Jamie Dimon isn’t particularly amused with the government shutdown and as you’re probably aware, he isn’t generally amused with Donald Trump either.
Although Dimon has played down his political ambitions (which he contends don’t exist despite the overt nods to policy prescriptions delivered, for instance, in his annual letter) he pretty clearly thinks he could do a better job running than country than the guy who’s currently running it.
Back in September, Jamie found himself in a highly amusing (albeit short-lived) war of words with Trump. At an event at JPMorgan’s Park Avenue headquarters, Dimon contended that were he to run in 2020, he could beat the President, but that wasn’t what really got on Trump’s nerves. What really rankled Trump was this (from a transcript of Dimon’s comments):
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.
A day later, Trump responded in characteristically bombastic fashion. “The problem with banker Jamie Dimon running for President is that he doesn’t have the aptitude or ‘smarts’ & is a poor public speaker & nervous mess – otherwise he is wonderful”, the President seethed, adding that “I’ve made a lot of bankers, and others, look much smarter than they are with my great economic policy!”
Got that? According to Trump, Jamie Dimon doesn’t have the “aptitude or smarts” to be President. Very much unlike Trump, a man who insists that contrary to the assessments of everyone who has ever worked for him, actually houses a “very large brain” inside his skull (just ask “Mr. Pillsbury“).
Well, Dimon is of course in Davos this week and he sat down with Andrew Ross Sorkin and Joe Kernen to chat about the shutdown, among other things. Probably the most notable soundbite is this one:
The thing we have to do is facts, analysis, details and not just slogans — policies well done and explained to the American public as opposed to slogans and policies that are implemented and don’t work.
Right. And that’s a reiteration of comments Dimon has made before about the extent to which you cannot run the country based on a handful of nebulous tag lines.
In any event, the full CNBC interview with Dimon is below and what I would suggest (again) is that he’s short selling himself when he contends he couldn’t win the White House.
Admittedly, Dimon was correct when he said, during the same September event during which he suggested he could beat Trump, that America would be loath to elect a banker. But I implore you: watch the following video and try to name a candidate (with the possible exception of Beto) who could successfully debate Dimon (spoiler alert: there aren’t any).