Morgan Stanley CEO Feels Heat

After 'embarassing' quarter, Mack could lose his swagger— and his job
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2007 11:37 AM CST
A man enters the Morgan Stanley building on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007 in New York. The No. 2 U.S. investment bank on Wednesday reported a fourth-quarter loss due to a $9.4 billion writedown from its exposure...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – When John Mack became Morgan Stanley’s CEO in 2005, he told the company to take more risks. “You’ve lost your swagger,” he told his traders. Now, after several questionable moves and yesterday's staggering $9.4 billion writedown, swagger isn’t looking so hot—and Mack could be sent packing, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Mack ruffled feathers by propping up unpopular co-president Zoe Cruz, then helmed two ill-fated acquisitions—credit card company Goldfish, which was immediately written down, and subprime firm Saxon Capital. “He’s a chronic destroyer of value,” said one former Morgan Stanley analyst. But Mack has friends, and can point to some successes. “I think he has the confidence of the troops,” another analyst said.