Jamie Dimon says to be prepared for recession

Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon said on Wednesday that inflation could rise further and recession is not off the table.

New York (CNN) — JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon issued a stark warning to Wall Street on Wednesday: Inflation could rise further and recession is not off the table.

“A lot of things out there are dangerous and inflationary. Be prepared,” he said at the 2023 New York Times DealBook Summit in New York. “Interest rates may go up and that might lead to recession.”

Governments across the globe need more money, he said, to fund the green economy, remilitarize and to address energy crises — and that will all be inflationary.

“I’m cautious about the economy,” he said. The labor market in the United States has been resilient, but “inflation is hurting people.”

Stimulus money handed out during Covid shutdowns and quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve had injected “drugs directly into our system” and caused an economic “sugar high,” said Dimon. But that’s fading. “I think quantitative easing and tightening and these geopolitical issues can bite,” he said.

In previous interviews, Dimon has said that the Fed may be far from finished with its aggressive regimen of interest rate hikes in the fight against elevated inflation, and that it’s possible the central bank will continue hiking rates by another 1.5 percentage points, to 7%.

Geopolitical woes

Dimon stressed that this may be the most dangerous time the world has seen in decades and that the wars in Ukraine, Israel and Gaza could have far-reaching impacts on energy and food supply, trade and geopolitical relationships. It could even, he said, lead to “nuclear blackmail.”

Mankind faces huge risks, he said. One is obviously war in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. But beyond that, Dimon is worried about nuclear proliferation, climate change and the risk of another pandemic.

The United States, he said, needs to make sure it has “the best military in the world, bar none.” It’s an expensive task, he said, but the stakes are high, “This is about keeping the Western world together,” he said at the DealBook Summit. “We need American leadership to make sure this all stays together. I don’t want a book written in 50 years about how the West lost.”

Business in China

JPMorgan Chase does business with TikTok’s parent company ByteDance and is partially underwriting the planned IPO of Chinese fast-fashion company Shein, according to a recent report from Reuters.

Dimon said on Wednesday that he’ll follow the lead of the US government when it comes to doing business in China but that he believes companies like Shein do not present a threat to US national security.

While some US lawmakers have said that TikTok is a national security threat, Dimon countered that JPMorgan Chase does due diligence on all of its clients.

“I’m not afraid of China,” he said.

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