JPMorgan CEO jokes bank will outlast China’s Communist Party

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Jamie Dimon quips during remarks while reiterating his bank’s commitment to doing business in China.

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JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon jokes that his bank will last longer than the Communist Party of China.

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Reiterating his bank’s commitment to doing business in China, Dimon said on Tuesday: “I joked the other day that the Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year – so is JPMorgan. I’ll bet that we Long live.”

Dimon said: “I can’t say that in China. They’re probably listening anyway.” He was speaking as part of a Boston College series of CEO interviews.

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JP Morgan has been operating in China since 1921, the same year the Communist Party was founded there.

It has branches in several Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

In late 2019, the bank received approval to establish a majority-owned securities joint venture offering brokerage, investment advisory and underwriting services.

In August, the bank received regulatory approval from Beijing to become the first wholly foreign owner of a securities brokerage in the country. Its other business interests in China include asset management and futures trading.

JPMorgan Chase has been operating in China since 1921 [File: Stan Honda/AFP]

Global executives usually choose their words carefully when discussing China, where foreign companies sometimes face a backlash for alleged crimes.

In 2019, remarks by a senior UBS economist about pigs in China, perceived by some as racist slurs, caused an uproar and prompted a Chinese firm to suspend all business ties with a Swiss bank .

In Boston, Dimon also said he expects supply chain issues to make inflation fleeting but that high oil prices and wages will not go away. He estimates that a percentage point or two of the recent 5 percent U.S. inflation pace will fade as prices for commodities like used cars and lumber stop rising.

“There are other things that probably aren’t that fleeting,” Dimon said. “I don’t think oil prices are going to go down.”

Dimon estimates that there is about a third chance that inflation will be enough to bring about a modest increase in market interest rates that does not push the economy into recession.

He said there is a similar possibility that inflation will rise and prompt the US Federal Reserve to withdraw support for the economy, perhaps leading to a mild recession.

Dimon described the US economy as “emerging”.

“Consumers and businesses are in good financial shape with more monetary and fiscal stimulus still to come,” he said.

When asked about cryptocurrencies, Dimon reiterated earlier warnings to buyers.

“It’s not really a currency,” Dimon said, calling them a “crypto token” with no intrinsic value that has gone up in price on speculation driven by government stimulus payments.

“It’s hysteria,” he said.

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