Great Metaphors

During the financial crisis of 2008 Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, had to explain to the Senate Banking Committee why he had offered to pay so little for Bear Stearns (2 US dollars per share). He knew full well that the senators thought he had been handed a gift and was looking for a metaphor to explain in plain English why the offer had been so low.

He finally settled on this great metaphor: “Buying a house is not the same as buying a house on fire.”

In the end the burning house could be salvaged somewhat: the final transaction price was USD 10 per share, well below its 133.20 high but 5 times the price initially offered.

The definitive account of what transpired can be found in the book Too Big To Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin.

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About Case

Managing Director at Black Isle Group Asia, helping executives stand out when they speak.
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