Congrat's to Jamie Dimon, On Time's 100 Most Influential List


Illustration for Time by Jeffrey Smith

Magazine editors love making lists for the simple reason that people love buying magazines that contain lists.  Everyone loves a ranking, even a nonsensical ranking, like a list of the most influential people in the world.

Time Magazine put out its World’s Most Influential 100 People in 2009 list this week and as usual, the stunt-casting abounds, probably in a bid to hit every conceivable demographic.

Interestingly, the list dissed NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg this year, a man who has intrepidly advanced his quality-of-life agenda to transform the biggest city in the world for the better during both boom times and recession.  Why no Bloomberg?  They needed to make room for M.I.A., the British Hip Hop/ World Music artist.

OK, so that was silly, but putting the Twitter guys in was smart and prescient, and we could all go through the list and pick out the mistaken inclusions and omissions.

TRB fave CEO and all-around 2008 beneficiary Jamie Dimon made the list and the JPMorgan CEO’s profile was written by Dylan Ratigan:

Warren Buffett famously said that when the tide goes out, you find out who is swimming naked and who isn’t. Well, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon still appears to be wearing his pants. As head of the second largest bank in America by assets, Dimon, 53, has found himself serving not only as captain of his own behemoth financial ship but also, as his Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual deals showed, as an occasional life raft for the U.S. government in its efforts to stave off financial calamity.

Known for his blunt mouth and detailed operational expertise, Dimon currently sits atop a massive financial institution that in the most recent quarter was lending $150 billion in more than 50 countries. While many of his peers assumed trillions in risk with pennies in reserve, Dimon’s superior risk management, along with some taxpayer help, made it possible to dodge the early bullets that took down institutions like Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, Wachovia and Lehman Brothers. Still, his greatest challenges may lie ahead, especially if rising unemployment and lower home prices continue to blow hard against JPMorgan Chase’s consumer-credit and commercial-real estate businesses. At a time when millions of Americans are underwater financially and scouring the beach for answers, he’ll need all his management skills to navigate an even lower tide.

Ratigan is a co-creator and the former host of CNBC’s Fast Money

Good move by Time to include the one money center bank CEO who didn’t risk the franchise on sub prime, leverage and junk bonds.   As Ratigan admits, Dimon still has his work cut out for him in light of the worsening employment picture, but as I’ve said before, if you had to bet on any of the big bank managements to get his company to the other side, Jamie makes the choice effortless.

Also interesting is that Jamie Dimon doesn’t even make the top 200 of the Readers Poll version, yet several way less important business world luminaries do, like T. Boone Pickens, Charlie Gasparino and Bernie Madoff.

Full Story: World’s 100 Most Influential (Time)

Full Disclosure: I am currently long JPM in customer and personal accounts.  My commentary above is not an endorsement of any stock or company.  Please do not trade based on anything you read here.  See my Terms & Conditions page if you are easily influenced and/ or impulsive about your investment decisions.

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