Monday, January 14, 2013
The board of JP Morgan Chase & Co. is considering whether to release an internal investigation that faults Jamie Dimon's oversight of a division that lost $6.2 billion on bad trades. If it does, it will be another ding to the reputation Dimon had of being the best bank CEO in the US. Dimon might need a dose of humility, but that isn't the issue. One can ask if Dimon can't run a mega-bank well then who can? This is not the first time this question has been raised. There is concern even among professionals that global banks have become unwieldy and demand too much of their leadership. Dimon thinks about his company day and night and is constantly on the alert for something going awry, but one trader in London was enough to embarrass him, the bank and its control systems. There is no such thing as infallible management. Humans are not machines. It is a matter of catching human error before it blows out of proportion, and that is Dimon and his team failed to do. Even if he redoubles efforts, he is aware that something somewhere can explode at any time and take his reputation with it. It can't be fun.