WHO: Chairman and CEO
WHAT: JPMorgan Chase
The Wall Street crisis has no shortage of villains and victims. But it also created a star. JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon is the Giuliani of the fiscal disaster: the leader who kept his head while the world crumbled around him. The ticktock of his angling during last year’s crisis—Dimon’s gut calls on Bear Stearns and Morgan Stanley and his speed-dialing with the White House—have assumed mythical status. “He’s taking the kinds of risks during a crisis that define leadership,” says Dan Doctoroff. Lately, Dimon has become the spokesman and political broker for an industry under siege. Says Eric Dinallo, the former state insurance superintendent, “There’s no manufacturing of words, no artificial presentation. If it doesn’t make sense to him, he says it. He doesn’t believe in financial alchemy.” Naturally, there’s chatter about Dimon, a registered Democrat, entering politics. No interest, he says. After his trial by fire, Dimon is settling in for a longer test. More than any other player Dimon will take the credit or blame for the industry’s future results. Fame has expanded his power and responsibility. But it’s also a risk.