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Jimmy Cayne, who led Bear Stearns before it imploded, dies at 87
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Jimmy Cayne, the bridge-playing chief executive who led Bear Stearns until it nearly collapsed in 2008, died Tuesday. He was 87.
Mr. Cayne became a poster child for financial mismanagement when the investment firm he had run since 1993 as Wall Street's longest-serving CEO, toppled under a heavy debt load and trading losses. It was sold to JPMorgan Chase & Co. in a fire-sale deal backed by the U.S. government.
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His death was confirmed by Alison Cayne, his daughter.
He was absent during key stretches in the firm's final year, golfing or playing competitive bridge, The Wall Street Journal reported and Mr. Cayne later confirmed to federal regulators. Under criticism for those absences and the firm's cratering stock price — and dogged by reports in the Journal that he smoked marijuana recreationally, which he denied — he ceded the CEO job to investment banker Alan Schwartz in January 2008. Two months later, Bear Stearns, hemorrhaging cash, reached a deal to sell itself to JPMorgan, a merger that in the early 2000s Mr. Cayne had rejected.