Morning Coffee: Inside Jamie Dimon's JPMorgan. Bad luck about your business trip in 2026
It's worth remembering that when NY Magazine's Intelligencer section wrote a profile of David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, in August, it wasn't exactly favorourable. "Is David Solomon too big a jerk to run Goldman Sachs?", went the headline, and the article seemed to suggest that yes, he was.
Five months later, the same magazine has given Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan the same treatment. And Dimon comes off considerably less bloodied than D-Sol.
The bad things that Intelligencer has to say about Jamie are things already known and that aren't that bad anyway in the context of running a bank. He has "an ego." He doesn't suffer fools gladly. He, "speaks in a whirlwind of fucks." He's impatient, digests information quickly, demands written reports 48 hours ahead of time and likes a single sheet to-do list.
Despite seemingly digging about JPMorgan in search of dirt, the author (a private equity professional who admits he'd be in trouble with his boss if he upsets JPMorgan at all), doesn't seem to find much. Insiders don't disparage Dimon. Nor do rivals: a hedge fund manager declares that JPMorgan's research and trade execution are better than others; JPMorgan bankers are deemed to have more ethics, greater intellectual depth; a former risk manager praises the rigour of JPMorgan's risk procedures.
Instead of excoriating Dimon, the article therefore comes across as something of a eulogy. Here's a man who's a "homebody" who runs a bank, who eschews black tie events for hanging out with his family, who's still at the top of his game after throat cancer and a torn aorta. Poor David Solomon must be wondering what he did wrong.
Separately, the Telegraph reports that PWC is implementing the kind of policy that's surely coming to banks in future: in an effort to cut carbon emissions, the Big Four firm is telling its people to fly less or to stop flying business class (unless it's a long haul night flight or business critical meeting). The rules apply to 'partners, directors and other staff' who were previously allowed to fly business class for any journey more than five hours long.
UBS poached Tommy Rueger from JPMorgan as global co-head of equity capital markets. Rueger was made vice chairman of JPMorgan earlier this year. (Bloomberg)
Banks like Citi, Barclays and JPMorgan are building their carbon trading teams. (Bloomberg)
Todd Barker, a former Citadel portfolio manager, is starting an anti-pod multimanager firm, Freestone Grove Partners. He says pod shops are too big, have high costs and are crowding into the same trades, potentially diluting returns. (Bloomberg)
Top law firms are competing hard for talent. A first-year associate at a top firm can now make $225k in base salary, and senior associates could make as much as $435k. Star lawyers are paid $15m to $20m. (WSJ)
UBS has been hit with $400mn of real estate costs tied to its takeover of Credit Suisse, including breaking leases on Credit Suisse office buildings. (Financial Times)
It's not easy being a management consultant now. “There just isn’t enough work to go around, so the market has become very aggressive and competitive." And: "If you are lucky, the client might say to you. ‘These guys are offering to do it for 30% less than you — match that and we might go with you.’ That gives you another chance to sharpen your pencil.” (The Times)
The new career strategy: being "delulu," or “delusional.” Take leaps that are riskier than most would take in their careers, relationships and other parts of your life. "Sometimes the idea of manifesting your dreams internationally—you have to be a little delulu to believe it.” (WSJ)
What's wrong with the US Treasury bond market? “Hypothetically, keeping bills at 60% of issuance means the Treasury is afraid that the market cannot absorb the issuance, which tells you there’s a really deep problem in the Treasury market. That’s the type of policy-maker blinking that would invite the bond market vigilantes out in force.” (WSJ)
When British bankers were aristocratic types: remembering David Benson, the watercolour artist, banker and "exceptional judge of good people." (Telegraph)
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