Thursday, July 17, 2008

Business Heroes

Scott Barrett sent me a note yesterday saying I was getting too negative with my coverage, and on second look, I think he was right. I keep getting bogged down in the financial coverage because 1) I think it's important for people to understand what's going on so they can make intelligent decisions and 2) I love Finance so writing about it comes easy.

Barrett's point was that some companies, like Intel, were still kicking butt. I totally agree and see optimism all around me

So here goes. I'm posting a great interview with Jamie Dimon, a business hero of mine for the way he cleaned up JPMorgan, kept their leverage (debt level) ratio down to 12 to 1 (manageable) vs. his competitors who are at 25x or 30x at the very least. My best anecdote on him was when he spoke at Kellogg last year. He was phenomenal and talked about how bloated JPM was when he came in. Everyone, including the Executives, had "Life Coaches." He used some colorful language but basically said, "Are you freaking kidding me, Life Coaches? You're all fired. If you can't coach your own professional life and those who report to you, I don't want you here."

He's also got a great line about "buying a house on fire." A reference to Bear Sterns.

The guy is awesome and a lot of it shines through in this video interview (from Paul Kedrosky's blog). I think if Obama wins, he could be the Secretary of Treasury (if he wants the job). They're both Chicago guys and Dimon would be an inspired choice.