Jimmy Cayne: The End of an Era

Cayne
Photo: Photo Illustration: Corbis (Cayne), Getty Images
(Hat), iStockphoto (spliff, beach)

For Bear Stearns CEO Jimmy Cayne, his 74th year was a difficult one. In August, two of Bear's hedge funds collapsed, heralding the subprime crisis and tipping off the worst losses in the firm's history. Then there were the firings, the Wall Street Journal article that painted him as a slacker pothead (and also weird), plus the investor retaliations, the regulatory investigations, the whispers that, after 39 years of service, he might need to be canned. It's enough to make anyone want to take refuge in golf and ganja. Which, the Journal and other media outlets are reporting, is what Cayne is doing. Citing "sources" who have been briefed on the situation, the papers are reporting that as early as today, Cayne will step down from his role as CEO at Bear Stearns and be replaced by Alan D. Schwartz. Cayne is "relieved," one source told the Times. As with a great movie where the hero dies in the end, we knew this was coming, and yet still, we're surprised. With his bridge addiction, his aversion to breakfast cereal, and his rumored affinity for the wacky tabacky, Cayne was a Wall Street original, an orchid in a sea of carnations, if you will. We'll miss you, old chap.

Cayne to Step Down As Bear CEO [WSJ]
Bear's Cayne Will Quit As Chief Executive [NYT]
Earlier: Intel's coverage of Jimmy Cayne