Jamie Dimon, the bulletproof head of JPMorgan Chase, has throat cancer. Though his prognosis is good, speculation about who will succeed him is already rampant. Allow us to offer some ideas for successors who are not "just another banker in a suit."
Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The former options trader, professor, and author of The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness has made a career out of explaining the nature of risks (particularly within the financial system) and how to protect against them. He's argued for eliminating bonuses on Wall Street, and called Wall Street banks "a compensation scheme and nothing else." Just the man to rally the JPMorgan troops.
David Graeber: The anarchist anthropologist and academic whose book Debt: The First 5000 Years served as a favored text of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Graeber has summarized the effect of much of the work that global banks do as, "Lives are destroyed; millions of people die." A fresh new voice in the boardroom.
Emmanuel Saez: The UC Berkeley economist and frequent Thomas Piketty collaborator has done groundbreaking academic work that exposes and explains the growth of economic inequality in America. Much of the urgent post-recession public discussion of inequality has been based on Saez's findings (whether people know it or not). He has argued that the optimal tax rate on America's highest earners should be higher than 70%. Just the thing to motivate JPMorgan's traders to work harder.
Elizabeth Warren: Though she is still seen as a long-shot candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, the Massachusetts senator and lifelong pro-consumer crusader might prefer the higher remuneration and better stability of a Wall Street CEO job. Warren's credentials as a bankruptcy law professor and her seminal work creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau make her more than qualified for the job. She has blasted Wall Street CEOs as greedy job-destroyers and flatly declared, "The system is rigged." A sure bet to pursue positive changes in the company.
Eliot Spitzer: Though he went down in ignominious scandal, the former New York attorney general and governor should be remembered more for the fact that he was one of the only elected officials in America who fought hard to rein in the very Wall Street excesses that led to the 2008 financial crisis. Indeed, Spitzer was probably the nation's most high profile voice against predatory lending practices and Wall Street compensation inflation prior to his downfall. He's done his mandatory scandal-shame time. He needs a job. It just makes sense.