I had a few, quick thoughts today that I find of interest. Perhaps you will, too.
Sandy Weill has once again achieved notoriety in the press for his interview this week suggesting that big banks don’t work, and should be broken up.
This is the same Sandy Weill that as CEO and Chairman of CitiBank, lobbied for the overthrow of Glass-Steigal, a depression era law that prevented banks and investment companies from being conjoined, and created the first mega-bank by merging Citi with Travelers, creating CitiGroup. Of course less than 10 years later, it was a key player, along with a long list of fellow gang members, including Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Bank America, Bear Stearns, etc that caused the destruction of the world’s economy.
Jamie Dimon had been Weill’s right-hand man for a number of years, and was a key player in the merger. It was only after Weill saw Dimon as a possible competitor that he fired him. As we know, Dimon landed on his feet at JP Morgan.
Weill was ultimately forced out of CitiGroup, followed by a list of even more incompetent leaders, such as Chuck Prince.
Not one of the infamous leaders of the banks that created the recession we are all living through has seen the inside of a jail cell. In fact, most left their plush offices with $6,000 wastebaskets under their arms and obscene bonuses in their pockets.
Now, with chutzpah beyond all reason, some of these characters are attempting comebacks, and some, such as Weill and a few others, are now climbing up on the opposite side of the horse, decrying big banks and through big eyes and innocent grins, claiming they should be broken up.
Speaking of banking and lack of leadership: Jamie Dimon at first belittled the London Whale Trade in JP Morgan as a non-issue, then announced it would be about a $2 billion hit, but of no material impact, followed up in July that it might be as high as $5.7 million. But to this day, nobody seems able to determine an exact figure.
“We took our eyes off the ball,” he claimed. Subsequently he has said that Morgan would attempt to claw back a few million bonus dollars from the manager and players involved.
Who is “We?” Should not this be the singular pronoun, “I”?
A simple question, Mr Dimon: since you are paid your grand sum in excess of $25 million in salary and bonus for being the leader of Morgan, for sitting behind the desk where the buck supposedly stops, should not a goodly portion of your salary and bonus also be clawed back to the company?
But that’s just me…
- Mega-bank creator Sandy Weill reverses course, says break ‘em up (finance.yahoo.com)
- The Sandy Weill–Jamie Dimon War Continues (economicpolicyjournal.com)