Lame Leader of the Week Award: Jamie Dimon

Boring, boring, boring. I know, I know. But what could I do? I had no choice. I had no choice but to give another Lame Leader of the Week Award to another CEO of another Too Big to Fail American bank, this time to Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase. As recently as April, Dimon was dismissing reports his bank was making bets so big they were distorting a market in credit derivatives. Such reports were, he insisted, “a complete tempest in a teapot.” But just a few weeks later Dimon was forced by facts to eat crow, to publicly admit JPMorgan’s losses of more than $2 billion were a wound that was “self inflicted.”
Whatever Dimon’s previous reputation as one of the few leaders on Wall Street to have escaped the financial crisis nearly unscathed, there’s no escaping blame for losses this size. There are only two possibilities. Either Dimon was ignorant of what his subordinates were up to. Or he knew what they were doing and approved of bets that turned out a colossal mistake. Either way his heyday – if not his pay day – is over. Either way there’s blood in the water and sharks nearby.

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