JPMorgan Chase & Co. probably thought things couldn't get any worse than the $13 bilion it is expected to pay in a legal settlement with the government.
Then it stumbled into a public-relations debacle on Twitter.
The beleaguered banking giant asked Twitter users to submit questions to one of its top deal-makers for a planned Twitter chat Thursday. Using the hashtag #AskJPM, the company said Jimmy Lee would be responding to queries on "leadership and life."
The phrase quickly began trending on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.
But far from the polite public discourse it no doubt expected, the company was inundated with sarcastic questions and comments that demonstrated the public's still-raging anger at Wall Street.
A sampling of some of the snarkier questions from the Twitterati:
Do you have an org chart that's perfectly analogous to the criminal underworld - capo, made man - or do you just wing it? #AskJPM— David Dayen (@ddayen) November 13, 2013
Is it the ability to throw anyone out of their home that drives you, or just the satisfaction that you know you COULD do it? #AskJPM— David Dayen (@ddayen) November 13, 2013
Many took aim at Jamie Dimon, the company's chief executive.
When Jamie Dimon eats babies are they served rare? I understand anything above medium-rare is considered gauche. #AskJPM— Eric (@Talking_Monkeys) November 13, 2013
Who is your favorite Kardashian? #AskJPM— Ben Hoben (@ExtraDividends) November 13, 2013
Ironically, the powerful Lee was one of the investment bankers behind Twitter's successful public stock offering last week.
Probably wisely, JPMorgan decided to cancel the Twitter chat.
At least the company kept its sense of humor.
Asked for a comment on the PR mishap, this is spokesman Joseph Evangelist's response via email:
"#Bad idea! Back to the drawing board."
Follow Walter Hamilton on Twitter @LATwalter