In the weeks leading up to the JP Morgan conference call, Jamie Dimon met with this team in a secret location to “hammer out” what phrase they should use to describe the London Whale trade and the resulting loss of $5.8 billion over two quarters. The team met late into the night in a secret New York office until it final hit Jamie Dimon that the best phrase was, “shot ourselves in the foot“.
The phrase was chosen with the utmost of care, as Jamie Dimon’s previous reference to the trade as a “tempest in a teapot” showed he had no idea what was going on at his own bank. The executive team didn’t want anymore egg on their face. Here though are a few other phrases that nearly won over the team of JP Morgan executives.
- The trade boiled over and into the kitchen
- The trade turned out to be a snake in the grass
- The trade left us out in the cold without a coat
- When the tide went out we were almost naked
- The traders bite off more than they could chew
- The trade didn’t cut the mustard
- The trade nearly cost us an arm and a leg
- We didn’t hit the nail on the head with this trade
- The trade opened a can of worms
- The trade was like a kick in the teeth
- We barked up the wrong tree with this trade
- The trade really rocked the boat
- The trader was swinging for the fences and struck out
- The trade is a thorn in my side
- We are humbled and leave this conference call with our tails between our legs
It was also stated in the meeting that Jamie Dimon should use the team “storm” to describe the current economic state of the global markets and reiterate the phrase “fortress” to describe JP Morgan’s balance sheet.