Society

CEO: Being An American Abroad Is 'An Embarrassment'

| by Robert Fowler
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie DimonJPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon

A member of President Donald Trump's business advisory council, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, has blasted political gridlock and how the media reports on financial stories.

In the banking executive's view, government has been hampering economic growth and should prioritize tax reform and infrastructure spending.

On July 14, Dimon held a conference call with reporters to discuss JPMorgan Chase's second-quarter earnings. During the discussion, the banking executive became exasperated when a journalist asked about bond markets.

"Who cares about fixed income trading in the last two weeks of June," Dimon said, according to the New York Post. "I mean seriously? That is the weather. It goes up and down, this and that, and that's 80 percent of what you guys focus on."

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The banking executive proceed to rail against Washington, D.C., asserting that it was Wall Street that had carried the U.S. out of the Great Recession.

"Since the Great Recession, which is now eight years old, we’ve been growing at 1.5 to 2 percent in spite of stupidity and political gridlock, because the American business sector is powerful and strong," he said.

Dimon expressed frustration that the U.S. was not investing in infrastructure and not streamlining the tax code. The banking executive had recently returned from a global trip that stretched from Argentina, China France, India, Ireland, and Israel. He asserted that the leaders of those countries understood how policy could bolster economic growth better than the U.S.

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"It’s amazing to me that every single one of those countries understands that practical policies to promote business and growth is good for the average citizens of those countries, for jobs and wages, and that somehow this great American free-enterprise system, we no longer get it," Dimon continued.

The banking executive added, “We have become one of the most bureaucratic, confusing, litigious societies on the planet ... 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," according to The Washington Post.

Dimon has been a vocal critic of the U.S. government and its impact on the economy. On May 1, the White House business adviser stated that federal regulations on the financial sector why stymieing growth.

"The real issue I'm worried about is bad public policy," Dimon said during the Milken Institute Global Conference, according to Reuters.

James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute gave a withering assessment of Dimon's latest government critique.

"We have to admit it's a little bit cheeky for a banker to complain about incompetence in Washington for slow growth when one reason growth has been so slow in recent years is because of a major financial crisis that Wall Street may have had some role in," Pethokoukis told CNBC.

Sources: CNBCNew York Post (2), Reuters, The Washington Post / Photo Credit: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr, Fortune Live Media/Flickr, Financial Times/Flickr

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