Jamie Dimon denounces congressional “childish behavior”

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JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon criticized lawmakers for a months-long standoff on a second round of coronavirus relief to help unemployed Americans and struggling businesses as the pandemic worsens.“I know now that we are having this great debate. Is it $ 2.2 trillion, $ 1.5 trillion? Dimon said Wednesday, referring to competing visions for a relief bill from Democrats and Republicans, during the New York Times Dealbook conference.

“You’re kidding me,” Dimon told Andrew Ross Sorkin. “I mean, just split the baby and move on. It is childish behavior on the part of our politicians. ”

Congress has so far failed to pass a second relief bill after key parts of the first law, the CARES Act, expired in July. As the financial pain of the unemployed and small businesses is set to intensify as Covid-19 infections hit new records across the country, the main leaders of the two parties have not met since the election presidential election of 3 November.

Dimon urged lawmakers to agree on a fiscal stimulus that would serve as a bridge until mid-2021, when promising vaccines could be widely distributed.

“Thank God”

“Thank goodness we have these two vaccines coming up, thank goodness,” Dimon said. “Now is the time not to act like it’s over, let’s double down and get through Covid as best we can. “In particular, the pain is felt by the “poorest 20%” of workers in terms of job losses, unlike past recessions, he said. This cohort effectively spent down the increased savings they had from the CARES Act and are now back to their February cash levels, Dimon said.

“There’s a lot of our country that’s really struggling… that’s what we should be focusing on,” Dimon said. “It has nothing to do with Democrats and Republicans. ”

He added that “if the stimulus does not come, the probability of having a good economic result decreases”.

“Taxes must increase”

Asked about the possibility that President-elect Joe Biden would raise taxes for businesses and people who earn more than $ 400,000, Dimon acknowledged the need for the government to generate more revenue, although he said the priority should be to increase US economic growth.

“Yeah, taxes have to go up somewhere, and I fully understand that,” Dimon said. “There are taxes that hurt growth and taxes that don’t; so taxing my income a little more doesn’t hurt growth; taxing capital formation over time hurts growth. ”

In the high-profile interview, Dimon touched on the history of race relations in America (“racial inequality is terrible”); his assessment of bitcoin (“I’m not really interested in bitcoin”); business travel in a post-Covid world (“I won’t travel less”); and rumors that he could serve as secretary of the treasury in a Biden administration (“I never coveted the job, never”).

He also bluntly acknowledged that Biden did indeed win the US presidential election, despite President Trump’s claims to the contrary.

“There will be a new sworn-in president on Jan. 20,” Dimon said. “We need a peaceful transition. We had elections. We have a new president. You should support this whether you like it or not, for it is based on a system of faith and trust. “

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