Jamie Dimon is sick of America’s “stupid shit,” said the J.P. Morgan CEO during the bank’s earnings call Friday. And it’s up to Donald Trump to clean it up if the President really wants to make America great again, he added.
Even as J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) reported its biggest quarterly profit ever in the three months ended June, the bank’s CEO—once a candidate for Trump’s Cabinet—ranted about the U.S. government’s failure to pass corporate tax cuts and regulatory reform. Dimon warned that failure is hurting Americans.
“We have become one of the most bureaucratic, confusing, litigious societies on the planet,” Dimon lamented, noting that he recently returned from a globetrotting circuit with visits to France, Argentina, Israel, Ireland, India and China. “It’s almost an embarrassment being an American citizen traveling around the world and listening to the stupid shit we have to deal with in this country.”
Dimon has been vocal in urging the Trump administration to enact certain financial and tax reforms. Like the President, Dimon has insisted that the U.S. economy can grow much faster than its current rate of about 2% or less, despite many economists’ skepticism. But he argues that’s not unless Trump, who has promised to double GDP growth to 4%, can get Congress to act.
“I don’t buy the argument that we’re relegated to this forever,” Dimon said in response to an analyst’s question on the call. “We’re not—if, you know, this Administration can make breakthroughs in taxes and infrastructure and regulatory reform.”
Dimon argued that lowering the corporate tax rate is “critical” in order to ensure that companies do business in the U.S. rather than send their jobs, profits and tax dollars overseas where taxes are lower. “It’s hurting us, it’s hurting the body politic, it’s hurting the average American that we don’t have these right policies.”
Then Dimon gave Trump and Washington at large a blunt ultimatum: “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.” (Among the problems Dimon listed were the lack of wage growth, overdue upgrades for bridges and airports, and that “our inner city school kids are not graduating.”)
On the latter issue, at least, Dimon isn’t waiting for government action. In May, J.P. Morgan pledged to donate $6 million to schools in New York’s poorer Bronx neighborhoods. The bank is also investing $150 million over five years in revitalizing Detroit, a city that has struggled to recover from decades of economic decline.
Don’t expect the J.P. Morgan executive to stop complaining about American political dysfunction anytime soon, though: “I’m going to be a broken record until this gets done,” Dimon said.