Jamie Dimon, the head of one of the world’s most important financial firms, JPMorgan Chase, had some troubling words for Americans. In a conference call with clients recently, Dimon said that the recession in America is only going to get worse and even said that Americans might very well be “incompetent and lazy.”
On the economy, Jamie Dimon warned investors not to mistake their personal financial situations for a sign that things might be good overall. “Consumers’ balance sheets are in good shape,” he told them. “Businesses are equally in good shape.”
But then Jamie Dimon added, “When you forecast, you have to think differently. It is a bad mistake to say, ‘Here is my single-point forecast.’”
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This is in line with what he said at a business conference in June. “You better brace yourself,” Jamie Dimon warned people. “JPMorgan is bracing ourselves and we’re going to be very conservative with our balance sheet.”
Jamie Dimon also had some words about China and how it has financial success because of the country’s autocratic government.
Warning the Chinese not to be overconfident either, Dimon said, “Autocratic management can work in certain things, but doesn’t work in the long run.”
And Dimon also sort of agreed with the Chinese who claim that Americans are lazy.
“They kind of look at America and say, ‘You have been incompetent and lazy,’” he added. “There is truth to that,” he said. “We have screwed up infrastructure. We have screwed up inner city schools.”
Jamie Dimon is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., a global financial services firm with assets of $3.2 trillion and operations worldwide. The firm deals in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing and asset management.
Dimon became CEO on January 1, 2006 and one year later also became Chairman of the Board. He was named President and Chief Operating Officer upon the company’s merger with Bank One Corporation on July 1, 2004. Dimon joined Bank One as Chairman and CEO in 2000.
Dimon began his career at American Express Company. Next, he served as Chief Financial Officer and then President at Commercial Credit, which made numerous acquisitions and divestitures, including acquiring Primerica Corporation in 1987 and The Travelers Corporation in 1993. Dimon served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Travelers from 1990 through 1998 while concurrently serving as Chief Operating Officer of its Smith Barney Inc. subsidiary before becoming co-Chairman and Co-CEO of the combined brokerage following the 1997 merger of Smith Barney and Salomon Brothers. In 1998, Dimon was named President of Citigroup Inc., the global financial services company formed by the combination of Travelers Group and Citicorp.