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Last Man Standing: The Ascent of Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase [Kindle Edition]

Duff McDonald
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $12.99
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Book Description

In the midst of the most disastrous economic climate of Wall Street’s history, one executive has weathered the storm more deftly than any other: Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase. In 2008, while Dimon’s competitors watched their companies crumble, JPMorgan not only survived, it made an astonishing $5 billion profit. Dimon’s continued triumph in the face of an industry-wide meltdown has made him a paragon of finance.

In Last Man Standing, award-winning journalist Duff McDonald provides an unprecedented and deeply personal look at the extraordinary figure behind JPMorgan’s success. Using countless hours of interviews with Dimon and his full circle of friends, family, and colleagues, this definitive biography is by far the most comprehensive portrait of the man known as the Savior of Wall Street.

Now, in an updated prologue, McDonald offers insight into the future of Wall Street and how Dimon will overcome the challenge of aggressive new regulation from Washington—and how he plans to continue to thrive as the world’s preeminent banker.

Editorial Reviews


“An intimate . . . three-dimensional portrait of the executive, with lots of reporting from his friends and family.”

—Mara Der Hovanesian, BusinessWeek


"An intimate . . . three-dimensional portrait of the executive, with lots of reporting from his friends and family."

--Mara Der Hovanesian, "BusinessWeek"

Product Details

  • File Size: 976 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 27, 2009)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002QJZ9ZY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,718 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Duff McDonald's book covers a fascinating historical moment - the 2008-2009 Wall Street debacle - by profiling a pivotal character in the thick of it, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase. Having spent extensive time with Dimon, McDonald combines his reporting with published sources, Dimon's own writings and statements, and interviews with his associates, employees or relatives. McDonald covers Dimon's youth, business school education and evolving career. Dimon was a nonconformist in business school and politics, an astute lieutenant of his mentor Sandy Weill, and a pivotal figure in the financial crisis. Notably, he preserved JPMorgan Chase, bought Bear Stearns and helped lead the market back to stability. Readers interested in a critical take on Dimon may find the book too flattering, but if you want to see how the financial wars looked from the CEO's chair, getAbstract recommends this intriguing perspective.
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45 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Verbose and Vauge, but Still Useful October 20, 2009
Wouldn't it be wonderful to read a book about Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, and obtain an increased understanding of banking, the 2008 crash, and how Dimon has successfully managed banks? Unfortunately, it won't happen easily via "Last Man Standing." The book fails to take a management emphasis, rarely defines terms and concepts, and is basically a chronology of Dimon's life. Nonetheless, some good can be derived from its reading.

Dimon, without question, is highly talented. However, his career received two initial major boosts. The first was working for several Harvard Business School professors in finance prior to beginning his Harvard Business School (HBS) experience. This provided him with early high-level exposure to the area and undoubtedly enriched his education experience as well. The second was joining forces with Sandy Weill in 1982 upon graduating from Harvard (Baker Scholar - top 5%), and having the opportunity to participate in top-level analyses and decision-making with many a 'mover and shaker.' (Dimon's alternative was more remunerative, but much lower level positions in investment banking.)

Weill had recently been pushed out of American Express, so Dimon was taking a bit of a gamble joining up with Weill. Fortunately, it wasn't too long before Control Data asked for help with its newly acquired Commercial Credit unit - lender to those with relatively low household incomes. Weill was appointed CEO in 1986, a leveraged buy-out soon followed, assuring a rich options opportunity for both himself and Dimon. Other steps included a 10% staff cut, selling off the car leasing and accounts-receivable insurance businesses (too much risk), and cutting executive perks (magazine subscriptions, country club memberships, flowers).
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There will be obvious bias in this review. I have been with the bank for over 12 years. Having met Jamie on a couple of occasions, his attention to detail blows my mind. Years ago, I was invited to participate in a focus group soon after Jamie took over as CEO of B1. We were at a conference room on the executive floor throwing around some ideas, "best practices". A day before, we had some system issues. During our meeting, Jamie walked in and briefly listened in on our meeting. He asked the group about the system issue and whether or not it was causing any customer service quality issues. He cared. I was fortunate to meet him on a couple of more occasions. Each time, I walked away more inspired. He has that effect on people. His drive and determination is infectious. You just want to sit there, listen to him; then, go back and try even harder. As a top executive, he never seems to look down or turn his back on the junior soldiers in the company. He cares. He listens. He motivates and inspires.

It's a good feeling working for a company where what I do everyday for our clients (despite being just 1 out of over 200,000) actually matters. No one here is insignificant. And every detail, every employee, matters. And that's a healthy culture for any business to have. I am proud to be part of this great company; proud of our leader and our management team's diligent handling of our bank's financial affairs; proud to have been able to help our clients during a very difficult period for our country.

Duff's account of Jamie's career is a must read for any aspiring manager/leader. From his detailed account of Jamie's early career to the more recent events, this book is an easy, addictive read. It's hard to put it down. Great job researching the stories, issues and conducting interviews. In the aftermath of this complex system meltdown, it is refreshing to read a book in which complex financial issues can be easily understood by anyone. Strongly recommended.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Account October 1, 2009
This is a terrific book, beautifully written, and highly useful. If you want to really understand the banking business, and the people that make it work, this is the book to read. And it's not just for Wall Street insiders. And it's not a vanity piece for a banker on top of his game. This book has specific relevance to anyone who pays taxes in this country or has a bank account. McDonald had unprecedented access to Dimon and and he nailed it. Great book. Loved it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jamie Dimon, superstar February 24, 2010
I first picked up this book, intending to only read a section dealing with a company I formerly worked for. After 20 minutes, I was fascinated, and decided to read the entire book. It offers an interesting biography on the most prominent banker in the country. I liked the overview of the financial collapse of 2008. The day to day activities of JPMorgan during the fall of Bear Stearns was very informative. It was refreshing to read an account of this time written without condemning all participants. I believe it will take a few more years before we can fully and accurately assess credit and blame for what has happened.
I only gave the book 3 star, because I felt it was written in a more favorable light than was deserved. It read more like hagiography than biography. The book is worth reading.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A leader and decision maker
Jamie rocks!!! A truly professional manager, a leader and decision maker. A remarkable career based on thorough knowledge of finance, the right mentor, the appropriate team of... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Francisco Mariategui
5.0 out of 5 stars Resilience
It made me think of this quote: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Read more
Published 1 month ago by melissa schwenneker
2.0 out of 5 stars Subpar
On one side you have books like Barbarians at the Gate, Den of Thieves, Conspiracy of Fools, Serpent on the Rock, The Lost Bank, and The House of Morgan all of which I have read... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Thomas Murphy Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic book!
Published 3 months ago by Dan Ciesielski
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very interesting account of a very interesting individual
Published 4 months ago by Bernie Mathlage
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Learns how the "good old boys" make it.
Published 7 months ago by Eileen Fine
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
I am ordering this one as a gift. It helps one to understand how leaders tick. How they think, the goals they set forth not only for themselves, but for those they are leading.
Published 11 months ago by vivian wechie
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book in its own right!
Try not to expect too much out of it. It is not an official biography of the Mr. Dimon. IamSerda
Published 12 months ago by IamSerda
1.0 out of 5 stars Haigiography.
Oh, please! Jamie, Is the handsomest. Jamie is the smartest. Jamie is the only honest broker on Wall St. How much did Dimon pay to get this hagiographic piece of crap published? Read more
Published 13 months ago by Dan
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting subject matter, so so book
I found the book to be a dis-service to the subject matter. The book supplies details on Dimon's career but I was disappointed by the lack of insight or perspective of how Dimon... Read more
Published 15 months ago by h
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More About the Author

Duff McDonald is a New York-based journalist. A contributing editor at The New York Observer, he has also written for Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, New York, Esquire, Fortune, Business Week, Conde Nast Portfolio, GQ, WIRED, Time, Newsweek, and others.

In 2004, he was the recipient of two Canadian National Magazine Awards--Best Business Story (gold) and Best Investigative Reporting (silver)--for Conrad's Fall in National Post Business.

The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business, was published by Simon & Schuster in September 2013.

Last Man Standing, his biography of Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, was published by Simon & Schuster in October 2009.

He is also the co-author, with Owen Burke, of The CEO, a satire.

He lives in Brooklyn with his daughter, Marguerite.


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