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JP Morgan’s Irv Goldman Thrown “Under the Bus”

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 21, 2012 7:42 AM |

I first heard the phrase “he got thrown under the bus” when working at Union Bank of Switzerland in 1997.

Perhaps I was not listening carefully enough earlier in my career to detect just how management on Wall Street conveniently finds scapegoats during challenging times. I hated that phrase then and throughout my time on Wall Street. Why? 

“Throwing somebody under the bus” struck me as the epitome of weak management shirking responsibility. We see a classic case of just such inept and pathetic managerial behavior this morning at JP Morgan.

How so? Let’s navigate and meet Irv Goldman, the former officer in charge of risk management within JP Morgan’s chief investment office. On its face, one would think that Goldman would be one of the first — if not the first — individual shown the door at JP Morgan after its recent debacle.

Somebody inside of JP Morgan does a nice job of smearing Goldman by providing anonymous background material on him to financial news outlets. I am not here to personally defend Irv Goldman. As alluded to in news stories this morning, he does have a bit of a checkered past. That said, JP Morgan found reason to hire him not once but twice over the course of the last 5 years.

Moving forward to the current situation, Goldman assumed his position to oversee risk management within JPM’s chief investment office this past February. Yes, February 2012. A mere three short months ago. Do you think the cake was coming out of the JP Morgan CIO’s oven just as Goldman came on the scene? No doubt.

What do Goldman’s past issues have to do with JP Morgan’s current losses and ongoing debacle? Nothing.

Goldman may have performed miserably as a risk manager over the last few months. My ‘sense on cents’ believes he is little more than a scapegoat to deflect attention from those deserving real blame. His being “thrown under the bus” by those within JP Morgan and with the assistance of financial news outlets is classic behavior by those who mistake what character truly is.

Jamie Dimon and others within JP Morgan may once have been thought of as possessing the best reputation on Wall Street. In light of how Irv Goldman was just “thrown under the bus,” Dimon and team may care to remember that reputation is what the world may think of them . . . but character is what they really are.

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • VelvetExposure

    Its kind of true. But he really was only hired as head of market risk, because he wasn’t allowed on the trading floor. So it was just a way to get enable him to work with traders, without actually being trader. So he was head of market risk by title only, and that position was actually unfilled… But it doesn’t really matter anyway, since, as other articles have indicated, the London and NY offices have really become tractured, that there’s no way a market risk officer in NY would’ve had much of an effect on the London credit derivative traders.

  • Peter S.

    Now who at JPMorgan has had their career both saved and made by throwing people under the bus? Does the former SEC Enforcement Director, and now JPMorgan General Council, Stephen M. Cutler come to mind?

    Cutler loved to quote Mark Twain when bamboozling the American public after many of his failed (wink,wink) enforcement opportunities.

    “History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

  • DU

    Thrown under the bus? Any chance this was all orchestrated? Hey brother-in-law, here’s a million bucks; take the fall for us?

    Anyone know Goldman’s salary, signing bonus, severance package???

  • LD

    I STRONGLY doubt that. When the temps rise and s*$t flies on Wall Street, they do not typically respond by gratuitously throwing money around. MUCH more likely the knives come out and somebody is told to fall on it…plus they did a nice job of dragging Mr. Goldman through the mud here.

    • I had the displeasure of working with Irv. If anyone is deserving of being thrown under the bus, whether he caused this or not, it was him. I don’t feel bad for him, he still has a 10,000 sq foot mansion. He always talked down to employees below him that could not advance his career. I will shed no tears for that guy.

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