The chief executive of the US’s largest bank has voiced his frustration with political gridlock in Washington and said it was sometimes “an embarrassment being an American citizen”.
Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co, is known for his frequently outspoken comments. Last year, he turned down an opportunity to become Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary.
His bank reported a profit of $7.03bn for the second quarter, 13 per cent higher than last year. It has made $26.5bn over the past 12 months, a record profit for a US bank, according to the Associated Press.
Despite that, Mr Dimon had colourful words for journalists and analysts who participated in a conference call to discuss his latest results.
“It’s almost an embarrassment being an American citizen travelling around the world ... listening to the stupid s*** we have to deal with in this country,” he said. “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.”
Mr Dimon also called on the media to focus less on the the quarter-to-quarter changes in his business, and look at larger issues, such as infrastructure, the opioid epidemic, taxation and jobs.
“[The media] should be writing a lot more about that the stuff that is holding back and hurting average Americans. Who really cares about fixed-income trading in the last two weeks of June, I mean seriously,” he said.
He paid particular attention to the issue of infrastructure, comparing the US’s failure to invest, particularly when compared to the situation in other countries.
“I was just in France. I recently in Argentina, was in Israel, was in Ireland. We met with the prime minister of India and China,” said Mr Dimon.
“It’s amazing to me that every single one of these countries understands that practical policies that promote business and growth is good for the average citizens of this countries, for jobs and wages, and that somehow, this great American free enterprise system, we no longer get it.”
He added: “The American business sector is powerful and strong, and it’s going to grow regardless. What I’m saying is, it will be much stronger growth had we made intelligent decisions and we were not gridlocked.”