Last night, I was working late in my office in the Helmsley Building, blocks away from the old JP Morgan Library on Madison Ave. A stiff wind blew through the window and before I knew it, I was face to face with the Ghost of J. Pierpont Morgan!
Below is our conversation:
The Reformed Broker: I assume you go by Mr. Morgan, is that what I should call you?
J. Pierpont Morgan: Frankly, I don’t give a damn what you call me…have you any brandy about, young man?
TRB: Sorry, no…you seem to be in a foul mood this evening, what troubles you?
JPM: Have you seen the price of my stock lately? My F@#$’in grandkids are spinning in their graves!
TRB: Could be worse…you could be one of the old Lehman Brothers, or Charles Merrill…
JPM: Good point. And poor Ace Greenberg! He doesn’t deserve to have witnessed that horror show.
TRB: While we’re on the subject, what do you think of Jamie Dimon and how he’s running your namesake company?
JPM: I liked the Bear Stearns deal, but WaMu….ehhh, I could’ve gone without that fruity little bank.
TRB: So you approve of Mr. Dimon, overall?
JPM: I did up until he let those imbeciles in Washington talk to him like he was the CEO of some joke of a company, like, say, Citigroup. If I were Jamie, I would’ve relieved myself under the table while nodding my head at whatever that crazy lady wanted to yell out.
TRB: If you were alive today, how would you solve the credit crisis and stimulate the economy?
JPM: Are you a fool? Never would’ve happened to begin with. Last March, after Bear went out, I would’ve gathered all the Fed and Treasury guys and all the bankers on Wall Street into my library and locked the doors. Even those femmes from Goldman would’ve been there, the Krauts from Deutsche Bank, the Merrill Lynch Irishmen, those hicks from Wachovia…you name ‘em, I would’ve rounded ‘em up.
I would have said, calmly and simply, “I refuse to have a recession. You guys are the highest-paid geniuses in the world and you brought the whole thing onto yourselves, so no one is leaving until we have a solution that will take less than 90 days.”
Then I would’ve ordered up some of that burnt, horrible coffee in the green and white cups you idiots drink these days and gotten down to business.
TRB: Let’s play word association…I’m gonna say some names, you blurt out the first thing that comes to your mind. Ready?
TRB: Meredith Whitney
JPM: Schill for Goldman
JPM: In over his head
JPM: Jew! Ha, ha…just kidding, ummm…Crook
TRB: Joaquin Phoenix
JPM: Not Funny
TRB: Charlie Gasparino
TRB: Dennis Kneale
TRB: Okay, that’s enough of that…anything you wanna ask me, Mr. Morgan?
JPM: Yeah, what’s the difference between MySpace and Facebook?
TRB: The only people still on MySpace are, like, Hip Hop Kids and Goth Chicks…Facebook is more like a place where you can connect with your old college buddies, but the problem is that your Mom is on Facebook too, and she totally uses it to keep tabs on you.
JPM: Got it.
TRB: A lot of people read my blog, anything you want to get across to investors and Wall Streeters?
JPM: Tell ‘em all to lay off Warren Buffett. We get it, he was early on GE and GS…BFD. He’s getting a sick 10% coupon and will probably hold forever. That’s a loan shark rate! He’s gonna be just fine. You remember my famous quote about what stocks will do, right?
TRB: You said “They will fluctuate.”
JPM: No doubt, Cub Scout…100 years later, I’m still on the money! Good luck with the stockbrokering, Joshua
TRB: Thanks JP!
Full Disclosure: I am currently long JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) in client accounts