Business Books: How Dimon dodged crisis to lead Wall Street

Thu Apr 2, 2009 10:04am EDT
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By Elinor Comlay

NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co's Jamie Dimon is the Wall Street chief executive who has best survived the credit crunch that put paid to the careers of several of his peers.

Is this success due to luck, innate talent or is it a product of Queens, New York-born Dimon's rigorous work ethic?

In "The House of Dimon," (Wiley, $24.95) former journalist Patricia Crisafulli tries to answer this question by assessing the career of the hard-working man of the moment who really does not want the attention.

Through the author's interviews with Dimon, his friends and colleagues, the reader gleans an image of a straight-talking, intelligent CEO with a knack for savvy deal making, attention for detail -- and a humble streak.

"The pedestal is a terrible place to be," Crisafulli quotes Dimon telling CNBC in December. "I almost want to get knocked off the pedestal so I don't have to hear this anymore," he added.

After all, Dimon -- for all his relative youthfulness at just 53 -- is not a banking greenhorn unfamiliar with failure.

The book tracks Dimon's rise to co-CEO of Salomon Smith Barney before he was fired by his long-time mentor, Wall Street veteran Sandy Weill, and his comeback by orchestrating Chicago-based Bank One's sale to JPMorgan in 2004.


<p>Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon listens to his introduction before a keynote address on "Global Banking and Regulatory Challenges" at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington March 11, 2009. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>