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For Crying Out Loud, Another Wall Street Woman Falls

Stocks in this article: JPM MS BAC

There is much to say about what happens to women with the gumption to even try to make it in the often gender-hostile financial industry, no less manage to get that close to the top. I'll give Drew's boss, public relations maestro Dimon, a lot of credit for recognizing her talent at all, given Wall Street's more typical course of action with the best and brightest women. We'll leave for another day the discussion of whether Dimon himself should be suffering some real consequences. Like clawbacks. Or loss of one or both of his titles.

In the meantime, what about that crying thing?

Let's begin with some basics about Drew. Even after the stuff hit the fan and her name was in some ugly headlines, there were people on Wall Street who were willing to tell reporters, on the record, that Drew was the real deal: smart, solid, respected. The bad news, though, is that she was clearly in charge when big mistakes were made, so it's right that she get the axe. Dimon called those mistakes "egregious," and "sloppy" and "stupid." I suppose we will never know how it all would have gone down if a woman had been CEO and a man had been chief investment officer in charge of the ill-fated trading unit.

I must say I stopped dead in my tracks when I first read that "tearfully" reference to a high-level Wall Street comedown. The obvious questions came to mind. Would we talk about it if a man got that emotional in a high-pressure resignation scenario? Are men as inclined as women to cry when they're under the gun?

Powerful men have cried - or been accused of crying - and lived to regret it. Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine was the Democratic front-runner in the 1972 New Hampshire primary when the Washington Post described him as having had "tears streaming down his face." Muskie, who died in 1996, said that what passed for tears were really melting snowflakes on a cold New Hampshire day. Whatever the facts, it helped end his campaign.

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