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« Whose Safety Net? | Main | More on Age Bashing... »

March 17, 2008 |Permalink |Comments (0)

Jimmy Cayne Was His Name..

Former Bears Sterns left quite a trail of wreckage behind him.

This report from Yalman Onaran at Bloomberg is from November of 2007.

Remember as you read this that these are the geniuses who were going to run a "privatized" Social Security system.

One point that manic advocates of the free market frequently fail to acknowledge is that in a time when regular folks are increasingly exposed to the fierce competition and uncertainty that come with globalized markets, it becomes even more important to have a real, incorruptible and highly trustworthy public sector safety net.

I give you, titan of Wall Street (emeritus) Jimmy Cayne...


Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Bear Stearns Cos. Chief Executive Officer James ``Jimmy'' Cayne denied that he ``engaged in inappropriate conduct'' and said he remained ``intensely focused'' on the firm.

Cayne's comments, made in an internal memo sent to employees, came after the Wall Street Journal, in a front page story earlier today, cited unidentified people as saying he smoked pot at bridge tournaments. The story also said Cayne, 73, spent 10 of 21 working days in July outside the office while two of the company's hedge funds collapsed.

``I stand by the record of success the firm has had over the 14 years that I have had the privilege of leading this great organization,'' Cayne said in the memo. ``Thank you for your continued dedication to Bear Stearns, and don't be distracted by the noise. I am certainly not.''

The collapse of the market for securities linked to subprime mortgages in July sparked the worst credit markets since Russia's debt default in 1998. Earnings at New York-based Bear Stearns, the No. 2 underwriter of bonds backed by mortgages after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., dropped 61 percent, the biggest decline in more than a decade. The company has cut 900 jobs, or about 6 percent of its workforce.

Bear Stearns fell 3.4 percent to $109.69 in New York Stock Exchange Composite trading. The stock has dropped 30 percent this year, the worst performance among the five biggest securities firms, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch & Co. and Lehman. All are based in New York.

Bear Stearns spokeswoman Elizabeth Ventura confirmed the contents of the memo and declined to comment further. Cayne wasn't available for comment.

Cayne ousted Co-President Warren Spector in August, holding him responsible for the hedge-fund losses. Spector, 49, was considered a potential successor to Cayne.

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