Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Banker Who Just Does Not Get It

You just gotta read this.

Dear Mr. Dimon:

I don't know how to tell you this... but you are not Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, or even Michael Dell.

You are a guy born into a family of the 1%. You went to the "right" schools all of your life (and by "right", I don't mean the curriculum, which was the same in every other school... I mean you gained the exclusivity cache that the establishment reserves for its members and their issue), and you had the good fortune to be included in the club due to your unique personal, ethnic, and cultural background... if you were a Puerto Rican kid from the South Bronx I doubt you would have your current position - Harvard Business School or not. When you are born on 3rd base, its just not that far to home plate. As my friend Donal Lang quiped - "is is easy to confuse privilege with talent". You really shouldn't do that. Mr. Dimon.

You did not invent banking and you are not the founder of J.P. Morgan. You and your ilk "captured the flag" of the CEO office, and you (and your ilk) rode the inflation of the U.S. credit system to fame and glory - but please, "don't confuse brains with a bull market." You and your ilk could no more survive the contraction in that system without the support and acquiescence of the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury than a trapped minor survive a mine collapse without oxygen.

You do not "run" J.P. Morgan... but you do bleed it dry. All CEO's know this truth - their corporation runs them. Without the armies of analysts and consultants (Mckinsey, Booze-Allen et al) and the legions of CPA's, Lawyers, Board Members, and support staff you wouldn't know how to get into your building. These other folks run the place in a very similar fashion to a rugby scrum... and that's OK. That's the way it is when you have 60,000 employees... but claiming credit where credit is not due is beneath you.

Not that you aren't smart, driven, hardworking, and diligent - you are. You beat the rest of the pack to that corner office... that in itself is quite an accomplishment - it is simply not worth $23 million per year. I, myself, am at least as smart as you (care to play Chess with me? Or Concentration?  I'd wipe the floor with you), and I would do it for $5 million. I know some folks that are a great deal smarter than you and I that would do it for $1 million (but not me... that's not enough compensation for me to come off the bench, quit my farm, and sit through all those meetings every day).

JP Morgan, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs... you folks are nothing more than branch offices of the Federal Reserve Banking System. Your size and financial power derives as much from the U.S. military enforcing US$ hegemony around the world, and the U.S. Navy protecting Oil shipping lanes, than anything else (if you doubt this, watch what happens to "banking" if a U.S. or Israeli dust up with Iran leaves the Straight of Hormuz closed for even a couple days). You and your cohorts were able to toot your horn only because of the unique environment of exponential growth in credit and natural resource supplies of the past several decades... in an environment of exponential decay in credit and natural resource supplies you and your industry will need to be rescued several times over I should imagine... so what, exactly, is so "productive" about you?

In addition to confusing brains with a bull market, you and your ilk have stacked the deck in Washington, DC, and equally as importantly (but flying under the media's radar) in the state of Delaware's State and Legislative houses, where you have written corporate law to ensure that you are NEVER challenged and that your board directors is nothing but a rubber stamp leaving you with a government sanctioned AND FINANCED monopoly. If you guys are soooo smart and sooo competent, what's up with the buying of government protection? When you come right down to it there is little difference between you and the Russian oligarchs.

This is coming from a guy that worked in the banking and securities markets most of his career, not some OWS kid in a tent pissed off because he's $200k in debt for a history degree from Brown. If I were in your position I don't think I would do things that much differently. Except I wouldn't believe my OWN bull sh#!.

I am, however, very impressed with your ability to spin the story and issue propaganda that has led some in the middle class to sympathize with you and to demonize the kids of OWS, many of whom see clearly the workings of the system before them. Unfortunately for the Middle Management Republicans they are unfamiliar with "Jeffers Media Theory" (please feel free to google).

In the final analysis it matters not. You and yours will not be able to stop the Internet from shedding the light of day on the truth of it all... I look forward to seeing how it all works out with great anticipation.

Sincerely yours,


P.S. What America NEEDS at this very moment is NOT more egomaniacal bankers... we need more small business owners and founders and people that are willing to to go to work everyday, come home to their family every night, and be good neighbors.


PioneerPreppy said...

Well said Greg!!!

tweell said...

As you point out, Mr. Dimon is of the nobility and will hold firm to the belief that he and his class are fulfilling their obligations and deserving of their perks. I wonder if he has to work at believing that worldview, or is it unquestioned even now.