Nov 14, 2019

Common sense arrives on Wall Street

The financial crisis saw bank CEOs engaging in some extremely dangerous activities. For instance, Andrew Ross Sorkin recounts a fraught journey by Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack in his book, "Too Big To Fail."

Background: Mack had been summoned from his office in Times Square to the New York Fed, and so he jumped into his chauffeur-driven Audi, only to find it stuck in traffic on the West Side Highway.

  • Mack's driver, a former police officer, beat the traffic by "speeding" down a separated bike lane that runs along the Hudson River instead.

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon knows that it would have been quicker still for Mack to have just jumped on a subway from midtown. (Or, if he wanted to borrow a move from Michael Bloomberg, get his driver to drive him to the 4 train.)

  • Although some of his board members are reportedly horrified, Solomon tells Fortune that he regularly travels by the most efficient means available. "Why wouldn’t you take the subway?” he told reporter Jen Wieczner. “It’s quicker and more efficient."

Go deeper: CEOs are America's new politicians

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The CEO's boss

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Justin Sullivan/Getty and Saul Loe/Getty

Being a CEO used to mean something very clear: You were the top dog, answerable only to the collective will of a board of directors. Today's CEOs, by contrast, are often deep down in the org chart, fireable by a boss who in turn is fireable by an even higher-up boss.

The big picture: Regional heads, heads of subsidiaries, heads of business lines — all of them now lay claim to the CEO title. Mark O’Donovan, for instance, is the CEO of Chase Auto, a subsidiary of Chase Manhattan Bank that is itself a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase.

Go deeperArrowDec 5, 2019

Big Tech continues real estate spree in New York

The Vessel at Hudson Yards, New York City in Oct. 2019. Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

Amazon said it signed a new lease on Friday for 335,000 square feet of New York City's Hudson Yards neighborhood, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: Outrage from activists and local lawmakers and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over Amazon's now-canceled HQ2 has not curtailed Big Tech's massive physical expansion into New York.

Go deeperArrowDec 7, 2019

Apple's secretive financial services

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Apple Card is facing accusations of sexism based on anecdotal evidence from David and Jamie Heinemeier Hansson, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and countless other individuals on Twitter.

Where it stands: They allege that that wives were given lower credit limits than their husbands, even when they had the same income and even when the wife had a higher credit score.

Go deeperArrowNov 14, 2019