John Mack: Overrated

Dan Colarusso takes his stiletto knife to John Mack today, and I’m very happy he did. As Dan shows, Mack has a long history of pulling defeat from the jaws of victory, and it’s far from obvious why he’s the best person to run Morgan Stanley. The stock has lost more than half its pre-credit-crunch value – a much bigger drop than at arch-rival Goldman Sachs – and Mack doesn’t seem to have the strategic vision to turn things around.

This chart says it all, really: it compares Morgan Stanley’s share price to that of Goldman Sachs and the S&P 500 over the past two years. The S&P is basically flat; Goldman is in nice positive territory. But Morgan Stanley has plunged into nasty negative territory.

John Mack has an outsize reputation, but he’s rarely delivered on it. At the very least, it’s time for him to step down as chairman, and hand the job over to someone who can help out on the big-picture strategic side of things.

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