Jamie Dimon, the head of the nation’s biggest bank, has this piece of advice for other CEOs: It’s time to start thinking positive.
The CEO of JP Morgan Chase (JPM) said that leaders have been programmed to be risk averse since the recession and related financial crisis. But he argued that the economic forces are generally in America’s and the world’s favor. “Don’t be so damned depressed,” Dimon said at Fortune’s Global Forum in San Francisco on Wednesday. “We have all become risk experts and are afraid of our own shadow at this point. Move on. The world is going to be fine.”
Without giving specifics, Dimon said the American economy was improving and that the world economy would double in size in 15 years. But he added that the U.S. economy could be growing faster if Washington had passed more reform legislation, and he cited immigration as an example.
Dimon also said there has been too much focus recently on when the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates — an issue that he insisted didn’t matter much. But he described the waiting as a distraction. Instead, Dimon pushed of the idea of increasing rates sooner rather than later, as a sort of psychological boost. “I would argue that would reduce uncertainty,” he said.
On Wednesday, Fed chair Janet Yellen, testifying before Congress, said that a rate hike was still a possibility for later this year.
As for his own success, Dimon didn’t offer much advice. When told that he had been chosen as one of the most admired CEOs in an informal survey of other CEOs by Fortune, Dimon said he really didn’t know why. Perhaps it was his optimism.