By Tory Newmyer
January 14, 2017

Saturday Morning Post: The Weekly View from Washington

If the blue-collar workers who helped deliver Donald Trump to power expect he’ll redeem his tough talk about Wall Street from the campaign trail for a pound of industry flesh once in office, now may be time to temper those hopes. That, at least, is the assessment of one of the most powerful figures in finance, J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon. In a press call Friday to discuss the bank’s fourth quarter earnings, Dimon told reporters he’s setting aside Trump’s “one-liners and election rhetoric.” Instead, he said, he’s “comforted by the fact that he’s putting real players on the playing field.” And Dimon is in a position to press his case, considering his direct line to the president-elect as both the new chairman of the Business Roundtable and one of 16 CEOs in Trump’s economic advisory group, the Strategic and Policy Forum. Dimon downplayed his own influence — “I don’t whisper,” he said — but pointed to Treasury Secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, and Commerce Secretary nominee Wilbur Ross, the billionaire investor, as inspiring confidence that the new administration won’t push hardline protectionism or antagonize important trading partners like China.

Dimon’s comments, a day after the Trump team announced the fourth and fifth appointments of Goldman Sachs alums to top administration posts, track the market’s judgment. J.P. Morgan, whose earnings beat expectations by rising 30% in the fourth quarter, has seen its share price surge 23% since the election. Shares of other big banks are up sharply, too, in part on expectations of a Dodd-Frank rollback. Dimon on Friday said he thinks Trump will boost economic growth broadly by easing up on regulations and passing tax relief. The industry, and the public, will get a clearer sense of what the administration has in mind this Thursday when Mnuchin heads to the Senate for his confirmation hearing.

A programming note: This will be one of my last contributions to this note, since this week I launched a daily newsletter — Trumponomics Daily — devoted to covering the business impact of the dawning Trump era in Washington. So if you’ve found the Saturday edition of the CEO Daily valuable, I’d encourage you to join me during the week, which you can do by signing up here:

Tory Newmyer


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