Jamie Dimon on Booming Economy and Finally Getting Off Zoom
By David Benoit
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon believes a
boom is coming in the American economy but warned that the
government could waste it away if ambitious spending plans aren't
The leader of the nation's biggest bank reiterated his recent
optimism that the economy is poised to emerge from the pandemic on
fire, with growth that could stretch into 2023. Mr. Dimon has in
recent weeks said that the massive government stimulus, the
widespread vaccine rollout and the actions of his corporate and
consumer clients have him believing in a possible "Goldilocks"
economy of fast growth coupled with mild inflation.
"The boom is good. Employment is good. Growth is good. Everyone
should enjoy it," he said Tuesday. Mr. Dimon was interviewed at The
Wall Street Journal's CEO Council Summit by Editor in Chief Matt
Still, Mr. Dimon pointed to signs that leave him unsure of the
longevity and impact of that boom. Small businesses and
lower-income workers suffered disproportionately in the pandemic,
he said. Inflation will likely increase. The stock market is priced
at historic highs, with pockets of excess.
Mr. Dimon also said that government spending aimed at driving
economic growth will fall flat if it isn't designed well, with
measurable outcomes. For example, a highway plan should detail how
many miles would be built, at what cost and by when, he said.
Offering free tuition for community college won't work if schools
aren't measured by graduation and job placement rates.
"Our government, when they point out the issues that we should
do better, they're right," Mr. Dimon said. "But if we just throw a
lot of money at it and it's all wasted again...we will be in big
Government regulation, he added, has slowed growth over the
years for small businesses and others.
"The can-do nation became the nation of red tape," he said.
Mr. Dimon is often asked if his interest in policy and how to
run governments would lead him to run for office, a notion he has
dismissed over the years. Tuesday he said he hoped to change how
government spending plans are publicly talked about.
Coming out of the pandemic, Mr. Dimon is eager for other signs
of normalcy. More JPMorgan employees will return to the office
starting this month, though Mr. Dimon acknowledged they aren't all
happy about it. But the remote office, he said, doesn't work for
generating ideas, preserving corporate culture, competing for
clients or "for those who want to hustle."
"We want people back at work and my view is some time in
September, October, it will look just like it did before," Mr.
Dimon said. "Yes, people don't like commuting, but so what?"
To Mr. Dimon, commuting is better than the alternative.
"I'm about to cancel all my Zoom meetings," he added. "I'm done
Write to David Benoit at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 04, 2021 10:47 ET (14:47 GMT)
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