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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I would greatly value material that provided insight into Dimon's big-picture thinking and methods (eg. focus for cost-cutting). "The House of Dimon" consists of an ant's level perspective on Dimon's travels. Readers hoping for insight on key strategies and methodology will find none here. What little detail there is on J. P. Morgan thinking under Dimon is so vague as to be useless. Similarly, his turnaround accomplishments at Bank One are also covered so vaguely as to be useless. (Eg. He consolidated 40-some IT systems that were confusing and redundant - an important achievement that is often botched. Absolutely no detail provided on how this was done.)

Much more useful is Dimon's 2008 Report to Shareholders. The following are excerpts: We didn't write option ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages) because we did not think they were a consumer-friendly product. We deliberately avoided the structured collateralized debt obligation (CDO) business because we believed the associated risks were too high. We still follow the financial commandment: do not borrow short to invest long. Perhaps the largest regulatory failure of all time was the inadequate regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - they became larger than the Federal Reserve and dramatically increased their leverage. Too many regulators - with overlapping responsibilities and inadequate authorities were ill-equipped to handle the crisis (eg. no resolution process for the failure of large investment banks, large, global financial companies, or large sellers of CDS (eg. AIG). Our $3 trillion trade deficit over 8 years was largely placed into government securities, keeping interest rates too low. We closed down our broker-originated business - losses there are 2-3X that of our own-generated business. We cut back substantially on subprime loans early in the crisis (2006).
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2009
An insightful account of Jamie Dimon's corporate life and management style. Elegantly presented in simple English. Brings out the man's true motivations through a well constructed account of his views, words, and actions, and cutting out the "noise" and self-indulging digressions seen in other books. Fully recommended to all management professionals, students, and business leaders. There's a lot to learn from Jamie's experiences.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2009
The House of Dimon is a book written in the midst of one of our countries worst financial crises. It tells of a man who could see through it all, creating success when most others were failing. Dimon brings hope in the midst of turmoil, and through the account and comfortable writing style of author Tricia Crisafulli, explained how this was possible. The nature of Dimon,and the successful empire he ceated and now controls, is perhaps a format for success in our stressed economy. One huge financial cooperation after another failed miserably,but not his. It seems this, our economic failure, was waiting for a time and place to happen. Crisafulli's investigation and research, along with her delightful manner of writing and description makes "The House of Dimon" a must read for most adults in our
countries presence financial climate. It speaks of the man Jamie Dimon and our countries
welcome sign that is still there for those who would dare to challenge a system that went wrong. Success is still possible, Jamie Dimon is the proof. Thank you Crisifulli for a light in the midst of relative darkness.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2009
This book may be an easy read, nonetheless it serves as an apt reminder of the management fundamental that seems to elude today's leaders - doing the right thing. Patricia Crisafulli presented the material in a manner that is engaging yet simple. She describes Jamie Dimon as a rare blend of what would be considered as opposite traits: leads from the front yet strategic and visionary; prudent about risks yet opportunistic; delegates yet systematically follows-up and gets closure, demands a lot from others but no more than he asks of himself. Specially memorable is a management tool that Crisafulli described - Jamie's plain piece of paper tucked in his vest pocket with all the priorities of the day. I marvel at the way he wielded that simple yet powerful weapon during the Bear Stearns crisis weekend. Read and be inspired by the time-tested basics.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2009
Rarely does an author writing about Wall Street speak to the cause (as opposed to the consequences) of success and failures. "House of Dimon" highlights, clearly and concisely, what separates true, long-term success from short-term luck. Crisafulli hones in on Dimon's discipline, diligence and accountability - character traits that are much more rare on Wall Street than the investing public knows - to bring readers a reminder of the age-old adage: "If it were easy, everyone would do it." Crisafulli has given anyone interested in investing and/or understanding the financial machinations that drive Wall Street a clear view into how to find good managers and how to be one. Hopefully, more people will take notice.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2009
Jamie Dimon has emerged from our country's recent banking dilemma as the CEO with the skill set necessary to lead JP Morgan Chase. The foundation for his rise to success was forged over years and Patricia Crisafulli has captured this in her book, "House of Dimon." The book is a study of "leading from the front" that can be (and should be) applied to any organization that relies on people as its greatest asset. As a retired US Army officer, I found this book to be a great read and should be recommended reading for those serving in management and/or leadership positions.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2009
Crisafulli artfully offers an insider's view of an icon at a timely juncture. At this point in our history, it is so critical to be able to point to an individual who is a true leader. One who pays attention to the long term rather than the short term (as her memorial to her father so aptly states); is passionate about doing the right things; subscribes to the "fortress" balance sheet and gives us hope for the future. This view of a titan of the finacial world is well written and instructive. A "must read" for everyone in the C suite!
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2009
I've been reading about Jamie Dimon since his early Citi days, including the Sandy Weill bios and WSJ coverage. The book captures his many admirable qualities and his few deficiencies. If you limit your reading to the celebrity aspect of the book, I can recommend it. But that makes it a celebrity text rather than a business book.

I hoped this book might provide some business insights, but was sadly mistaken. Ms. Crisafulli appears to have gleaned the chapter on WaMu from press releases and WSJ reporting. If one were to invest in Chase one would want to know the risk of non-performing WaMu assets. This book notes $31 billion in projected losses, and then lays out several decision trees for deeper losses. "What does Mr. Dimon intend to do to keep Chase solvent in the event of these WaMu losses," is not addressed.

My experience as a non-customer and non-employee is that the back office operations of WaMu were chaotic, and a year later the current Chase management seems unable to attract and retain talented people to clean up the WaMu mess. They literally change process so frequently that they are unable to assess non-performing assets to decide to hold or dispose of them. The delays are costing Chase doubly as mortgage payments are missed and mortgage assets decline in value.

In short, WaMu's losses are going to be worse than Mr. Dimon's team projected. This will be an additional $10-20 billion dollar loss attributable to the people at the top, starting with Mr. Dimon. By delaying disposal of the non-performing WaMu assets, the balance sheet has been gamed to enable bonuses to management. Shareholders will want to know how such a promising talent could have allowed this to happen. That is the book Ms. Crisafulli should be writing today.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2009
If you have recently learned who Jamie Dimon is and are looking for a simple introduction to the man and his history, this is the book for you. If you are an avid follower of Dimon's career and are looking for a behind-the-scenes deep-dive, you will be left wanting. This book is a collection of stories and one-liners from previously reported interviews, speeches, press statements & conference calls, and Bank One/JPMorgan annual reports. Patricia Crisafulli does a good job gathering and organizing the key facts, but very little new information is included. She does not dive any deeper into major events of Dimon's career (i.e. the now-infamous fight between Steve Black, Dimon and Deryck Maughan; the reasons behind increasing the Bear Stearns price from $2 to $10/share.) There's an entire chapter "Navigating Financial Storms" that barely mentions Dimon! If you want a deeper history of Dimon prior to Bank One, Monica Langley's "Tearing Down The Walls" or Sandy Weill's autobiography "The Real Deal" provide much more detail (even if Weill's book is a bit one-sided). For the deep history of Dimon post-Citigroup, you are left anxiously waiting for a more-detailed book or Dimon's autobiography.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2015
Thank God for the Jamie Dimons of our financial institutions, for their superior intellect, their organizational skills, integrity and honesty. Highly recommended reading.
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