Let Them Eat Bear

Now that’s what I call a power lunch:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke lunched on March 11 with a Who’s Who of Wall Street leaders, including JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon, three days before the central bank rescued Bear Stearns Cos. from bankruptcy.

Other guests included Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. CEO Richard Fuld, Morgan Stanley President James Gorman, Citigroup Inc.’s Robert Rubin, Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman and Merrill Lynch & Co. CEO John Thain. Alan Schwartz, the CEO of Bear Stearns, was not listed among the attendees.

Also on the guest list: Tim Geithner (natch, since he was hosting), Stone Point Capital LLC Chairman Stephen Friedman, Citadel Investment Group LLC CEO Kenneth Griffin, American Express Co. CEO Kenneth Chenault, Duquesne Capital Management LLC CEO Stanley Druckenmiller and Caxton Associates LLC Chairman Bruce Kovner. Plus two executive vice presidents at the New York Fed: William Dudley, head of open market operations, and Terrence Checki, who oversees emerging markets and international affairs.

I wonder when/whether Schwartz found out he hadn’t been invited. At that point he must have known the gig was up.

But Schwartz isn’t the only interesting absence. There’s also no one from any foreign bank: Credit Suisse, UBS, Deutsche – they’re all big players on Wall Street, but none of them got on the guest list. So much for global markets.

(HT: Carney)

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