Making lemonade out of lemons.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a J.P. Morgan Chase employee climbed onstage at a black-tie dinner held on Wall Street Thursday night and accepted an award on behalf of the embattled bank for 'best crisis management'. Yep, there's no punch-line. It's no joke.
According to the newspaper, it was the Oscars (sort of) for the U.S. investor-relations industry - an annual award dinner hosted by trade publication IR Magazine. Companies competed in 39 categories, with the nominees announced beforehand and the winners revealed by people opening envelopes onstage flanked by a six-piece band.
'J.P. Morgan Chase is winning for its handling of the $6.2bn trading loss by the London Whale last year', the event’s host, CNN anchor Ali Velshi, said. 'I would say that’s what you call making lemonade out of lemons'.
A member of J.P. Morgan’s Investor Relations Department accepted the award and is said to have quipped: 'Can I just say, ‘Crisis ? What crisis ?''
One banker told Here Is The City: 'Only a company led by Jamie Dimon could end up with an award after losing $6.2bn. With investigations continuing into the affair - and the possibility of further fines and wraps across the knuckles - it's just amazing that anyone from JPMorgan even attended the Awards event, let alone joke about it when accepting the award itself'.
In the meantime, The New York Times reports that JPMorgan’s board said on Friday that it was standing behind Jamie Dimon, the bank’s chairman and chief executive, in the face of calls from some investors that the two jobs be split.
In the bank’s proxy filing, the 11-member board said that Mr. Dimon should continue to hold both positions, as he has since 2006. 'The board has determined that the most effective leadership model for the firm currently is that Mr. Dimon serves as both'. the filing said.
‘London Whale’ Snags a Prize (subscriber content)
image: © Jeremy Keith