remember that there are only two things that are certain: death … and The Water Coolest being delivered to your inbox every morning.

And while plenty of the GOATs of commerce are on the proverbial “back nine” of their careers. it’s become abundantly clear that some of these masters of the universe are having a harder time turning over the key to the kingdom *cough* Ray Dalio and Warren Buffett *cough*. 

While JPM certainly has a succession plan in place, Bridgewater and Berkshire Hathaway's plan Bs are less clear. 

Jamie Dimon has heart surgery [WSJ]

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By World Economic Forum (Flickr: The Global Financial Context: James Dimon) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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