JAMIE DIMON: 'It is as good as it's ever been'

JPMorgan reported fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday that crushed expectations and set a high bar for the rest of Wall Street.

On a conference call with analysts following the release, the bank’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, sounded pretty optimistic about the state of the US economy.

Much of the call was spent discussing the energy sector. JPMorgan upped reserves on loans to the oil and gas and metals and mining sectors in the quarter.

He was also asked if the firm was seeing stress outside the energy sector.

“We’re not seeing anything broadly in our portfolio,” he said.

When he looks at the firm’s credit card, commercial bank, middle market banking businesses, “it is as good as it’s ever been,” he said.

“We’re not forecasting a recession — I think the US economy looks pretty good at this point,” he continued.

Dimon was then asked why there was a mismatch between the market volatility of late and his view on the US economy. He said the US economy has been “chugging along” for years and created millions of jobs. He noted that corporate credit is “quite good,” small business formation “is not back to where it was but it’s quite good,” and household formation “is going up.”

Asked about recent turmoil in the markets, Dimon said that while those in the finance industry look at market turmoil every day, it was unlikely that “142 million Americans who have jobs look at it that much.”

“Hopefully this will all settle down, and it won’t be the beginning of something really bad.”

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