Late Lunchtime Links: Instability increases at JPMorgan as insiders brief extensively against Jamie Dimon

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Knife in the back

Death in the FX market

In the recent past, Jamie Dimon has seemed a reasonably stable place to work. Yes, Bill Winters was deposed in 2009. Yes, it’s been a little political at times.  But Jamie Dimon provided some stability. Unlike Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs, there were no calls for Dimon to retire.

Now, however, things appear to be changing. Today brings two significant articles, one in the Wall Street Journal and the other on Bloomberg, both based on statements from, “senior insiders,” and both a damning indictment of Jamie Dimon.

Bloomberg is most damning. Dimon was complacent, ignored the advice of his risk managers, and encouraged the CIO to take more risk in search of profits, it says.

Specifically, Bloomberg claims that Bill Winters and Steven Black sought information on the CIO’s risk profile after the financial crisis in 2008. The two men reportedly proposed making Ashley Bacon, then head of market risk for the investment bank, responsible for risk in the CIO too. Bloomberg claims they also requested that CIO risks be disclosed in greater detail at the bank’s review meetings and that the operating committee should be involved in discussing the risks at the CIO. However, in 2009 Winters was dismissed by Dimon and Black was ‘relieved of operating responsibility’.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal has also spoken to some “senior insiders” at JPMorgan. These ones say that Peter Weiland, then chief risk officer for the CIO, became concerned about the level of risk it was taking in 2010 and began a review of the CIO’s risk limits last summer. Weiland also pressed for reductions in the CIO’s positions and for its credit risk officers to be freed up from other things and allowed to do their actual jobs, says the Wall Street Journal. All of this sounds sensible. But Weiland was replaced by a former trader with no experience of risk management this January.

Achilles Macris comes off badly from the WSJ article too, seeming overly political and occasionally unmanageable.

Most interesting, however, are the implications for Jamie Dimon and the culture at JPMorgan: with senior people are briefing publically against him, factionalism seems inevitable. If JPMorgan was a political place to work in the past, it will be a lot more so in the future.


UBS has hired a joint head of corporate broking from Citigroup. (Bloomberg)

Christian Meissner thinks Greece WILL leave the euro, and that this will be manageable. (Bloomberg) 

It’s not really that expensive to be an expat in London. (Mercer) 

Citadel and CQS are hiring Asian hedge fund managers who thought they could make it on their own, and then realised they couldn’t. (Bloomberg)

Mark Schwartz, who retired from Goldman Sachs in 2001, will be returning soon as head of Goldman Sachs in Asia. (Financial Times)

“We are pleased that Mark Schwartz is rejoining Goldman Sachs,” Mr. Blankfein said in a release. “He played a critical role in helping to build our businesses across Asia Pacific.” (Dealbook)

Former head of the civil service, now in the House of Lords, says banks ought to supplement the pay of people working at the Treasury. (Financial Times)

Goldman Sachs analyst says revenues may fall 30% between 1st and 3rd quarters. (Bloomberg) 

Bankers now finding it impossible to relax. (CNBC)

IQ is positively correlated with self deception. (Falkenblog) 

How to construct a plan for your career. (Uber)