JPMorgan Motto: Shoot the Women First?
I’m really ticked off right now. If I’d got this post out twenty-four hours ago like I’d planned I would have scooped every major paper by at least two hours; instead, I get to clean up after the parade. Oh, well.
Those of you following the JPMC debacle may have been idly wondering who’s going to take the fall for Jamie Dimon and the other malefactors. Well, the word I’d heard yesterday morning was this: Scuttlebutt among many on the Street was that along with the London Whale, Bruno Iksil, the person currently being sold as the proximate cause of JPMC’s current set of woes, would be sacrificed, along with at least one of his bosses — something that seems to have been telegraphed by this Reuters article depicting him as someone who only did what he thought his bosses would want or approve. And the boss most likely to get it in the neck, per the rumor mill? A woman, Ina Drew. Why? Because also according to the rumor mill, Jamie Dimon hates women in executive authority just about as much as does Larry Summers, and any mistake, whether made above them or below them in authority, is somehow the woman’s fault per Dimon.
And sure enough, news came early yesterday afternoon that Ina Drew was going to fall on her sword.
If what they say about him is true, Jamie Dimon must be smiling right now. He saves himself and dumps a woman at the same time, taking the focus away from what he allowed and encouraged and shoving it onto the sacrificial figures.
But his smile may not last long.
Elizabeth Warren, for one, isn’t messing around with blaming expendable people, men or women. She knows, just as we know with the Murdoch media scandals, and from the scandals of Abu Ghraib, that the rot starts at the top, and not with easily-jettisoned mid-level types; thus, She’s calling for Dimon to resign from the New York Federal Reserve Bank Board.
UPDATE: The Abu Ghraib and Murdoch parallels intensify. This excerpt from a May 14, 2012 Bloomberg article shows that Drew was doing what Dimon wanted her to do:
Dimon pushed Drew’s unit, which invests deposits the bank hasn’t loaned, to seek profit by speculating on higher-yielding assets such as credit derivatives, according to five former executives. The CEO suggested positions, a current executive said. Profits surged over the next five years as assets quadrupled to $356 billion and employees were given proprietary- trading accounts, current and former executives said.
UPDATE 2: So far, the Fail Whale himself hasn’t been touched, but Drew and two of her subordinates are gone. This is in line with what one of my scuttlebutters was saying — that Dimon would go after Drew and her power structure but spare Iskil. One wonders what dirt Iskil has on Dimon to make this happen. I’d avoid small planes and open windows if I were the Fail Whale.