Saturday, November 3, 2007

Is Your Investment Bank Executive a Doper

Was your senior investment bank executive lost in a haze of purple smoke while your CDO investments went down the flusher recently. Would you expect this press from the National Enquirer or the Wall Street Journal? A furor erupted this week over an article in one of these publications and it is probably not the one you are thinking.

The November 1st front page Wall Street Journal article profiling Bear Stearns’ James Cayne outlines a none too flattering portrayal of his work (or lack of work)… and drug habits. Being exposed as a pothead on the first page of the world’s most prestigious financial newspaper can not really be considered upside press. However it is the outline of his failure to focus on work related issues while the firm was in crisis and losing $3.8B with two failed Hedge Funds that will justifiably place Cayne in the hot seat.
Bear CEO's Handling Of Crisis Raises Issues

Financial Times provided additional commentary in context of the heads rolling at other investment banks recently.
Bridge, golf and herbal refreshment for Bear’s Cayne

As expected, Cayne came out vehemently denying the allegations in material that was sent to many financial media outlets. Despite this, his longevity at Bear Stearns is still very much in doubt.
Bear Stearns CEO Denies WSJ Allegations
Bear Stearns CEO James Cayne Denies Drug Allegations in Wall Street Journal Article

The Bear Stearns Memo: Cayne Speaks