The Staley Memo: What Jamie Dimon Wrote and What He Was Thinking


You already know that Jes Staley, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon's longtime lieutenant, is jumping ship for BlueMountain Capital Management, one of the hedge funds on the other side of the bank's London Whale trades: trades that cost the bank more than $6 billion last year. And you've probably already read the memo Dimon sent around to bank employees announcing Staley's move : a bland, off-the-shelf corporate scribble that at first seems to say all the right things, but in the end says nothing.

What you may not know is what Dimon was really thinking as he crafted that memo. Wonder no more. Here, in a (fictitious) Motley Fool scoop, our exclusive telepathic source looks into the mind of Dimon and reveals what the tough-talking, New York City native was really thinking as his angry, shaking hands typed the Staley memo.

Dimon's memo:
"This morning it was announced that our colleague, Jes Staley, will be leaving JPMorgan Chase to join BlueMountain Capital Management as a Managing Partner and Member of its Management Committee."

Dimon's brain:
I can't believe this mook. Thirty-four years with JPMorgan, and he up and leaves, just like that. And not just for some other bank. That I could have lived with. But BlueMountain Capital Management? One of the hedge funds that helped take down Bruno Iksil, the London Whale, which cost the bank billions of dollars? Not to mention my sterling reputation as a risk manager.

Iksil. Don't even get me started on that guy. What the hell kind of a name is Iksil anyway? Easy, Jamie. Settle down. My wife told me not to use that name anymore. Makes my blood pressure spike. Where's my scotch?

Dimon's memo:
"Jes has been an extraordinary leader and a valued partner for many of us at JPMorgan over the years. He joined our company more than 34 years ago, and during this time he served in many critical management roles, including head of our Investment Bank, Asset Management group, Private Bank, and as one of the founders of our equities business. He has served our firm with distinction as a member of our firmwide Operating Committee, and he has been a trusted mentor to many people at our company."

Dimon's brain:
Okay, so I kinda sorta jumped a couple of younger guys at the bank over Staley for eventual succession to CEO. Zames, Cavanaugh, and Pinto. All good company guys, and young! All in their 40s, ready to jump into the captain's chair and take the wheel when I'm ready to hang up my hat -- which is NOT, I repeat NOT, anytime soon. Geez, I gotta be careful. Say stuff like that out loud around here, and suddenly everyone's gunning for you.

Look, I'm not saying that I'm old -- because I'm NOT -- but Staley is 55, only a year younger than me. This bank is a freakin' beast. How many trillions in assets do we have right now? Even I have no idea. Anyway, the bank is going to need a pair of strong, youthful hands at the helm when I retire, and that wasn't going to be Staley. Sorry Charlie, that's life in the big city.

Ooooh. Retire. The other word that makes my blood pressure spike. Not supposed to say that either. Zames, where's that #%&*! scotch?!

Dimon's memo:
"While Jes is leaving JPMorgan Chase, he is joining a respected private investment firm, BlueMountain Capital. BlueMountain is an important client of ours, and we look forward to working with Jes in the future. Please join me in thanking Jes for his decades of dedicated service to JPMorgan, and in wishing him and his family all the best in the future."

Dimon's brain:
BlueMountain. Again, of all places. Why not Citigroup? That shambles of a bank, if you can even call it that. Let's throw Bank of America in there for good measure, too. Should have let all of them go down four years ago. Would have left more of the market for me, I mean, JPMorgan Chase. Hey, I ran a tight ship, kept my bank away from the worst of the subprime-CDO insanity. Why shouldn't I crow a bit? Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas, I always say.

Focus, Jamie. Back to the memo. Yeah, yeah. We look soooo forward to working with Blue Mountain. Whatever. Oh, and we look forward to working with you too, Staley, you traitor. Turncoat! Don't let the door hit you on the way out. Or better yet, let it -- right on your ungrateful fingers!

Watch it, Jamie. Blood pressure. Just sign this piece of crap and hit the send button. Zames! Cavanaugh! Pinto! Where's my scotch?! Or maybe you muppets would like to join Staley at BlueMountain?

This is a funny and Foolish take on what's happening at JPMorgan, but if you want to get serious about investing in this Dimon-led big bank, I invite you to read our premium research report on the company today. Click here now for instant access!

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