Sixty Minutes and Vanity Fair asked a bunch of Americans who Jamie Dimon is—two-thirds didn’t know, and another 20 percent of respondents believed him to be either an X-Games skateboarder, daredevil motorcyclist or Texas congressman. This is a funny and sad if not unsurprising thing about Americans, but more importantly a potential point of embarrassment for he of the salt-and-peppery good looks and formerly gold-standard risk management chops. (“What kind of trading losses do I need to suffer before they know me!”) Well, Mr. Dimon can rest easy: Americans don’t know the names of the leaders of any of the country’s biggest banks*, and to prove it, we conducted our own informal survey**:
Who is Vikram Pandit?
a) New York banker 9%
b) president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 14%
c) famous British cricketeer 4%
d) celebrity chef and noted author of Delhi does Dallas 3%
e) no clue 70%
Who is Brian Moynihan?
a) North Carolina banker 7%
b) Bridget Moynahan’s alcoholic Hollywood dad 14%
c) disgraced former mayor of Philadelphia 3%
d) Naked Cowboy of Times Square fame 5%
e) got me 71%
Who is Lloyd Blankfein?
a) New York banker 16%
b) the first Jewish mayor of Birmingham, Ala. 4%
c) U.S. Postmaster General 1%
d) America’s second most popular prop comic 3%
d) don’t know 76%
*It hardly seemed fair to John Stumpf or James Gorman to include either executive in this exercise. **By informal survey, we mean made the whole thing up, primarily as an excuse to imagine for the merest moment Mr. Blankfein bringing his impish joie de vivre to the U.S. Postal Service and honoring his father’s memory by turning around the downtrodden institution.