Jamie Dimon rails against the state of US politics


Jamie Dimon.

JP Morgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon condemned the state of US politics on Friday, saying political gridlock is hurting the US economy.

He said Americans must “get our act together” or risk limiting themselves to 1.5% to 2% growth.

“It would be much stronger growth had we made intelligent decisions and were there not gridlock,” he said.

Mr Dimon said it was “almost an embarrassment” to be an American citizen at the moment.

The bank boss has pushed for investment in roads, bridges and other infrastructure and called for corporate tax reform.

President Donald Trump had promised to prioritise those policies, but his agenda has been derailed by conflict-of-interest issues and the investigation into his presidential campaign’s ties with Russia.

Republicans have been divided among themselves over healthcare reform, causing uncertainty in one of the largest sectors in the economy.

‘Almost an embarrassment’

American businesses are strong enough to continue to grow without progress in Washington, said Mr Dimon, who has taken US politicians to task before.

But he said major problems needed fixing, including education and infrastructure.

“We have become one of the most bureaucratic, confusing litigious societies on the planet,” he said. “It’s almost an embarrassment being an American citizen travelling around the world and listening to the stupid [stuff] we have to deal with in this country.”

Mr Dimon said he has been overseas in countries, including France, Argentina, Israel, Ireland, India and China.

“It’s amazing to me that every single one of those countries understands that practical policies to promote business growth is good for the average citizens of those countries for jobs and wages,” he said. “And somehow in the great American free enterprise system, we no longer get it.”

Mr Dimon heads America’s largest bank. He made the remarks as the firm reported a 13% year-on-year rise in quarterly profit.

Profits at its consumer and community banking unit contracted, amid pressure on home loans.

But they climbed at the firm’s commercial banking and the firm’s asset and wealth management division.