J.P. Morgan Chase's outspoken CEO on Friday broke into an impassioned, expletive-tinged rant on the state of Washington politics and its impact on the U.S. economy during one call to discuss second-quarter results.
Dimon said U.S. growth was held in check by a lack of policy momentum in D.C. that has failed to deliver a spate of pro-growth legislation that could help to boost an otherwise sluggish economy. “We have to focus on policy that is good for all Americans,” Dimon said, speaking Friday morning on a call with reporters to discuss earnings.
Later in the morning, on a call with analysts, a more-animated-than-usual Dimon took his earlier statements one step further:
So, no, in spite of gridlock, we’ll grow at 1.5% or 2%. I don’t buy the argument that we’ll relegate this forever. We’re not. If this administration can make breakthroughs in taxes and infrastructure regulatory reform. We have become one of the most bureaucratic confusing litigious societies on the planet. It’s almost an embarrassment to be an American citizen traveling around the world and listening to the stupid sh—t we have to deal with in this country. And at one point we all have to get our act together or we won’t do what we’re supposed to do for the average Americans. And unfortunately, people write about this being like it’s for corporations. It’s not for corporations. Competitive taxes are important for business and business growth, which is important for jobs and wage growth. And honestly, we should be ringing that along to every single one of you, every time you talk to a client.
Dimon cited business friendly policies in other countries he has visited recently as the source of his increasing frustration over a lack of progress on policy.
I was just in France. I was recently in Argentina. I was in Israel. I was in Ireland. We met with the Prime Minister of India and China. It’s amazing to me that every single one of those countries understands that practical policies that promote business and growth is good for the average citizens of those countries for jobs and wages.
During his earlier talk with the media, Dimon said U.S. policy woes “isn’t a Republican issue, it is not a Democratic issue.”
Continued gridlock may not further weigh on growth, but Dimon said better policies could deliver a helpful jolt to the economy: “We need infrastructure reform. We need regulatory reform.”
He declined to say whether President Donald Trump’s administration was moving fast enough on those issues, but he did call out the media for failing to cover it.
Shares of J.P. Morgan Chase were trading 1.4% lower despite reporting second-quarter results that beat expectations, as investors focused on a trading slowdown.
So far this year, J.P. Morgan’s stock has gained 5.4%, while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.47% has risen 9.7% and, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.39% has returned 9.3% over the same period. Both equity gauges hit intraday records in Friday trade, even as the banking sector was on track for one its worst daily declines in months.