Jamie Dimon has criticized Donald Trump’s policies on a number of occasions since the inauguration.
For instance, on July 23, in a sweeping interview with CNN Money, the JPMorgan boss zeroed in on the administration’s trade policies. “I would remind folks that the president’s team has already said, ‘There will be no retaliation.’ They’ve already been wrong,” Dimon told the network’s Christine Romans, adding that “if I was the president, I’d be a little ticked off at some of my advisers, to tell you the truth.”
Of course Trump needn’t have relied on his “advisers” when it comes to predicting that China wouldn’t simply roll over at the first sign of bullying from a real estate mogul turned reality TV show host. He could have just listened to common sense, if he had any.
In the same interview, Dimon accused Trump of “torturing” Mexico during NAFTA negotiations.
As far as immigration is concerned, Dimon said this about JPMorgan’s stance on DACA:
We completely support DACA. We completely support immigrants. They’re law-abiding, taxpayers [and] most Americans like the immigrants they know, who help them and work with them.
Finally, Dimon delivered a little anecdote about the time his daughter suggested he steer clear of commenting on these issues. His response to her:
You can’t take yourself off the playing field.
That last bit stoked speculation that Dimon could be considering a run at the Oval Office, something more than a few people have joked (sort of) about before.
Well on Wednesday, at an event at JPMorgan’s Park Avenue headquarters, Dimon contended that were he to run in 2020, he could beat Trump.
At that wasn’t all he said.
Here’s the quote:
Question: Why not throw your hat in the ring, Jamie? [laughter]
Dimon: I mean, I’ve said this before Trump was elected. You’re not going to get a wealthy New Yorker elected president. Boy I was dead wrong. And by the way, this wealthy New Yorker [pointing to himself] actually earned his money. It wasn’t a gift from Daddy. And I grew up in a poorer part of Queens than he did, but I am a banker. I am part of the elite. He…I don’t think the American public looks at Trump as part of the elite. They look at him as the upstart who punched the elite in the nose every day. And so I think…I think I could beat Trump. I can’t beat the liberal side of the Democratic party.
Question: You think you can beat Trump?
Dimon: Yeah. I do, yeah. [laughter] Because I’m as tough as he is, I’m smarter than he is. I would be fine. He could punch me all he wants, it wouldn’t work with me. I’d fight right back. But you have these….the Democratic party….they’ve got to get their act together in terms of understanding how society actually works. Because if they just keep on pounding away at business…I watch these ads on TV with all these people …they’re all running and they’re all going to [wags finger] …business where their place is. Well, OK, right that’s going to really work. That’s going to really succeed……Anyway my wife wouldn’t let me, either. She told me she’d love to be first lady. She did not say that, but I do think it’d be a really interesting White House if she were first lady. It would be a little bit…..you compare yourself, remember that show the Nanny with Fran Drescher? [laughter] She says that, not me.
Dimon would go on to try and walk back those comments as follows:
I should not have said it. I’m not running for president. [My comments] prove I wouldn’t make a good politician. I get frustrated because I want all sides to come together to help solve big problems.
Translation: Jamie Dimon is considering a run at the presidency.
In April, in his annual letter, Dimon delivered a series of what amounted to policy prescriptions for America’s problems. You can read the full letter here if you need a refresher, but below are some random bullet points from Dimon on public policy:
- Labor force participation – particularly among men aged 25-54 – dropped dramatically. An estimated 2 million Americans are currently addicted to opioids (in 2016, a staggering 42,000 Americans died because of opioid overdoses), and some studies show this is one of the major reasons why men aged 25-54 are permanently out of work. Even worse, 70% of today’s youth (ages 17-24) are not eligible for military service, essentially due to a lack of proper education (basic reading and writing skills) or health issues (often obesity or diabetes).
- Our schools are leaving too many behind. In some inner city schools, fewer than 60% of students graduate, and of those who do, a significant number are not prepared for employment. Additionally, many of our high schools, vocational schools and community colleges do not properly prepare today’s younger generation for the available professional-level jobs, many of which pay a multiple of the minimum wage.
- Infrastructure is a disaster. It took eight years to get a man to the moon (from idea inception to completion), yet it now can sometimes take a decade to simply get the permits to build a bridge or a new solar field. The country that used to have the best infrastructure on the planet by most measures is now not even ranked among the top 20 developed nations according to the Basic Requirement Index.
- Our immigration policies fail us in numerous ways. Forty percent of foreign students who receive advanced degrees in science, technology and math (300,000 students annually) have no legal way of staying here, although many would choose to do so. Most students from countries outside the United States pay full freight to attend our universities but many are forced to take the training back home. From my vantage point, that means one of our largest exports is brainpower.
- Our nation’s healthcare costs are twice the amount per person compared with most developed nations.
So, would you vote Dimon 2020?