Opinion

Felix Salmon

How Jamie Dimon sees himself

By Felix Salmon
July 22, 2010

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Well done to Jessica Pressler for picking up on this astonishing photo from the house that Jamie Dimon is still trying to sell in Chicago; it’s now listed at $9.5 million, down from an original asking price of $13.5 million. That’s less than $1.2 million per bedroom: a bargain!

I’m trying to work out why Dimon would force his house guests to look at this picture every time they descend the stairs. The rest of the photos reveal Dimon to be decidedly conservative when it comes to his living style, in a high-plutocrat sort of way: lots of grand columns and overstuffed armchairs, that sort of thing. And, of course, a heavy bag in the gym.

But the portrait in the stairwell — that’s something else. This is the polar opposite of the smiling vacation photo on the mantlepiece: in fact, there’s no face at all, just sheer power and authority, presented as iconically as possible.

Dimon is rich and powerful, of course, but he’s careful with his public image, which is human and collegial. He’s not a bully. Weirdly, his private face seems to be more humorless and forbidding than his public face. Which just goes to reinforce the general impression that Joe Evangelisti, Dimon’s PR head, is doing a very good job.

Comments
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A few things to consider…

Given that there’s no corresponding staircase leading “up” and noting the presence of the skylight, one suspects that this photo is the top level of the townhouse, more likely than not where the master bedroom suite is located. In other words, not a spot within the home likely to be frequented by “house guests.” As a good high-plutocrat, it’s unlikely he’d do that idiotic bourgeois “wanna see the upstairs” exercise. That being said, it comes as no surprise that he’d want a nice ego-boost on his way downstairs each morning.

Posted by pholstein | Report as abusive
 

What a lovely old place. I think the picture is fine as your art should reflect something about your taste and that certainly does! Big ego, big picture.

The pillars look as though they are placed for structure rather then looks, plus do not match the downstairs at all as they are modern and plain, so are a recent addition given their location. They surely cut into the space, especially at the top of the stairs.

It is a very majestic home, with the concave, molded and adorned ceilings and walls, yet he has made it feel subdued as well as lush. (I love the old ceiling..I used to have a huge old house myself, but not QUITE as big…)

This picture is likely the mid floor as it still has a fine ceiling and that is where the master’s bedrooms were. The picture of the sitting area, third one up, is probably the 3rd floor as it is simple and free of adornment on the walls or ceilings.

There also would be no stairs to the third floor on the same area as the bedrooms and the stair would simpler and more straight up. Reason? The third floor was where the help was housed.

Posted by hsvkitty | Report as abusive
 

Felix this is the third time it has been on sale in 3 years … so the poor baby is feeling the housing crunch. leave the poor man alone!!

Question… I wonder if he is tied to his mortgage?

Posted by hsvkitty | Report as abusive
 

Sometimes a picture of a picture is worth a thousand words…

Posted by MaggiesFarmboy | Report as abusive
 

Or it’s just that he really likes the particular set of cufflinks he was wearing that day.

Posted by 77SunsetStrip | Report as abusive
 

In all likelihood, this isn’t Dimon’s stuff. Houses in this price tier will always be “staged” by a professional, who goes out and finds loaner art and furniture likely to appeal to prospective buyers.)

Posted by AEinCH | Report as abusive
 

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