JAMIE DIMON: 'Is that the America we wanted?'

Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, thinks lower taxes and deregulation to make it easier to set up a business would help restore some of America’s “can do” attitude. He discussed his views on everything from inequality to his membership in the Democratic party, at an event that was broadcast on Periscope.

Here are some highlights:

  • America has a number of problems: “We’ve left behind a lot of Americans, and we made a mistake. We made a lot of mistakes, and we’ve hurt people. You see in the opioid crisis, you see it in the 20 million felons have difficulty getting a job, you see in the low labour participation rate.”
  • There are too many rules and regulations: “You see it in the rules and regulations we have to deal with. Small business formation is lower in this recovery than it has ever been. There are two primary reasons. One is regulation, and the second is access to capital.”
  • Corporate taxes are too high: “We have the highest corporate tax rates, we are driving capital and brains overseas every single day for those who have the option to invest overseas. It is easier for a foreign company to buy an American company than it is for an American company to buy the American company.
  • It takes too long to set up a new business: “In NYC, it takes a year and three licenses to become a barber. Don’t tell me in can do America we should do that. Not going back to the good old days, not throwing out all of Dodd-Frank, none of that, just let’s look at things.”
  • And too long to build things: “It takes 10 years to get the average permits to do a bridge. What happened to the good old, can do, American attitude? Is that the America we wanted? The bureaucracy and BS around all of this stuff?”

Dimon was also asked about whether he wanted to run for office (he doesn’t), and about his politics.

“I wasn’t a Trump supporter when he was running, I wasn’t a big Democratic supporter either because I really don’t like their anti-business sentiment,” he said. “I wish they would use the words free enterprise every now and then, or ‘success is a good thing’.”

When pressed on whether he was still a registered Democrat, he said he hadn’t changed his registration, but he was past the point of caring about political parties.

“I’m much more of the ‘let’s get it done, let’s help all Americans, if we’re going to be leaders, let’s lead for everyone.'”

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