JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive officer Jamie Dimon joked that his bank will last longer than the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Tuesday, while he reiterated the bank’s commitment to doing business in China.
“I made a joke the other day that The Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year—so is JPMorgan,” Dimon said during a panel discussion at the Boston College Chief Executives Club. “I’d make a bet that we last longer.”
Dimon added: “I can’t say that in China. They are probably listening anyway.”
The bank has been operating in China since 1921, the same year the CCP was founded there.
The business community should have taken China-related issues more seriously a decade ago, Dimon said, citing trade tensions and the suppression of Hong Kong.
Still, JPMorgan can’t cut business ties with a country just because it disagrees with a policy, he added, noting that the biggest U.S. bank also has a presence in Russia, Pakistan, and Egypt.
In August, JPMorgan received permission from the Chinese regime to take full and independent ownership of its securities business. It was the first foreign bank to get this approval.
At the time, Dimon called China represented one of the largest opportunities in the world for JPMorgan and many of its clients.
He visited Hong Kong last week after being granted an exemption from the city’s measures against the CCP virus pandemic, saying after he arrived that he was “not swayed by geopolitical winds.”
Dimon believed the U.S. economy is “booming.” He expected that inflation from supply chain issues will prove fleeting.
Dimon anticipated that, as prices for goods such as used cars and lumber stop rising, the U.S. inflation rate will fade one percentage point or two from the recent reading of 5 percent.
He was more bearish about oil. “There are other things which are probably not that transitory… I don’t think oil prices are going down.”
Dimon estimated about a one-third chance that inflation would be mild enough to bring on moderate interest rate rises, while not causing the economy to enter a recession.
He also mentioned there is an equal possibility that inflation will rise and force the Federal Reserve to withdraw support for the economy, possibly resulting in a mild recession.
Dimon was, once again, highly skeptical of cryptocurrency.
“It is not really a currency… It is hysteria,” he remarked. He has made numerous headlines declaring cryptocurrencies to be “worthless.”
Reuters contributed to this report.