JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and the bank’s head of asset management, Mary Erdoes, had a chat with CNBC at Davos.As has been the case over the past month, Dimon is increasingly positive about the Obama adminstration, saying about business and jobs, “we’re all in this together.”
“America has been through much tougher times than this,” Dimon said. “When I graduated from business school in 1983, I heard relentlessly about Japan; about inflation and America’s decline. And it was totally wrong. America has all the things that can make a country really good… You’lll see it come back.”
He said companies are growing, there’s a lot of new M&A activity, and that “economic optimism is justfied because of growth around the world.”
He also thinks that the crisis has been good for bankers as far as their ability to see and appreciate risk.
“We don’t know the future; we’ll never know the future. But now people see a black swan behind every single rock,” he said.
Asked about the European banks and the impending stress tests, he said, “I don’t worry about all of them.” He thinks the stress tests will be good for the markets though.
Erdoes added that when she met with European Central Bank head, Jean Claude Trichet 15 mins earlier, he said: “I’m just trying to make Europe less interesting.”
Erdoes was basically in agreement with her boss, and said companies are beginning to take more risk and that “if you talk to most CEOS, they’re much more confident.” She said her alternative investment clients are “taking advantage of declining correlations.”
But there was one thing she wasn’t happy about: the forced five-men-to-one-woman ratio that Davos enforces. “I think it’s very unfortunate that we had to make it a thing.” She said now people wonder, “are you here because your a female or are you here because of a your accomplishments; it’s disappointing.”