Donald Trump is strong and solid, like a freight ship battered by stormy seas. Meanwhile, Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide and Don Imus are riding around on rickety catamarans. All that and more metaphors in our daily roundup of real-estate, law, media and finance news.
Everyone was feeling a lot yesterday when JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon met with Bear Stearns executives to discuss the changes he'll make when and if his takeover deal of the firm comes to fruition, and a lot of what they were feeling was anger.
It's been two days since Bear Stearns was sold in a fire sale to JPMorgan, and things are still messy and emotional. Whose fault was all of this, and if it's no one's fault, whom can we blame? What will happen next? And what will the impact be, not just on Wall Street, but on the little people? Several stories in the papers today shed light on these questions, even as they raised more questions. Below, a handy cheat sheet to keep you current:
Jimmy Cayne is officially out at Bear Stearns, the company announced last night, and Alan D. Schwartz is in as the new CEO. Yesterday's Times referred to Schwartz as "a smooth, discreet investment banker," Portfolio today called him a "smooth dealmaker," and former Time Warner head Richard Parsons says he's "a smooth operator." But other than the fact that he is, apparently, silky soft and hairless, what do we really know about Alan D. Schwartz?
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