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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.

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