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JPMorgan: Give Jamie Dimon a Break

Bottom line -- if you cannot manage your little retail portfolio, don't cast Dimon and Drew as devils and liars because they erred in the oversight of a multibillion-dollar one.

Dimon put Drew, who by all accounts is incredibly well-qualified and competent, in place. From there, she put people in place to run the various segments of the investment bank. That's what executives do. They hire people they think can do the job, who hire other people they think can do the job. For better or worse, when something happens on the top dog's watch, the top dog gets heaped with scorn.

I am not sure what I think of that trademark response of our culture, other than it's typical. To save our minds from considering questions without easy answers, we look for simplistic closure to complex queries. Dimon's a bum. Drew's an incompetent and emotional woman. And then we play armchair quarterback slinging mud, posting anonymous comments on message boards and filing lawsuits. Man, I love America!

People made mistakes at JPMorgan. That's really the extent of it. If the trade worked, we would not be hearing about the loser on the other side of it unless it was a party we habitually cast as villain. I delegate responsibility to you. I have about 600,000 other things to deal with. You screw up. I deal with it. That's the life of a CEO. They make big decisions as many times as the average slug logs onto Facebook during the typical day. And clean up somebody else's mess -- and often take the fall for it -- just as frequently.

Dimon was sick about what happened. He probably still is. Obviously, Drew was -- and is -- also. She cried. If I was an integral part of what took place, I would have cried as well. Both folks have taken the heat and owned up to the error of their ways. In fact, they probably take too much responsibility for the errant judgment of others.

It would be nice if the investors busy wasting the court's time showed the same amount of character.

At the time of publication, the author holds no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this article.
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